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Head Start in the States: Variation in a Federal Program


June 1, 2017

NIEER Director W. Steven Barnett Ph.D. joined an Education Writers Association National Seminar panel discussing the future of Head Start. Serving nearly one million children from birth to age 5, Head Start is the nation’s largest early childhood education program. But within this new political landscape, the future of the program is opaque.

Despite the fact Head Start is a federally funded, national program, NIEER’s  State(s) of Head Start report published in December reveals that access to Head Start programs, funding per child, teacher education, quality of teaching, and duration of services all vary widely by state.

The panel discussed what Head Start looks like in different states and what lies ahead for the program. Dr. Barnett was joined on the panel by Katharine Stevens, American Enterprise Institute; Yasmina Vinci, National Head Start Association; and moderator Christina Samuels, Education Week.

Below, NIEER Director Steve Barnett discusses the State(s) of Head Start report with The Hechinger Report education writer Lillian Mongeau.