Head Start

Head Start a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.

Head Start began in 1964 and was later updated by the Head Start Act of 1981. It is the longest-running program to address systemic poverty in the United States. As of late 2005[update], more than 22 million pre-school aged children have participated in Head Start. The $6.8+ billion dollar budget for 2005 provided services to more than 905,000 children, 57% of whom were four years old or older, and 43% three years old or younger. Services were provided by 1,604 different programs operating more than 48,000 classrooms scattered across every state (and nearly every county) at an average cost of $7,222 per child. The staff consists of nearly 212,000 paid personnel in addition to six times as many volunteers.

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