The Office of Head Start (OHS) announced yesterday the availability of additional funds to increase high-quality early childhood program hours for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Specifically, $295 million will be awarded to grantees for increasing the total annual hours of high-quality early education services offered to children enrolled in Head Start and Early Head Start center-based, family child care, and locally-designed programs. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories are eligible to apply for grants by the December 1 deadline.
Decades of research shows that participation in Head Start and Early Head Start has both short- and long-term positive effects for children and their families. Children who attend Head Start and/or Early Head Start demonstrate marked academic and social progress, and are more likely to enter kindergarten ready to learn.
Research also shows that by expanding Head Start, Early Head Start program hours, more children will have the opportunity to access full-day, full year high-quality early learning without disruption to their continuity of care. The supplemental funds would go towards increasing the number of annual hours that center-based and family child care centers can provide, including additional staff or facility upgrades.
OHS will consider applications from eligible jurisdictions starting today. Applicants must submit all required materials, including a budget justification narrative, as explained in the announcement by December 1, 2018.
All initial awards will be effective March 1, 2019. OHS expects applicants will be fully operational at the increased service hours no later than the 2019–20 school year. Additionally, applicants must ensure the proposed program schedule accurately reflects the total funded enrollment and includes the total annual fully increased hours of service for children.
Learn more about the program instruction and funding opportunity here.