On October 22, 1982, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as Head Start Awareness Month. Thirty years after the proclamation, his words still inspire:
The National Head Start Program has helped over eight million low-income pre-school children and their families. In so doing, it has earned recognition and support for its success in early childhood education and development.
Perhaps the most significant factor in the success of Head Start has been the involvement of parents, volunteers, and the community. Their commitment and the services provided by dedicated Head Start staff have been instrumental in creating a quality program that truly provides young children with a “head start” in life.” *
Since 1982 Head Start has provided a window of opportunity to millions of children! Over the past four decades in San Diego alone, Head Start has touched the lives of more than 250,000 low-income preschool children and families at more than 140 locations in San Diego County. Neighborhood House Association currently holds 83 licenses to operate Head Start facilities.
To view the proclamation click here
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About Head Start
Head Start is a federally-funded child development program designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing preschool children of low-income families with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional and psychological needs. Head Start’s approach is that the parent is the child’s primary educator and that the entire family, as well as the community, must be involved in guiding and nurturing the child
Head Start was launched in 1965 as an eight-week summer program by the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1965. The blueprint for Project Head Start came from a panel of child development experts who were asked to draw up a program to help communities overcome the handicap of economically disadvantaged preschool children.
In 1965, Head Start was transferred to the Office of Child Development in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare and is now a program within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services, and administered by the Office of Head Start (OHS).
Today, Head Start programs are operated by over 1,500 community-based organizations in all 50 states and U.S. territories, including Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
For more information about Head Start visit http://www.neighborhoodhouse.org/nha-programs/head-start/