Head Start is a comprehensive child development program serving low-income children and their families through Federal grants to local public and private organizations.
Head Start programs promote school readiness and help young children reach their potential by providing educational, health, parental involvement, nutritional, social and other services to children and families, and engaging families and communities in children’s learning and development.
Since its beginnings in 1965, Head Start has served more than 31 million young children and their families. In 2013, nearly one million pregnant women and children 0-5 are enrolled in Head Start programs at thousands of locations around the country.
These children and their families depend on the daily work of more than 250,000 Head Start employees– from classroom teachers and assistants to home visitors to family support workers to kitchen staff to bus drivers and more– who continue, despite the low wages that are typical for Head Start workers, to be committed to the children, families, and communities they care for.
Nearly 15,000 Head Start workers in 11 states across the country, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, have come together in SEIU to make a difference in our lives and the lives of the children and families we serve.
In our local Head Start programs, we’ve won better wages and benefits that help us recruit and retain good staff, support and assistance to increase our skills and qualifications, and a voice in how our programs are run.
Together in Washington DC, we’ve worked together to restore the destructive Sequester cuts to Head Start for 2014 and even won increased funding. We’ve made sure that the perspective of the people who do the work every day is considered in making Federal laws, rules, and policies about Head Start.