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Head Start Program Introduction - Essay Example

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The program is comprised of both paid and volunteer staff and receives funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services…
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Head Start Program Introduction
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Head Start is a government-funded resource available to low-income families to help support family strength and early learning success in children. The program is comprised of both paid and volunteer staff and receives funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services under the Administration for Children and Families department. The US Department of Health and Human services does not actually administer the program, for it disperses grants to public and private organizations to provide services to Children from poor families. These organizations can apply for grants to the US Department of Health and Human Services/ Administration for Children and Families. Once approved the organizations will receive funding for 5 years to plan and conduct Early Head Start for children from birth till three years old focusing on developing a strong parental bond, empowering parents and developing building blocks for early learning success and Head Start programs focusing on reading and math skills for children 5 years and younger. Head Start Programs are regulated and their performances reviewed annually by the US Department of Health and Human Services/ Administration for Children and Families to ensure that the organizations are performing to the outlined standards.
In addition, Head Start does more than just provide a platform for our children’s didactic learning success. Head Start also funds research for building strong healthy families and marriages. Children being raised in a single parent home does not condemn a child to academic failure, however studies show studies that children of divorce experience more behavioral problems, earned lower grades (Cherlin, 1981) and twice as likely to not graduate from high school than their peers who benefit from living with parents who did not divorce. (Zill, 1993) With marriages of the children of divorced parents at a much higher rate of divorce than the marriages of children from intact families, the cycle of potential low academic success and the poverty often associated with individuals not graduating from high school will likely continue. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of the program is quite controversial. Will studies do show that participants are happy and well, there is no significant evidence showing that they are any better off than regular public school students (Klein 2011). Economic issues also plague the program.
The national deficit, already crowed schools, and inefficient schooling sites limit the program’s effectiveness. For example, the state of Detroit passed up a chance for a $7.5 million dollar grant from the federal government for their Headstart program. In response to public outrage, the city responded, that it would have been superfluous to accept the grant because there was not enough room in the current Headstart schools and an inability to find additional appropriate locations to license as a Headstart school (Neavling 2011). Despite recent cut backs in federal funding toward public health the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009 allocated $2 billion dollars for Head Start Programs. (Recovery.gov) Due to the current economic issues facing this country, the government’s response has been to cut budgets and what it believes to be unnecessary spending. However, the Federal government is also having issues with Headstart funding. Currently, the Department of Human Services is under investigation by the FBI for charges of overspending (Neavling 2011). The controversy over the effectiveness of the program and the economic issues faced by both Federal and State governments limit the applicability of the Head Start program.
Works Cited
Klein, J. (2011). “In the Arena
Time to Ax Public Programs That Dont Yield Results” New York Times.
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2081778,00.html#ixzz1YWptF38R
Neavling, S. (2011). “Detroit passes up chance to apply for $7.5-million grant for Head Start” Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/article/20110909/NEWS01/109090400/Detroit-passes-up-chance-apply-7-5-million-grant-Head-Start?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s Read More
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