CFED Scorecard

CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard

Education
Head Start State Funding
Overview

Head Start is an educational program proven to prepare low-income children to begin school ready to learn. Although primarily federally funded, state Head Start programs often need additional funding to meet federal education standards. For example, the federal government requires Head Start programs to match 20% of the federal funds they receive. Without this match, state programs struggle to qualify for federal Head Start funds. State funding is often used to increase the number of students who can participate in Head Start. 

What States Can Do

States can provide a supplemental Head Start grant to help programs meet the 20% match required by the federal government. In some cases, the funds are used for quality improvements, such as to extend hours or increase teacher pay.

Strength of State Policies: Head Start State Funding

Does state provide a supplemental Head Start grant? 1
StateHead Start grant?Amount of state Head Start grant
Alabama
Alaska $7,300,000
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut $5,585,093
Delaware $6,149,300
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho $1,500,000
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine $2,512,731
Maryland 2 $1,800,000
Massachusetts $8,000,000
Michigan
Minnesota $14,048,309
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma 2 $2,191,700
Oregon $61,069,891
Pennsylvania $38,919,024
Rhode Island $800,000
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin $6,264,100
Wyoming

Notes on the Data

1. Barnett, W. Steven, et al. The State of Preschool 2014: State Preschool Yearbook (New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research, 2015), Appendix B: Head Start Data. States receive credit for state-funded Head Start if they provide funding for a supplemental Head Start grant.

2. Maryland and Oklahoma did not provide updated information for the 2013-2014 year. Their enrollment and spending information from the 2012-2013 year is used here.

How States Are Assessed

States receive credit for state-funded Head Start if they provide funding for a supplemental Head Start grant.

What States Have Done

In total, 13 states provide supplemental Head Start grants, which range from $800,000 in Rhode Island to $61,069,891 in Oregon. 

Acknowledgements

CFED thanks Megan Carolan from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for her input and expertise on this policy issue. 

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