CFED Assets & Opportunity Scorecard
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.
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|
|State||Head Start grant?||Amount of state Head Start grant|
|District of Columbia||—|
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.
CFED thanks Megan Carolan from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for her input and expertise on this policy issue.