WASHINGTON , D.C. – Today, H.R. 1429, the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act , which reauthorizes the nation’s premiere early childhood education program for low-income families, was signed into law.
Reauthorized for the first time in nearly a decade, the bipartisan legislation will improve teacher and classroom quality, strengthen Head Start’s focus on school readiness, expand access to Head Start, ensure well-run centers, boost coordination between Head Start and state and local programs, and enhance comprehensive family services.
“Head Start is our country’s premiere early childhood education program giving low-income and minority students the opportunity for future academic success,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, a member of the House Education and Labor Committee. “This is long overdue and I am honored to have been involved in the reauthorization of this legislation.”
The bill preserved many provisions that Grijalva had successfully included in the two previous Head Start bills during the 108 th and 109 th Congresses. Grijalva worked to keep language in this year’s bill that prioritized Indian, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start funding, authorized a community needs assessment to evaluate minority population needs, required outreach services to Limited English Proficient children and their families, and disaggregated teacher data for the purposes of documenting the equitable distribution of services and teacher skill-sets across grantees.
“Head Start programs have long provided the option of “opportunity” for families and children who face more barriers to economic prosperity and academic success,” said Grijalva. “Reauthorizing this law reiterates our commitment as a nation to continue providing opportunity for all, which is a cornerstone of America ’s democracy. I am proud to see this bill signed into law under our current House leadership.”
The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act