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I am writing this letter to inform you of the research and findings I carried out on the Head Start policy. Below, you will find all the relevant information regarding the policy and how it can improve the development of a child.
Head Start is a policy which was created by its original director, Jule Sugarman. The program would teach kids from poor backgrounds what they needed to know during the summer holidays. Presently, the program affiliated with the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This policy provides health, parent involvement services, and early childhood services to children in the USA. The primary goals of the system are to improve the family’s relations, the child’s physical and mental health, and improve the cognitive skills and development phases of the children (McWayne et al., 2012). The shift from preschool to an elementary school can impose some challenges to a child. These challenges, most of them, affect the development of the child in question. For this reason, the child needs to engage with friends outside their family’s network and classroom.
Annually, the Head Start serves more than a million kids and their families. These services are offered to both urban and rural residing families. Some of the health-related services provided by the policy include screening, dental, and health check-ups.
There are various restrictions placed for one to be eligible for the aids furnished by the program. As such, the eligibility of the program highly depends on the income of the household. However, there are some criteria which can make one eligible for the program, for instance, disabilities and any other services that the family may require apart from monetary aid. Also, households may become eligible through Homelessness and Security Funds.
In 2011, the financial budget set aside by the federal government for the program was 8.1 billion Dollars (McWayne et al., 2012). Of this budget, only 15% was to be devoted to administration purposes, while 85% was for direct services to the Americans (McWayne et al., 2012).
Many studies on the policy have been carried out. Most of these studies are based on the social context, relationships, academics, emotional issues, and the dynamics of the family. In the year 2015, the CCR Analytics, which was earlier on called the Child Care Analytics carried a survey to understand Head Start’s Policy effectiveness in California. This survey indicated that the policy offered social peace of mind to the 90% of the interviewed parents (Deming, 2009). The parents stated that the program helped them keep their jobs. On the other hand, 91% of the parents reported that the program allowed them to get admitted to training programs, while 98% of the parents indicated that the policy allowed them the chance to improve their maternal and paternal skills (Deming, 2009).
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The system also improves the academic skills of the students enrolled in it. In the year 2009, David Deming, through the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, carried a study to determine Head Start’s effect on students. He conducted the study on families whose some of the children attended Head Start and some did not. In his results, Deming indicates that his findings stated that siblings who attended Head Start proved stronger academic abilities, than their mates ailed to attend. Also, Head Start’s attending siblings were less likely to get involved with crime and suffer from poor health as adults, and more likely to go to college. Also, students who attended these centers were less likely to suffer from emotional issues, as compared to their counterparts who failed to attend the centers. All the findings indicate that Head Start is an important policy in the society.
Head Start is a policy which is of help for many families in the society and the community as a whole. For many parents, the program has helped them secure their jobs and enroll ion colleges for various courses. As for the children, Head Start helps them gain knowledge on what school is all about and be able to improve their grades when joining elementary schools. However, there are some aspects of the program which need to be shaped to give room for the better performance of the policy. The major two issues are the funding sector and the improving the Head Start and other day care centers. With the improvement of these significant aspects of the program, Head Start will do much better as it had never done before and more children and adults will benefit from the program.
Basing on the facts above, the Head Start policy requires more funding from the federal government. Although much of the necessary physical infrastructure needed for the program already exists, there is still a need for the government to provide more funds for the program. One of the best ways the government would be able to achieve appropriate funding and allocation of the resources to these centers would be through equitable distribution of the money. For instance, the Federal government should relocate money from the less poor locales to the poorest locations to allow children from the poorest neighborhoods attend the day care and the Head Start centers. More of the money from the government should be utilized in ensuring that children from the less privileged communities get the chances of joining these centers. Also, the government needs to consider pumping more funds to the already existing Head Start Centers in these poor communities for the improvement of the service quality offered at there. Apart from soliciting for the development of the physical infrastructure and quality of education at these centers, the government also needs to give medical and screening covers to the teachers at these stations. Giving the teachers these medical and scanning covers will ensure that they stay healthy and can offer their services to the students to their level best. Allocating more funds to the Head Start policy will see it achieve its primary goal which is giving children living in poverty the chance of uplifting their lives.
To conclude, the Head Start system is running. However, the system is not effective in attaining its primary goal. Giving more funds to this program will allow the teachers to teach and be free from illnesses. Also, increasing the number of the Head Start centers will enable more children in impoverished locales access the services without so much hustle, as before.
- Deming, D. (2009). Early childhood intervention and life-cycle skill development: Evidence from Head Start. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(3), 111-134.
- McWayne, C. M., Cheung, K., Wright, L. E. G., & Hahs-Vaughn, D. L. (2012). Patterns of school readiness among head start children: Meaningful within-group variability during the transition to kindergarten. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(3), 862.