Head Start and Early Head Start are federally funded programs that promote school readiness and support early childhood development for children from families with low incomes by offering educational, nutritional, health, social and other support services.
Unfortunately, many struggling families are still in need for greater access to early education programs for their children. In 2017, only 31 percent of eligible children ages three to five had access to Head Start and only seven percent of those eligible had access to Early Head Start. It’s critical that action is taken to reach more children and families who need these programs.
Together with members of our community, we can advocate for program expansion, state funding, increased awareness and access to Head Start and Early Head Start programs — ultimately advancing efforts to promote the coordination among providers across the continuum from early care to kindergarten. In doing so, we can have an impact on the lives of children and their families across the country.
Before you start building your campaign, it’s important to map out your main objectives—what you want to achieve—and align them with the Key Messages below.
Once you determine the specific policies and improvements that make sense for your community, make sure to include potential solutions in all your communication efforts, so that key stakeholders have a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish and how they can help.
Overarching Messages In Support of Head Start and Early Head Start Programs
Head Start and Early Head Start programs set children on a positive path by helping them develop during the important first few years of their lives when their brains are growing the most.
Supporting Message Points
When you write and speak about your cause, here are some message points to highlight. Remember that there may be different audiences you’re trying to reach with your campaign. From policymakers, parents and teachers to other community members, each message point should be written to match the perspective of that audience member, so that everyone feels empowered and encouraged to get involved!
- The more that young children can be in healthy and supportive learning environments, the more likely they will be emotionally, mentally and physically healthy and able to reach their full potential.
- Head Start and Early Head Start programs set children on a positive path in life. The programs help kids prepare for school, so they don’t start behind their peers.
- To reach their full potential, all kids, no matter where they live or their family’s income, should have access to early learning opportunities.
- Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide a safe and caring environment for children when their parents are working or going to school and provide support services to families to increase success.
- Head Start and Early Head Start programs have long-term educational benefits. Children who participate in these programs are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college.
- The community and businesses benefit from parents who can work while their children attend Head Start and Early Head Start programs.