HS & EHS History
National Head Start & Early Head Start History
Head Start was signed into United States law by President Johnson as part of the War on Poverty. It began as an eight-week summer program to help low income youngsters catch up with their higher income counterparts.
Head Start Policy Manual 70.2, a federal guidance, which formally documented the roles and responsibilities of parents in the administration and operation of Head Start was released. The flaws in the highly publicized Westinghouse Report were debated, but rarely given to the public.
Economic Opportunity Act is amended, legislating at least ten percent of Head Starts enrollment slots must be reserved for children with disabilities.
Head Start home-based program option is added.
The Head Start Program Performance Standards were released by the federal government, and program monitoring began in earnest.
The Persistence of Preschool Effects, released by Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) was the first longitudinal study to document the residual effects of preschool programs on low-income children.
The Perry Preschool Study, while not a Head Start Program, helped generate additional political support for the early intervention movement that includes Head Start. These findings were reaffirmed and expanded by the Ypsilanti study of 1984.
The Synthesis and Utilization Project and a study done in the Philadelphia School District showed Head Start was to have lasting positive effects on such variables as assignment to special education, retention in grades, achievement test scores, intelligence test scores, attitudes, values, teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, high school graduation, welfare dependency and employment.
First Early Head Start grants are awarded to provide services for children under three and pregrant women.
The first major revision of the Head Start Program Performance Standards is issued.
Head Start Reauthorization Act includes mandate to expand full-day, full-year services.