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Government And Politics Children And Families

1784 words - 7 pages

In January, the NLC started a seven point advocacy agenda for 2004 aimed at maximizing federal support for programs that are important to America's cities and towns. There were four programs that NLC wanted to strengthen and get more funding for children and families. They were Head Start, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), No Child Left behind (NCLB) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).Head StartNLC wants to make sure that Head Start gets reauthorized. This legislation will ensure local control of this extremely thriving program. NLC powerfully opposes legislation that will block grant Head Start to the states or contains any provision that undermines local control of the program.Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive child development programs which serve children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families. They are child-focused programs and have the overall goal of increasing the school readiness of young children in low-income families.The Head Start program is administered by the Head Start Bureau, the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Grants are awarded by the ACF Regional Offices and the Head Start Bureau's American Indian - Alaska Native and Migrant and Seasonal Program Branches directly to local public agencies, private organizations, Indian Tribes and school systems for the purpose of operating Head Start programs at the community level.The Head Start program has delivered comprehensive and high quality services designed to foster healthy development in low-income children. Head Start grantee and delegate agencies provide a range of individualized services in the areas of education and early childhood development; medical, dental, and mental health; nutrition; and parent involvement. In addition, the entire range of Head Start services is responsive and appropriate to each child's and family's developmental, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage and experience.All Head Start programs must adhere to Program Performance Standards. The Head Start Program Performance Standards define the services that Head Start Programs are to provide to the children and families they serve. They constitute the expectations and requirements that Head Start grantees must meet. They are designed to ensure that the Head Start goals and objectives are implemented successfully, that the Head Start philosophy continues to thrive, and that all grantee and delegate agencies maintain the highest possible quality in the provision of Head Start services.President Bush wants to give states the option to take over Head Start programs, now directed by Health and Human Services, and mix them with existing state-funded preschool programs. NLC worries that states will use the federal dollars to cut state preschool funding and that the important quality standards will be diminished.There was not any...

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