Monday, December 13, 2004

Taking Care of Children. A Librarian at Every Table. No. 233.

December 13, 2004. No. 233.
Sources & Sites for Community Building.

Among the many problems highlighted in the new data from National Head Start Association: almost 9,000 slots for poor children have been trimmed from the program, the percentage of eligible children served by Head Start and Early Head Start programs has eroded to 20 percent, and half of local Head Start grantees have been forced to cut services and/or staffing during the past two years. Strategies to save Headstart

The Economic Policy Institute study, Exceptional Returns, demonstrates, for the first time, that providing all 20% of the nation's three- and four-year-old children who live in poverty with a high-quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) program would have a substantial payoff for governments and taxpayers in the future. As those children grow up, costs for remedial and special education, criminal justice, and welfare benefits would decline. Once in the labor force, their incomes would be higher, along with the taxes they would pay back to society.A publicly financed, comprehensive ECD program for all children from low-income families would cost billions of dollars annually, but would create much larger budget savings over time.

Since 1973, the Children's Defense Fund has worked toward, and made great progress in, reducing the numbers of neglected, sick, uneducated, and poor children in the United States. CDF's research, public education campaigns, budget and policy advocacy, and coalition building have contributed to millions of children gaining immunizations; health care; child care; Head Start; a right to education; adoptions; a chance to escape poverty; and protections in our child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice systems. More than 400 CDF® publications have educated millions about child conditions and what can be done individually and collectively to change things.

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