Vouching for a Head Start Reformation

Sai Polineni


In the words of Jack Shonkoff, Director of Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child: the quality of the foundation built in early childhood, whether it is strong or fragile, affects future development, health, learning and economic success. With a strong foundation, babies move easily through more and more complex learning stages. And “although it’s never too late to learn new skills since the brain never stops developing, it’s just harder and less effective to build on a weak foundation than it is to get development right the first time”. This speaks to the growing trend and continuation of a national and international effort to restructure our orphanages and homes to better suit the proper developmental needs of children. In conjunction with these changes, the United States government has also increased its focus on improving early childhood education and interactions for those in communities usually bereft of these opportunities. One such program, Head Start, was created in 1965 to prepare low-income students for elementary school. It has evolved and changed over the last five decades and now faces a key juncture that will determine its future. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/ppr.2015.61


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