Head Start is the most important social and educational investment in children, families, and communities that the United States has ever undertaken. Planning for this enormous social program began in the early 1960s when Attorney General Robert Kennedy began work on finding a way to stop juvenile delinquency. Experts who studied the problem soon came to realize that the cause was poverty. After the assassination of President John Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson took up the cause of building a “Great Society” by declaring “War on Poverty.” Head Start was launched in 1965 as a comprehensive child development program. Over the past 40 years, it has provided a beacon of hope and support to 22 million low-income children and their families across the United States and in territories outside of the United States. Head Start has remained strong in the face of changing political and fiscal climates over the past 40 years because it has continually improved the services it delivers to children and families and responded to the changing needs of local communities.
Reference: National Head Start Association. (2005). Head Start: The Nation's Pride...Celebrating 40 Years of Success. Alexandria, Virginia: Author.