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After Push by Kaine & Hassan, Administration Expands Access to Early Childhood Education

Administration Expands Eligibility for Head Start Programs Following Letter Sent by Kaine, Colleagues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a push by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and Maggie Hassan, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it is expanding Head Start Program eligibility to help more families in Virginia and across the country access affordable, high-quality early childhood education services.

“Head Start is essential to supporting the development, health, and well-being of children from low-income families,” said Senator Kaine. “After urging the Biden Administration to improve access to Head Start programs, I’m thrilled to see that more families in Virginia and across the country will be able to benefit from these services.”

Head Start programs provide health, education, family support, and social services to low-income families and help improve school readiness for children under 5 years old. Early Head Start programs serve infants, toddlers under 3 years old, and pregnant women.

Last week, Kaine, Hassan, and their Senate colleagues sent a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra urging the Administration to expand eligibility for Head Start programs to include families that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Click here to read the letter.

Kaine, a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has long advocated for increasing access to affordable child care and early childhood education programs. The American Rescue Plan, which Kaine and Senate Democrats passed in 2021, included $1 billion for Head Start, Early Head Start, and Early Head Start-Child Care programs. Kaine recently sent a letter to President Biden urging significant investments in child care, pre-kindergarten, and early childhood education.