Despite funding increases for Head Start over the past six years, only 42 percent of eligible children are now served by the federal program, and just 4 percent of eligible children are served by Early Head Start, according to.
Head Start offers children ages 3 and 4 education as well as health and social services; Early Head Start offers similar benefits to pregnant women, infants, and toddlers.
The New York City-based National Center for Children in Poverty and the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington note that, although the programs got a $1.2 billion funding boost from 2006 to 2012, 33 states did not meet program benchmarks for either class size or adult-to-child ratios.
According to the report, only four states—Connecticut, North Dakota, Oregon, and Vermont—filled their classes.
A version of this article appeared in the December 11, 2013 edition of Education Week as Early Childhood