Assembly Majority Leader Reyes Champions Budget Request
on Behalf of California Families
(Sacramento, CA) – In a briefing on Head Start programs for the capitol community today, California State Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes (AD 47) announced she will champion a $50 million budget request for Head Start agencies in California. Head Start California, the membership association representing local Head Start programs, deeply appreciates the continued support from the majority leader.
As the majority leader noted, “We know the expansion of TK has many implications for Head Start programs, which are a critical part of California’s mixed-delivery system of care. That is why I am excited to champion a budget request for $50 million to support Head Start programs as they shift to serving more children younger than 36 months and their families. These programs have deep and long-standing connections to their local communities and have, therefore, earned our trust and support.”
The requested $50 million appropriation will go to local Head Start agencies to support the 20% funding match required by the federal grant. These funds will build agency capacity to attract and retain qualified staff, including better compensation; train and educate the workforce to care for young children – infants and toddlers; address the higher operation costs of serving very young children; and conduct outreach to identify families eligible for Head Start.
Head Start California Board President Stacey Scarborough of Venice Family Clinic praised the announcement. “The Head Start community is thrilled to have the support and leadership of Assembly Majority Leader Reyes. Championing this budget request is strong recognition of the value that Head Start brings to families and communities across California.”
Head Start is a critical resource for California’s most vulnerable families and children, operating over 1,700 sites, serving over 100,000 children and families annually, and employing over 25,000 teachers and staff statewide.
“We are at a critical time in the evolution of early childhood in our state,” noted Head Start California Executive Director Christopher Maricle. “Head Start has been serving California for over 50 years. As we expand the system to serve more families, investing now in Head Start – as many other states have already done – is essential to ensure that Head Start continues to serve our most vulnerable children and families.”
In May 2021, more than 50 organizations and 16 legislators, led by Majority Leader Reyes, signed a letter in support of the appropriation for Head Start programs.
Head Start California is the premier advocacy organization for Head Start agencies throughout California. Head Start California advocates for its members at the federal, state ,and local county level ensuring that members speak with a unified voice about the challenges facing California’s most vulnerable families and the Head Start community that serves them.