Washington, DC, United States (4E) – About 57,000 children will be out of the national Head Start program in the coming school year as its funding was reduced by the federal sequester.
The pre-school program for under 3-year-old and 3- to 5-year-old kids of low-income families saw its $8 billion budget this year reduced by 5.27 percent or $400 million following Congress’ enactment in March of the $85 billion federal spending cut also known as sequester, the Office of Head Start (OHS) reported on Monday.
There will be 51,299 fewer children enrolled in Head Start and 5,966 fewer children enrolled in Early Head Start, according to the OHS. The data came from about 1,600 Head Start grantees or public and private institutions that provide the pre-school services.
The OHS reported the budget cut forced it to reduce classes, staff and salary. There will be 1,342,015 fewer days of service nationwide, and at least 18,000 staff members will be affected, either through pay cuts or job losses, the OHS said, according to CBS News.
The Obama administration originally estimated 70,000 children to be denied access to Head Start services due to the sequester.