Media Release 5/1/13: Head Start Children hurt by Sequester

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Congress Resolves Airline Delay Issue in 1 Day
While Two-Thirds of Washington Head Start Programs Prepare to Cut Children

According to an online survey from the Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP (WSA), 68% of state Head Start providers will be forced to drop children from their classrooms over the next few months as a direct result of the across the board cuts known as sequestration.  In addition to reducing enrollment, the majority of Head Start programs are also reducing costs by laying off teachers, shortening the school year, and eliminating critical services. “Unfortunately, our survey confirms what we have been saying for some time—that the dumb and damaging cuts put into place as a result of sequestration are having a real impact on the services that Head Start provides to our most at-risk children and their families,” said Joel Ryan, Executive Director of WSA.

Last week Congress was able to minimize some of the cuts to the FAA so that passengers would not have to wait in long lines at the airport. It was done so quickly that the legislation had to be voted on twice in the Senate in order to fix a spelling mistake. But so far Congress has ignored the plight of programs that serve the most vulnerable children and families like Head Start. We believe that it is time for Congress to turn off the sequester and instead develop a fair, bipartisan, and sustainable approach to deficit reduction that does not further damage the safety net for the most vulnerable children and families in our communities.

If you would like to speak with a local Head Start provider in your community to discuss the impact of sequestration please contact us and we will be happy to connect you.

Joel Ryan, 486-9077
Katy Warren,