Head Start History by President

President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)

1964

Office of Economic Opportunity makes first grants to Community Action Agencies.
Lyndon Johnson elected President.
President Johnson declares "War on Poverty" in his State of the Union Message.
Sergeant Shriver named head of War on Poverty program by President Johnson. He convenes first task force meeting to plan legislation.
Economic Opportunity Act passes Senate and House and is signed into law.
Sergeant Shriver asks Dr. Robert Cooke, pediatrician at Johns Hopkins University, to head a steering committee of specialists in all fields to discuss what should be done for young children.


1965

Steering Committee convenes at the White House led by Mrs. Lyndon Johnson and Sergeant Shriver.
Recommendations for the Head Start Program are issued by the Planning Committee in the Cooke Memorandum.
OEO Memo from Jules Sugarman announces initiation of Project Head Start.
President Lyndon B. Johnson officially announces the Head Start Program in the White House Rose Garden.
Head Start is launched, serving over 560,000 children and families across America in an eight-week summer program.
American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start programs also begin in 1965 with 43 grantees in 14 states.


1966

Economic opportunity Act is amended, requiring the Office of Economic Opportunity to operate a Head Start Program.


1968

Head Start begins funding a program that will eventually be called Sesame Street. It is a Carnegie Corporation Preschool Television Show.

Richard M. Nixon (1969-1974)


1969

Head Start is transferred from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and becomes a part of HEW's Office of Child Development.


1972

Economic Opportunity Act is amended, calling for expansion of Head Start program opportunities for handicapped children. The legislation mandates that at least 10 percent of the national enrollment of Head Start consist of handicapped children.


1973

Head Start home-based program option is added.

President Gerald R. Ford (1974-1977)


1974

Total number of children served since 1965 reaches 5,300,000.


1975

Head Start Program Performance Standards are issued.

President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)


1977

Bilingual and bicultural Head Start Migrant programs serve 6,000 children in twenty-one states.


1977-1981

Nearly 43,000 children and families are added during a major expansion of Head Start.

President Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)


1984

Head Start budget exceeds the one billion mark and the number of children served since the beginning reaches 9,144,990.

President George Bush (1989-1993)


1992

Head Start funding is increased by $600 million. This additional funding extends services to another 180,000 children and families.

President William J. Clinton (1993-2001)


1995

First Early Head Start grants are awarded to provide services for children birth to age three and pregnant women.


1996

First Major revision of the Head Start Program Performance Standards is issued.


1998

Head Start Reauthorization Act includes mandate to expand full day, full-year services.


2000

Head Start celebrates 35th Anniversary and marks five-year period of significant expansion in services to children and families.

President George W. Bush (2001-2009)

President Barack Obama (2009-Present)

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