Strengthening Head Start: What the Evidence Shows. Coordination is critical


The creation of an integrated, well-coordinated early care and education system has broad support from members of the early childhood field, the business community, and policymakers across the political spectrum. The National Governors Association (NGA), for example, has strongly supported developing partnerships and increasing coordination of services as a means of creating a seamless system of care and increasing parents access to such a system. According to NGAs policy position paper, The Governors believe it is important for all involved parties to promote the coordination of programs serving children through links at all levels of the child care, health care, and education systems.(24) Lack of coordination of early childhood programs at the state level can result in:

  • overlapping programs and duplication of services at the state and local level;
  • under-enrollment in Head Start programs and gaps in services;
  • ineffective use of state resources through lack of communication and information-sharing among programs providing services to children;
  • missed opportunities for states to engage in statewide planning to develop complementary early childhood programs and systems and maximize the use of state and federal resources, including administration, staff development, and service costs;
  • fewer full-day, full-year slots to serve the needs of working families;
  • missed opportunities to raise the overall quality of childhood experiences and promote long-term positive academic and behavioral outcomes through quality enhancement of early childhood education services;
  • greater difficulty for states in addressing school readiness issues as early as possible and bringing pre-kindergarten education into alignment with the stronger guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Act;
  • lack of awareness on the part of families of the early childhood resources and range of options available in their communities.

View full report


"report.pdf" (pdf, 584.02Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®