Early Head Start is a federal program that provides educational and home visitation services to children from birth to age 3 and their mothers.

In 1995, Congress approved an extension of Head Start known as Early Head Start, which is designed to serve impoverished mothers and their children from birth to age 3. Some grantees are home-visitation programs in which social workers visit mothers at home to provide support for breast-feeding, nutritional advice, and resources to promote children’s healthy development. Others are center-based child care programs. Some are a hybrid of the two.

In 2013, 112,025 children were enrolled in Early Head Start. The program received $1.37 billion in federal funding for fiscal year 2014.

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