Lyndon B Johnson Project Head Start

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One of the many programs was acutely aware of the serious toll that lack of early childhood development takes on the lives of young children and the impact it could have in shaping a better future. During a State of Union address in January of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared “The War on Poverty”, recognizing that there was an obligation to help compensate for inequality in social and economic conditions for disadvantaged low-income children. President Lyndon B. Johnson assigned Sargent Shriver, his personal assistant who dealt with social and economic issues the task of assembling a panel of experts to develop a comprehensive child development program to meet emotional, social, health, nutrition and psychological needs. (…show more content…
Shriver gathered a committee of the best specialists in all fields involving child care. In January of 1965, a group of sociologists, psychologists, and pediatricians began discussions of a platform that would assist children in overcoming setbacks or obstacles caused by poverty. In May of 1965 on the lawn of the White House Rose Garden, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced Project Head Start which was first established in the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). Project Head Start started in the summer of 1965, as an eight week demonstration summer program for children from low-income communities going into public school in the fall. It served over 560,000 children across the United States of America in the first summer, providing preschool classes, medical care, dental care, and mental health services. Since its inception, the program has seen many changes. In 1969, under the Richard M. Nixon administration, Head Start was transferred from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the Office of Child Development in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In 1977, Under the Jimmy Carter administration, Head Start began bilingual/bicultural programs in about 21 states in October 1984. Under the Ronald Regan administration, Project Head Start’s grant budget exceeded one billion dollars and the number of children assisted was a little more than nine million. In September of 1995, under the Bill Clinton administration, the first Early Head Start grants were awarded and in October of 1998, Project Head Start was authorized to expand to full-day and full-year services.

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