Campaign Promises

Cabinet/Departments -> Health & Human Services -> Head Start

ItemHealth & Human Services
Head StartGrade
The Promise: "...increase Head Start funding..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Lifetime Success Through Education," dated 10/16/08.
Status:The Head Start program (including Early Head Start) was funded at $6.878B in FY2008 and $9.213B in FY2009 (including $2.100B under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act).

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget authorizations in subsequent years were as follows:
FY2017....$9.602B (Requested)

As of CY2016, these funds support 978K children, including over 100K in the Early Head Start program.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will invest $10 billion per year in early intervention educational and developmental programs for children between zero and five. Their plan will help expand Early Head Start to serve more children with disabilities..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Empower Americans with Disabilities," dated 09/06/08.
Status:More than $2.1 billion earmarked for these programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 increased participation in the Early Head Start Program from 90,400 in FY2009 to 154,000 by FY2014.

For FY2015 and FY2016, for example, a combination of Head Start (including Early Head Start) and Child Care and Development Block Grants has totaled $10.958B and $11.646B respectively.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "The Obama-Biden comprehensive "Zero to Five" plan will provide critical support to young children and their parents...will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state "zero to five" efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school."
When/Where: Obama and Biden's Plan for America: "Blueprint for Change," dated 10/09/08.
Status:The proposed Early Learning Challenge Fund would be administered as a collaborative effort between the Departments of Education and Health & Human Services. This fund challenged Governors to develop new model systems that (1) drive results-oriented, standards reform across programs, (2) fund and implement pathways to improve existing early learning programs, and (3) ensure that more children enter kindergarten ready.

On 5/25/11, the Secretaries of Education (Arne Duncan) and Health & Human Services (Kathleen Sibelius) announced that the Obama Administration will use $500M from the "Race to the Top" Program to fund an initial round of grants to states under what is now called the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Program. The period of effectivity for this program was 48 months from its inception.

This promise was fulfilled.
The Promise: "Quadruple the number of eligible children for Early Head Start..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Lifetime Success Through Education," dated 10/16/08
Status:In FY2009, the number of children under the age of three enrolled in Early Head Start was 90,400. For this promise to be fulfilled, 361,600 children would have to be enrolled in the Early Head Start program by end-CY2016. By FY2014, midway through President Obama's second term in office, the number had grown only to 154,000.

The promise to "quadruple" Early Head Start enrollment was not fulfilled.