Savings and Financial Security
Getting a Head Start on Financial Security
By Leigh Tivol & Jennifer Brooks
Early childhood is critical to a child’s cognitive, behavioral and social development, as well as his or her lifelong economic prospects. Recent research has shown that cognitive aptitude and ability are established early, and that investing in the human capital of young children results in the greatest rates of return1 in the areas of earnings, savings, financial security and life outcomes.
The federal Head Start program provides quality early childhood education and other supports to children in low-income families living at or below the federal poverty line. Head Start prepares young children for school by enhancing their social and cognitive development, and delivers educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to participating children and parents. The program serves two age cohorts: children from birth to age three, who participate in Early Head Start, and those from age three to five, who participate in preschool Head Start. The Head Start program delivers these services at the local level by providing grants to local agencies that work directly with economically disadvantaged children and families. Free to eligible families, Head Start places substantial emphasis on parent engagement and provides support to parents to help them reach their own academic and employment goals.
This guide examines a range of strategies that stakeholders in both the Head Start community and the asset-building community can undertake to link Head Start families, children and teachers with opportunities to build assets and strengthen their overall household financial security.
Click here to download Getting a Head Start on Financial Security.