The 50-year-old Head Start preschool program for low-income families is under intense economic pressure, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"The Childcare Resource Center, a nonprofit agency in Chatsworth that serves more than 15,000 children in Head Start and state preschool programs, lost 20% of its operating budget—$25 million—in the last two years. The agency closed more than 140 centers and laid off 70 employees, although some have been rehired."
And now the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the largest Head Start agency in the country, is among more than 130 agencies nationally that failed to meet federal performance standards and will now have to compete for funding, the Times reports. Why? Because seven providers it supervises "did not maintain adequate record keeping and that staff members at an eighth failed to sign some required forms."