NSBA Supports Head Start and Voluntary Pre-K Education Programs as a Foundation for Achievement

NSBA has targeted two main areas for federal advocacy on early childhood education:

  • Head Start: Educational and other comprehensive support services for approximately one million disadvantaged children.
  • Voluntary Pre-kindergarten: High-quality preschool programs for all three- and four-year-olds.

Recent administrative and legislative actions include these proposals:

  • A new Race to the Top preschool grant awards $250 million to states to expand preschool to low- and moderate-income four-year-old children.
  • The President proposed an Investing in Early Learning Initiative, including federal grants to fund state and local program development, in early 2013.
  • Legislation to fund the President’s initiative, the Strong Start for America’s Children Act (H.R. 3461/S. 1697), went to committee in both houses of Congress in late 2013.
  • The Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge provides funding awards to states that create comprehensive plans to improve early childhood learning.
  • Bills to fully reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) are also in Congressional committees. Learn more about ESEA.

Talking Points

Use these points to communicate the key issues supporting quality pre-k education programs to other school board members, the media, and your members of Congress:

  • High-quality preschool programs can raise student achievement by providing a solid foundation on which children can build.
  • Numerous studies have shown that programs that provide children developmentally appropriate stimulation in their early years can help to close some of the achievement gaps that exist among children even before they enter school.
  • Research has also documented that children who participate in high-quality preschool programs:
  • demonstrate greater interest in learning;
  • are less likely to repeat a grade or require special education classes; and
  • are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college.

 NSBA’s Position

NSBA advocates for federal grants to support high-quality preschool education for three and four-year-olds. Read more.


Research has proven that quality preschool programs can raise student achievement. NSBA partners with national education associations to promote early childhood education. Read more.

NSBA’s Actions

Read about NSBA’s actions in support of early childhood education, including Head Start: letters to federal agencies, comments, and grassroots calls to action here.