Unequal availability of Head Start: How neighborhood matters

Published: 01.15.2020 Updated: 06.29.2020

Research shows that over half of the children in the United States who are eligible for Head Start are not served by the program. There are important differences in Head Start participation by race/ethnicity. This brief explores how residential segregation shapes inequitable access to Head Start programs at the neighborhood level for two time periods. National and state level patterns are discussed.

"What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely. Acted upon, it destroys our democracy."

John Dewey, The School and Society, 1907

Erin Hardy
Erin Hardy
Senior Research Scientist , NORC
Headshot of Pamela Joshi
Pamela Joshi
Policy Research Director
photo of Rebecca Huber ddk staff member
Rebecca Huber
Research Associate
Headshot of Dolores Acevedo-Garcia
Dolores Acevedo-Garcia
Director, Professor of Human Development and Social Policy