What does this mean for Head Start and other community-based early childhood programs?

Public schools in the U.S. are increasingly serving 4-year-olds and even some 3-year-olds. This is a national issue—much larger than FirstSchool—that child care communities across the country are facing. Public schools are joining the child care community in offering families options for the education and care of 3- and 4-year-olds. Additionally, it is essential that strong communication and positive relationships between community child care and family child care and the schools serve to insure an optimal transition for children when they move into school. While recognizing the challenges, we believe FirstSchool provides an exciting opportunity to reconsider the roles and relationships between the child care and public school communities. We deeply value the contributions of the child care community and will work to create and strengthen partnerships with them in each community where FirstSchool is implemented.