Sep 30, 2019
Head Start is known for making early childhood development and education a reality for all families. Developed as part of the 1960’s War on Poverty, Head Start is an example of public policy that serve the educational needs of underserved children. But the Head Start model was organized around the school calendar, an approach that works for most but not all of our nation’s families. It does not meet the unique needs of migrant families, who travel from state to state to harvest our nation’s crops. The National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association was created specifically for farmworkers whose expertise and labor are responsible for the produce in our stores and the bounty on our tables. They are served by dedicated community-based Migrant and Seasonal Head Start providers, 27 programs in 40 states. Many providers come from farmworker families themselves and are highly committed to serving families that move 3 times per year. Cleofas Rodriguez Jr, executive director of The Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association, speaks to the foresight of President Johnson in creating these program and to his love for the families he serves.