Harder Announces $2.3 Million Investment for Central Valley Migrant Head Start

July 27, 2020
Press Release
Federal Investment Provides Critical Resources to Support Early Education, Nutrition for Children of Farmworkers

WASHINGTON – Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) today announced that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will invest $2,334,992 to help continue Migrant Head Start programs in the Central Valley. The Migrant Head Start program provides comprehensive early childhood education and general health and nutrition assistance to primarily children of migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

“There’s nothing more important than making sure our kids have what they need to live healthy and happy lives – regardless of who they are or where their parents are from,” said Rep. Harder. “Investments in early education give kids the building blocks to succeed in school – and a good education will open all kinds of doors for them down the road.”

“Since the onset of COVID we have worked tirelessly to open and continue to keep open child development centers and family child care homes including distance teaching and learning approaches and family support activities for our most vulnerable, low-income, at risk population; namely, the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start families so as to maintain a stable and abundant food and agricultural supply chain for our nation,” said Tony Jordan, Executive Director, Child & Family Services, Stanislaus County Office of Education & Central California Migrant Head Start.  “We appreciate the work being done on Capitol Hill to support our efforts as we educate children, support parents, develop professionals, and impact communities in the healthiest and safest ways during these challenging and unprecedented times. These additional funds will be used to support COVID relief efforts which include increased disinfecting protocols, additional supports and technology to make a distance teaching and learning a reality.”

The Migrant Head Start program serves specifically children from six weeks to school age whose parents work in agricultural labor, including seasonal farmworkers. The program serves more than 700 students in Rep. Harder’s district and neighboring Merced County, and offers extended hours to match seasonal farming schedules.

Representative Harder has been a leader in the effort to bolster early education. In April, Rep. Harder contacted the national Head Start office to protect $2.5 million in federal investments for local districts and has advocated for an education representative on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Last year he also announced a $26 million grant for Central Valley Head Start. Last year, he also visited Head Start locations in Ceres and Empire.