Policy Resource

Expanding Access to Early Head Start: State Initiatives for Infants and Toddlers at Risk (Wisconsin)

Feb 9, 2016

This joint report by ZERO TO THREE and CLASP draws on newly conducted research on state efforts to expand and enhance access to Early Head Start services for infants, toddlers, and their families.

The federal Early Head Start program was created to help minimize the disparities caused by poverty by supporting the healthy development of expectant mothers and low-income infants and toddlers in the context of their families and communities. However, less than 4 percent of babies and toddlers who are eligible for Early Head Start are currently being served. This report describes the diverse strategies states are using to build upon Early Head Start and offers recommendations for states interested in expanding this proven program. It builds on a previous paper, Building on the Promise: State Initiatives to Expand Access to Early Head Start for Young Children and their Families, released by the two organizations in 2008.

  • Since 1992, Wisconsin has expanded the capacity of existing Early Head Start (EHS) programs by allowing state supplemental funds to be used for EHS. Starting in 2012, Wisconsin has expanded the capacity of EHS programs by selecting the EHS home-based program option as one of the models to implement under the MIECHV program.
  • In 2014 Wisconsin received new funding for EHS expansion and EHS-CC Partnerships. The projected number of children to be served with this funding was 672.
  • In 2014 Wisconsin had the following slots funded:
    • Federally-Funded Early Head Start slots totaled 1879
    • Early Head Start Home Visiting Office of Head Start-Funded slots totaled 1493
    • State Funded Early Head Start slots totaled 121

For further information on state, see the following pages in Expanding Access to Early Head Start:

  • Page 10: Table. Funding Mechanisms for State EHS Initiatives
  • Page 17: APPENDIX. Initiatives that expand the capacity of Early Head Start (EHS) programs to increase the number of children and pregnant women served

Read the full report at www.zerotothree.org/expandingehs.

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