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We Need Your Help | Head Start Poverty Level Email Campaign

May 20, 2022 | General News

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We need your help appealing to our Congressional Representatives before the end of May! The Federal Poverty Level Guidelines are having a critical impact on Head Start eligibility and enrollment. There are two letters below, one for community members, and one for Head Start parents, please copy the corresponding email and send to your Representative, or drop into their contact form. We’ve also included a locator to identify your Representative.


Letter for Community Members

Dear­­­­ ­­­­­­­­________________________________ (political official),

As a Community Member and Head Start supporter, I am writing to express concerns about the current Federal Poverty Level guidelines and the critical impact on Head Start eligibility and enrollment. We appreciate the recent change in eligibility for those who are categorically eligible for SNAP, but this one change is not enough. Current law sets an income limit for Head Start eligibility at 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), with 35 percent of program slots designated for 130% of FPL. For 2022, this amounts to $23,030 for a family of three and $27,750 for a family of four.

In New York, a 2-person family making $13.20 per hour, the current minimum wage, working 40 hours a week has an annual income of $26,400. This family does not qualify for Head Start in NY because they are over the FPL 100% of poverty and over 130% of poverty. At $13.20 per hour, the family is at 144% of the federal poverty guidelines. This is the true, harsh reality that many NY families face that impacts their Head Start eligibility.

As a Head Start supporter, I am seriously concerned that the current income guidelines will leave many needy families ineligible for Head Start services in the near future. We are requesting a re-evaluation of the Head Start income eligibility threshold. Please consider adjusting these guidelines to 200% or greater of the Federal Poverty level. This will allow more families the opportunity to participate in comprehensive, high-quality Head Start programming.

Sincerely,


Letter for Head Start Parents

Dear­­­­ ­­­­­­­­________________________________ (political official),

As a Head Start Parent, I am writing to express concerns about the current Federal Poverty Level guidelines and the critical impact on Head Start eligibility and enrollment. We appreciate the recent change in eligibility for those who are categorically eligible for SNAP, but this one change is not enough. Current law sets an income limit for Head Start eligibility at 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), with 35 percent of program slots designated for 130% of FPL. For 2022, this amounts to $23,030 for a family of three and $27,750 for a family of four.

In New York, a 2-person family making $13.20 per hour, the current minimum wage, working 40 hours a week has an annual income of $26,400. This family does not qualify for Head Start in NY because they are over the FPL 100% of poverty and over 130% of poverty. At $13.20 per hour, the family is at 144% of the federal poverty guidelines. This is the true, harsh reality that many NY families face that impacts their Head Start eligibility.

As parents, we are seriously concerned that the current income guidelines will leave us ineligible for Head Start services in the near future. We are requesting a re-evaluation of the Head Start income eligibility threshold. Please consider adjusting these guidelines to 200% or greater of the Federal Poverty level. This will allow more families the opportunity to participate in comprehensive, high-quality Head Start programming.

Sincerely,


Locate your Representative

https://www.house.gov/

Get in touch, a few examples of Representative pages:

Paul Tonko
https://tonko.house.gov/forms/writeyourrep/

Antonio Delgado
https://delgado.house.gov/contact

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