The National Head Start Association last week welcomed the news that Yvette Sanchez Fuentes was named the new director of the federal program for low-income preschoolers.
Sanchez Fuentes is a former Head Start teacher and most recently was the executive director of the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association, which represents agencies in 40 states that each year serve 37,000 migrant children and 2,500 season children from farm worker families. Most of these households, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, earn less than $10,000 annually and have no health benefits.
In her new role, Sanchez Fuentes will oversee an agency responsible for the education of more than 1 million low-income children at 2,600 Head Start agencies nationwide. She inherits a budget of more than $7.2 billion in fiscal year 2009, a nearly 3.5 percent increase over the previous year for Head Start and Early Head Start children. That figure does not include an additional $2.1 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
“Yvette is a dedicated Head Start professional who sees a bright future for the program,” commented Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association.
Sanchez Fuentes will report to Carmen Nazario, who was confirmed by the Senate last month as the new assistant secretary for Administration for Children Families. ACF is the department within Health and Human Services that oversees Head Start.