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Healthy Start Fact Sheet


Healthy Start was established in 1991 through Senate Bill 620, the Healthy Start Support Services for Children Act, to improve student learning and support families. Healthy Start enhances efforts to close the achievement gap by helping children and their family members gain access to an array of learning supports. While each local Healthy Start is unique, all are designed to do the following:

The California Department of Education administers Healthy Start and awarded two-year Planning, five-year Operational, and seven -year Combined Planning and Operational grants to local education agencies (LEAs). The charts below show the number of Planning, Operational, and Combined grants that have been awarded to date. In many cases, grants were awarded to multiple school sites in an LEA, as the charts indicate.

Planning Grants 1991-2005

Number of
Grants Awarded

Number of
Schools

Number of
Students Enrolled

823

1,714

1,241,389

Operational Grants 1991-2007

Year

Number of
Grants Awarded

Number of
Schools

Number of
Students Enrolled

1991-92

40

128

89,811

1992-93

25

82

63,953

1993-94

47

162

103,306

1994-95

37

97

90,638

1995-96

72

181

142,608

1996-97

74

157

114,117

1997-98

92

174

148,634

1998-99

82

141

111,914

1999-2000

80

122

84,225

2000-01

86

124

73,306

2002-03

8

9

8,161

2004-05

4

6

2,887

2006-07

4

5

6,900

Totals

651

1,388

1,040,460

Combined Planning and Operational Grants 2006-07

Number of
Grants Awarded

Number of
Schools

Number of
Students Enrolled

19

25

15,065

Services for Children, Youth and Families

Each local Healthy Start provides comprehensive school-integrated services and activities to meet the unique needs and desired results identified for children, youth, and families. These services and activities may include:

Healthy Start does not necessarily pay for these services. Rather, Healthy Start coordinates integrated service delivery which directly links children and families to needed supports and services. Healthy Start Operational and Combined grants provide the seed money to LEAs which are expected to sustain programs and services after the grant period has ended.

California's Healthy Start Evaluation Results

Results for Children, Youth, and Families

A statewide evaluation of the first three years of Healthy Start reported improvements for children and families in all measures, including the following:1

School-wide Results

School-wide results assessed in the same evaluation showed improvements in the areas listed below:2

A second statewide Healthy Start evaluation, using data from operational grants funded in years 1994-1996, showed positive results in the following areas: 3

Six Elements of Success

The six elements listed below contribute to sustaining Healthy Start in schools and districts after the grant funding has ended:

1. Wagner, M. and Golan, S. April 1996. "California’s Healthy Start School-Linked Services Initiative: Summary of Evaluation Findings," Menlo Park, CA: SRI International, pp. 13-14.

2. Ibid., pp. 15-16

3. Malloy, J. and Harlick, D. (March 1999) "Healthy Start Works: A Statewide Profile of Healthy Start Sites," Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education, p. 29.

Questions: Coordinated School Health & Safety Office | schoolhealth@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0914 
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