Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


American Studies

First Advisor

David Cotter




head start, universal preschool


Since the 1990's there has been a large push for universal early childhood education in the United States as other countries have started to create their own programs. Administrators and policymakers in power have realized the impact of early childhood education on the future lives of children. In my paper I do a historical comparative analysis on Head Start and the push for universal preschool in the states and abroad. I do this by looking at why Head Start was needed the process to make it a staple in American society and the impacts. I move on to look at the emergence of Universal Preschool abroad and in certain states. I argue that while Head Start was an important part of early childhood education history the United States should move away from it and move towards Universal preschool. Head Start has not made the impact that it was supposed to and it doesn't reach every child that needs it. Universal preschool reaches all children regardless of background and has made positive impacts in the states and countries that have it. Through researching the history of Head Start universal preschool in Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, France, England, and Finland I discovered the positive impacts of each program. Each program dealt with hardships to get started but ultimately became recognized and established as a great program. There are positives and negatives to each program and I ultimately came up with a set of recommendations that the United States should implement in the future.