Hoeven Helps Introduce Legislation to Protect Against Head Start Mandates, Ensure Program Access for Families

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today joined Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) in introducing the Preventing Mandates on Toddlers Act. This legislation would prevent the implementation of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule that requires universal masking for all individuals two years of age and older in a Head Start facility and mandates staff and volunteers be vaccinated by January 31, 2022. The Head Start program is a federal government program that provides eligible low-income children with early education services. Program facilities are located throughout the nation, including across North Dakota, and up until this point, individual locations have been able to set and enforce their own COVID-19 protocols.

“This is about pushing back on, and preventing federal overreach,” said Hoeven. “By imposing further burdens on Head Start providers, these mandates will increase costs, make it more difficult to find workers, and limit the capacity of these providers to serve families in North Dakota communities. Our legislation will prevent funding for and implementation of these overreaching Head Start mandates.”

This legislation was cosponsored by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). 

Click here for full text of the legislation.