General Category

  • Child’s play: Head Start can lead the way in creating smarter learning spaces indoors and out

    Fri, 03/16/2018

    By Tiffany Alston President, Nevada Head Start Association An amazing attribute about Head Start and another advantage: Since programs across the country are community-based and culturally reflective, they can easily incorporate new theories about early childhood education, absorbing from parents and community. More and more, Head Start programs are holistically linking education and environment: Allowing learning to flow both indoors and outdoors and using curriculum—especially STEM—outside as well as inside during play time. In a child’s world, play time is really learning time, too. What the experts in education tell us is this: “For human beings, learning is as fundamental as life itself. From the moment we are born up through age three, our brains create 700 new neural connections each second.”1 A Head Start classroom, then, should be a space that encourages exploration, experimentation—of making connections. The learning spaces also need to reflect their respective communities and be uplifting for the young students, their parents and teachers. “It is more important than ever for school districts, administrators and educational designers/architects to reevaluate the traditional pre-K or kindergarten classroom to provide more creative, engaging and specialized early childhood learning spaces,” says architect Stephen M. Nelson. Today, neuroscience and...

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  • New focus on parent’s employment needs helps improve Head Start families’ success

    Mon, 11/6/2017

        By Alecia Jackson, M.Ed. Director Early Education Division, Assistant Director Human Services Department, Maricopa County   I have long believed that an important power of the Head Start program is the dual focus on children and families—helping both children and their parents be successful. And part of that pathway for parents is a fulltime job with a livable wage. However, as an administrator of a Head Start program here in Arizona’s Maricopa County, I faced head-on a stunning limitation: Trying to go beyond our grant’s mandates to help parents deal with multi-faceted employment issues on their journey to economic security. Time after time I have witnessed: A parent stuck in a low-paying job because they lack the skills and abilities to qualify for a better paying job. A parent stuck in a dead-end job because they lack knowledge about career pathways in high demand fields. A parent stuck in unemployment because they can’t afford care for their children for the full working day Year-after-year observing these unmet needs has been frustrating. All over the United States, in fact, people doing my kind of work face these same kind of problem. Fortunately, this profound need for a wrap-around, two-generational approach to supporting under-privileged families has been realized by philanthropic organizations such as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation...

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  • Heads up, Silicon Valley businesses — Head Start gives workers, kids a better chance

    Tue, 10/31/2017

      We are fortunate to have many small minority enterprises in Silicon Valley, enriching our downtowns and neighborhood business districts. These small businesses employ thousands of workers—many at lower wages.  Programs such as Social Security and Medicare benefit these small businesses: Helping families to stay healthy allows mom-and-pop to tend shop, keep their businesses thriving and provide a livelihood for others.   Read more at the San Jose Mercury News     Continue Reading

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  • A heads-up for the community: Head Start helps keep kids, parents healthy

    Mon, 10/23/2017

    A heads-up for the community: Head Start helps keep kids, parents healthy article was published on Saturday, October 21, 2017 in the Bakersfield Californian.     CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE Continue Reading

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  • Head Start boosts the economy as well as kids

    Wed, 09/27/2017

    Head Start boosts the economy as well as kids Head Start boosts the economy as well as kids. Recently published in the Sacramento Bee (9.26.17). Sacramento's Greater Economic Council president and CEO and Region 9 Head Start Association executive director offer a compelling points about the critical role Head Start plays in the local economy - assisting parents and employers. Click here to read the on-line version     Continue Reading

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  • Standing up for Head Start no matter where you are

    Fri, 09/8/2017

    By Tameka Henry, Regional 9 Head Start Association Parliamentarian      Wherever you are standing—you need to lead. That has been a guiding principle for me—especially from the time my now teenage daughter was enrolled in Head Start 10 years ago and as a young parent I realized the challenge of being the best parent I could be. As I grew into my own power as an adult, I discovered leadership begins at home—by being a good parent. The first and most important job of any advocate is to lead your family—to teach and learn the skills of open and honest communication. From what I learned through Head Start, I helped my children to be problem solvers, innovators and cheerleaders of the peers. For me—as much as for them—I said to always speak truth and never let the power of others define your beliefs. But folks need to do more: The obvious opportunity is in your school or in your community. For me, that place was Head Start where my two daughters were enrolled. I realized that as a participant, I and my children were consumers of Head Start’s services—and to support them, to improve them—to preserve them, I needed to act. Region 9 Head Start Association’s Ed Condon recently said it well: “We are faced with the reality of not only having to be educators—but being cheerleaders as well to survive—to lead the charge.” I have learned not...

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  • What Did the GAO Find About Early Childhood Programs?

    Wed, 09/6/2017

          08/10/2017 02:06 pm ET   Effective use of federal funding is imperative to meet the needs of America’s most vulnerable early learners. To ensure those precious public resources are efficiently spent, Congressional leaders regularly (and rightly) ask about potential fragmentation, overlap and duplication of the various federal programs providing early care and education. Last month, Congress’ oversight arm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), examined these questions and reported back to lawmakers, revealing some very encouraging and promising findings. Although the report identified 44 federal programs that make funds available for early childhood needs, only nine of them have an explicit early learning or child care purpose. Of those nine, just two of them — Head Start and the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) — comprise about 90% of the $15 billion annual federal investment in early care and education. The other 10% includes more targeted populations (children with disabilities, parents in college) or have very specific purposes (welfare reform, nutritious meals). A large majority of the 44 funding sources that were identified do not even require that funds are spent on early childhood programs. So, is this federal investment fragmented? Yes, the report says it is fragmented, meaning multiple government...

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  • A call to action: Seeking inspired leaders and followers to advocate for Head Start

    Mon, 08/7/2017

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         By Edward Condon Executive Director, Region 9 Head Start Association           Like many Americans these days—and certainly among educators—the notion of good leadership presents itself regularly: Our national leaders—whose job it is to set policy and make choices for all of us—are casting a critical look at domestic spending, with cuts in mind for community programs like Head Start. Some in Washington, D.C. are now in favor of resurrecting a proposal to turn the Head Start program into a block grant for each state—thus threatening the structure of what makes Head Start successful—how it transforms children and parents’ lives through the emphasis on education, health and overall well-being. So right now with this threat on the horizon, Head Start in America needs more advocates—its own leaders and followers—to continue spreading the good word about the Head Start advantage. Current headlines notwithstanding, there is much to celebrate in our land—in particular that rising generation of young people...

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  • Guarding against implicit bias: Keeping the Head Start experience joyful—always

    Thu, 07/6/2017

              Recently, National Head Start Association Chairman Damon Carson wrote a commentary for the Region 9 Head Start Association about a vivid documentary that detailed how Head Start formed the early lives of the leaders of the Girl Scouts of America, the Ford Foundation and the NAACP. What came zinging through their stories was how much as young people they cherished their Head Start experience and, later, the memories of that experience. We all know how impressionable children are. Early positive and fun experiences are relished for a lifetime. That’s why from all across the country, educators, doctors, lawyers, military personnel, artists, engineers, religious and civic leaders, and scientists—and even members of Congress—remember Head Start as the place where, at an early age, they acquired a life-long love of learning. So—if children remember their positive experiences, they will also remember the negative ones, as well. And that’s what I want to write about this month: The need to keep our Head Start classrooms joyful places to learn—and a subtlety that threatens this. New research from the Yale Child Study Center finds that when pre-school teachers expect disruptive behavior from children, they look at the child’s race. Basically, the research showed that the teachers in the study expect black boys to act worse in...

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  • Head Start Advantage; Doing Good, Great Results for Families

    Fri, 06/2/2017

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       A rocket scientist, the head of the NAACP and the leader of the Ford Foundation: These folks are all Head Start alumni and “stars” of a new 18-minute-long documentary that details the Head Start advantage—what happens when children from birth to age 5 are entered into a program that develops their language, motor and social skills, and does much more. The film introduces us to rocket scientist Sylvia Acevedo, who is now the interim CEO of the Girl Scouts of America; William Brooks, the president of the NAACP; and Darren Walker, CEO of the Ford Foundation. As the film program notes state, “Collectively, they paint a moving picture of Head Start’s enormous impact as an investment in our nation’s greatest resource: our children.” My own personal success springs from the same place—I entered a Head Start program in 1974, and I share the same wonderful story that Acevedo, Brooks and Walker tell. Beyond these stories of success are hard facts: Research over...

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The Vision

All children, regardless of their circumstance at birth, deserve a full and prosperous life.

The Mission

  • Support high-impact Head Start programs for children and adults by creating opportunities for collaboration, networking and information sharing.
  • Unite with state and national Head Start organizations to ensure regulatory and budget outcomes that support our work.
  • Champion the message that every child and family who succeeds makes their community a better place.

Contact Us

1225 8th Street, Suite 342
Sacramento, CA 95814



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