Our Voice Category

  • Head Start is Leading the Way in Quality Pre-K

    Thu, 04/19/2018

    by Yasmina Vinci, Executive Director, NHSA   Enrollment in state-funded preschool programs has more than doubled in the past 15 years, but an annual report released today by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) reveals that one of the defining aspects of Head Start — high-quality standards — is missing from many state-funded preschool programs. What’s more, many of those that are succeeding are doing so in part because of their strong collaboration with Head Start programs and/or because they have aligned their standards with the Head Start Program Performance Standards. Read between the lines and the message is clear: Head Start is leading the way in demonstrating how to provide consistently high-quality pre-K that improves outcomes for children in kindergarten and beyond. 2017 - National Institute for Early Education Research The State of Preschool 2017 annual report, based on 2016-17 academic year data, finds states heeding the demand for…nieer.org A Sought-After Partner Even though Head Start is fundamentally a federal-to-local program in terms of funding, state leaders have sought to partner with Head Start programs within their states in order to increase both the quality of their preschool initiatives and the number of three- and four-year old children they can reach. In fact, one of the states highlighted...

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  • 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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  • Head Start goes to college: Campus center benefits children, parents and teachers-in-training

    Fri, 01/19/2018

    By Debbi Amaral Early Childhood Services Director Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. Click HERE to access the article in The Maui News as published!   From the very beginning, one of Head Start’s brilliant strategies centered on engaging the community to help deliver services to children and families. As part of that effort, for the last 50-plus years, nonprofit community action agency Maui Economic Opportunity in the state of Hawaii has been committed to helping low income individuals and families become stable and achieve economic security through a variety of services. And though we live on a tropical island that outsiders might consider as a “paradise,” families residing on Maui with young children face the same challenges experienced by impoverished communities in the continental United States: high unemployment, limited access to proper health-care, lack of mental health services, substance abuse, domestic violence—and the dwindling resources needed to address all of these inequities. MEO’s outreach includes a Head Start program that serves 246 children in 13 centers on Maui and Molokai. For the last 20 years, one of MEO’s Head Start centers has been located on the University of Hawaii Maui College. This free, on-campus preschool enrolls children of Maui College students as a first priority, and it also serves families living nearby. Those of us at...

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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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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

916-259-0971
headstartr9@region9hsa.org

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Connect with a Region 9 State Association
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Region 9 Head Start

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