Our History


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First incorporated in March of 1977, the Region 9 Head Start Association has served for more than 40 years as a gathering place for Head Start grantees to advance the objective of high-quality programs for vulnerable children and their families. The identity of the association mirrors the United States Government Federal Regional Offices. Region 9 comprises the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Region territories of American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

As an affiliate of the National Head Start Association, Region 9 Head Start Association elects four governing body representatives to the national board, representing parents, staff, directors, and friends. In addition, Region 9 Head Start Association maintains a close relationship with the individual state associations in the region, setting aside board representation for one person from each state association governing board.

The Region 9 Head Start Association works passionately in three unique ways to advance the community’s interest: Advocacy and Government Relations, Professional Development, and Membership Advancement.

  • Advocacy and Government Relations: In collaboration with the National Head Start Association, Region 9 Head Start Association seeks to increase funding from Congress for all Head Start programs, including Head Start, Early Head Start, Migrant Head Start, and Tribal Head Start. In addition, we advocate for effective and efficient policies guiding the delivery of services. Region 9 Head Start Association advocates as a non-partisan organization. Furthermore, Region 9 Head Start Association works closely with the Office of Head Start Region 9 leadership to support their efforts as directed in law.
  • Professional Development: Annually, the Region 9 Head Start Association provides evidence-based training opportunities and community-building events to advance both knowledge and an esprit de corps among the many members and friends of Head Start here in the region and beyond. Conferences and institutes have showcased training developed by national centers,
    universities, training partners, Head Start staff, and governmental partners.
  • Member Advancement: Over the course of the association’s 40-plus years, the annual scholarship program has been a hallmark of our work to advance the community. It is estimated
    Region 9 Head Start Association has funded more than $125,000 in scholarships to offset the cost of college for parents, staff, and alumni. In addition, the association regularly provides free trainings, collaborates with partners, and elevates the impact of programs in the media.

Looking forward, the Region 9 Head Start Association has branded its efforts elements to ensure a unique identity. To distinguish ourselves from the government, we use the “9” in our logo. Periodically, we rotate the “9” with another image to connect with distinctive geographical features of the region, such as a turtle or cactus. We have trademarked the tagline “Elevating the Head Start Community” to underscore our purpose. We have launched two product lines: Training West and Head Start Gear Zone to provide a platform to reach beyond our geographical identity and serve Head Start more broadly.

There is much work to be done to advance the objective of high-quality programs for vulnerable children and their families. This is the work Region 9 Head Start Association, its members, board, and staff are passionate about.

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Questions? Contact us at headstartr9@region9hsa.org.