National & State

Win-Win: A Road Map for Strategic Head Start Participation in New Funding Opportunities

This policy brief proposes how Head Start can partner with childhood care and education agencies to benefit California’s preschoolers and their families

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Head Start associations need hands-on engagement across the board—from stakeholders that include parents, teachers and managers—to keep telling the story of our success (the Head Start Advantage) to elected and public officials, community partners and taxpayers. Head Start is publicly funded, but the funding is not to be taken for granted. Region 9 Head Start Association works with other Head Start associations across the nation to insure funding on the federal level remains adequate for the services provided to the whole child and the whole family.

Head Start parents and advocates have an important role in establishing and maintaining positive, ongoing communication with the legislative and administrative branches of government. Recognizing that everyone has limited time and resources, R9HSA organizes stakeholders effectively and efficiently to:

  • Educate lawmakers and other public officials about how children benefit long-term from the positive impact of Head Start’s social-emotional development and health care programs—the Heckman Equation.
  • Support the positions and actions of the National Head Start Association.
  • Create regional engagement events and programs—essentially open houses—that educate public officials—especially local congressional representatives—about our core mission: early care to at-risk children.
  • Train parents on how to become engaged and involved civically and keep abreast of current issues that affect Head Start programs and funding—and be ready to act, if necessary.


 Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo

Head Start programs receive additional funds from the state and other local governments that stretch our federal dollars so we can maintain high quality services to the 130,000 children and families that make up the four-state and Pacific Region.

It is a standing policy of R9HSA to support actions and advocacy of the region’s statewide associations. This includes:

  • High-impact grassroots activities to educate lawmakers and other agency officials.
  • Liaison with other public and private agencies that support the educational, health, and social service needs of young children and their families.
  • Promotion of statewide collaborative efforts that help strengthen the delivery of services to children and their families.

Nationwide and statewide advocacy efforts extend beyond just program funding, though. Head Start programs are essentially enterprises and are affected by local, state and federal regulations. Proposed laws and regulations impacting organizations must be monitored, and it is the job of Head Start associations—including R9HSA—to stay on guard and spring to action to ensure Head Start program leaders and educators benefit from effective regulation and oversight.

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.
  • Provide resources to assist our members in compliance and professional development.

Contact Us

2131 Capitol Avenue, Suite 307
Sacramento, CA 95816



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