National & State

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

How Head Start can partner with childhood care and education agencies to benefit California’s preschoolers and their families

In 2019, shifts in California political and early education landscape are giving rise to momentum to extend preschool to as many children and to improve the state’s aging facilities or build new ones to create spaces that incorporate modern learning concepts into the classroom environment. Several billion dollars of new funding are under consideration by the California State Legislature for early childhood education from Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget for 2019-2020, AB 123 and AB 124 introduced by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, and a $10.6 million federal Preschool Development Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Initial Grant Award.

The Head Start Program is a school readiness program designed to address the needs of the whole-child, family, and community and serves preschool-aged children (three-, four-, and five-year-olds not age-eligible for kindergarten) and their primarily income-eligible families. In California, Head Start programs served 86,070 Head Start-eligible preschool-aged children in 77,973 federally-funded Head Start slots during the 2017-2018 program year. Head Start programs supported these at risk children and their families on their path to success.

The policy brief,  Win-Win: A Road Map for Strategic Head Start Participation in New Funding Opportunities, should generate cross-sector dialogue among all early childhood stakeholders—including Head Start, child care, pre-K, home visiting, child care resource and referral agencies, First Five county commissions, and state and federal departments—about how to leverage and blend federal, state, and local funding streams to yield the highest return on investment for all preschool-aged children and families in California.

Click below to read R9HSA’s : Win-Win: A Road Map for Strategic Head Start Participation in New Funding Opportunities

Click here to view the map of California’s Head Start grantees


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.


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.


Head Start children of Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO)

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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