April 2019

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In This Issue...

Letter From FHSA Executive Director

Updates from the Office of Head Start

Learn Money Basics with Sammie the Saving Scottie!!

Florida Legislative Activities

What's Happening Around the State

Updates From NHSA

Employment Opportunities

Calendar of Events

April 2019

17 - Safe Foundations, Healthy Futures (SFHF) Campaign Embedding Health and Safety in Your Program's Culture 

18- Planned Language Approach: The Big 5 Series Focus on Oral Language and Vocabulary 

19 - Teacher Time Using Ongoing Child Assessment to Support Effective Infant and Toddler Teaching Practices

29 - NHSA Annual Conference

29 - 2019 Disability Services Coordinator Institute

May 2019 

14 - FACA Annual Training Conference

June 2019

04 - DECA Program Birth Through Five Implementation Training

05 - Flip It Training

17 - RIVHSA Leadership Summit

Letter from Executive Director 

Thank you to all that participated and sent staff and parents to FHSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo April 1-4, 2019 in St. Augustine, FL at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort.  The educational sessions were fantastic, and our keynote speakers were dynamic. We want to thank Vice Mayor of St. Augustine Ms. Leanna Freeman for welcoming our attendees to help celebrate our anniversary. Attendees also had a grand time celebrating the associations 20th Anniversary with a special dinner where they heard from Head Start Alumni followed by an All-White party.  Check out highlights from this year's event here. FHSA is compiling all of the educational sessions offered at this year's conference. Once completed, attendees will be able to access all the sessions via this portal.

April is Volunteer Month in Flordia. I want to take a moment and thank all of the volunteers that assist FHSA every day in making this association prosper.  FHSA honors and celebrates the work you do year-round. I also want to recognize those that volunteered to help on this year's conference pre and post-event. Putting on a conference of this magnitude takes many hands, so I thank each one of you immensely. If you are interested in getting more involved in your state association, FHSA has a variety of committees that could use your help. Check them out here.

Don't forget to register and attend the Region IV Head Start Association Leadership Summit in Atlanta June 17-20, 2019. Join HS/EHS executives, professionals, and governance members to expand their understanding and application of management principles, quality initiatives, and best practices.  The summit will offer a unique blend of pre-conference events, speaker expertise, learning tracks, and presentation formats to encourage breakthrough thinking and collaborative problem-solving.  Click here for more information about this event.  

In partnership, 

Wanda Minick
Executive Director

 Updates from the Office of Head Start

Home at Head Start: What We Are Learning

Dr. Bergeron April vlog focuses on Head Start homelessness campaign which is still going strong. She encourages programs to think outside the box and to be proactive in accessing what your community needs are to serve homeless children and families. Dr. B suggests connecting with your local Continuum of Care provider to help families and individuals experiencing homelessness move into transitional and permanent housing with the goal of long-term stability. Here is a link to search for your local Continuum of Care providers. 

Next, Dr. B addresses consistent questions she's been asked during her travels. One of them is data. She encourages programs to ensure their families are categorized correctly in the system which will help improve the accuracy of the PIR. Check out the other questions by watching the April vlog.

Did you know every state has a dental hygienist liaison? Tami Miller, Executive Director of the Florida Dental Hygienists' Association, is Florida contact. If you're having a struggle with dental resources for your families, Ms. Miller will get you connected. It's free; they're very aware of all the resources and happy to help.

Head Start and Early Start play an essential role in ensuring children are immunized. April 27-May 4 is  National Infant Immunization Week, NIIW. Please share this with your families and make sure all of your children are vaccinated.  There is an increase in the number of children under two who are receiving no vaccines. This is where Head Start and Early Start can play a significant role. Programs should get familiar with the Vaccine for Children, VFC program. This federally funded program provides vaccinations at no cost to children who might otherwise not be vaccinated because of an inability to pay.  The measles outbreak has been all over the news lately. Florida is one of the states where confirmed cases have been reported. Let Head Start take the lead in educating our communities by being part of the solution. Encourage your health managers to check out these links and help educate families about National Infant Immunization Week.

Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM): Head Start Service Duration Requirements

The Office of Head Start (OHS), currently requires Head Start programs to operate 100-percent of their preschool center-based slots for 1,020 annual hours by August 1, 2021, which would substantially increase the minimum amount of time preschool children must receive Head Start services. OHS believes the approach to require all center-based programs to increase their hours of operation was too prescriptive and will reduce grant recipients' flexibility to meet the needs of the communities they serve. It would be costly for grantees to meet the increased service-duration requirement and would likely result in a reduction in the OHS proposed to remove the 100-percent service duration requirement from the HSPPS and also offer technical changes to Program Structure regulations.

The next critical step in this process is for the Office of Head Start to hear from you. Please submit comments on this NPRM between Tuesday, March 25 and Saturday, May 25, 2019. To submit comments electronically, follow the "Submit a comment" instructions in the Federal Register.  Click here to view NPR.


Did you know the Head Start Program Performance Standards (45 CFR 1302.47[b][8]) require all providers to prepare written plans for responding to emergencies or natural disasters? The National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness has you covered with The Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs. This manual is a great tool to assist early childhood education programs in making a plan that will help keep their program, center, or home safe during an emergency to support children, families, and communities before, during, and after an emergency. A crisis may be a catastrophic natural event, like a hurricane, flood, or wildfire, or a human-made disaster, such as a shooting. No matter the crisis, early childhood programs need to be ready with impact, relief, and recovery plans. Download a copy of the guide today!

Three Federal Register notices from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service address the Emergency Food Assistance Program, Child Nutrition Programs Income Eligibility Guidelines, and Summer Food Service Program Reimbursement Rates for 2019. Check them out here. 

Learn Money Basics with Sammie the Saving Scottie!

A Fun and Free Financial Literacy Program for Florida’s Youth

By: Christina Siriwardena
Florida Department of Financial Services

Developed by the Florida Department of Financial Services, Sammie Makes Decisions is one story in a series of five that help Florida’s youth understand simple financial topics. Each story follows our mascot, Sammie the Saving Scottie, as he and his friends explore the basics of money management during their everyday adventures.

Sammie smiles at Pop and his friends. “Now I know what to do. Needs are necessary, and wants can wait.” Sammie, Tammie, and Luke all high-five. “Now, let’s go home and play outside!”

These stories form the basis of the Department’s recently-launched financial literacy program entitled C.L.I.M.B., Children Learning the Importance of Money Basics. This free online program is designed specifically for youth ages 10 and under. To read the article in its entirety, click here.  


Florida Legislative Activities 

We are now approaching the mid-point in Florida 2019 Legislative session. A few announcements from the Governor's Office were made recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention month. Governor DeSantis proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month to remind Floridians of the importance of preventing child abuse and neglect and in recognition of the annual Pinwheels for Prevention campaign. The annual campaign promotes happy, safe and healthy childhoods for all of Florida’s children.

The Governor also announced the appointment of First Lady Photo Credit: Governor's Press OfficeCasey DeSantis as Chair of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet. First Lady Casey DeSantis said, “I’m honored to serve the people of Florida in this new capacity and look forward to working with child advocates across the state to better the lives of some of the most vulnerable citizens of our society." [Photo Credit: Governor's Press Office]

The Governor also announced this month that Florida had been awarded $26 million in additional federal funding for Florida's  State Opioid Response Project.  This project is designed to address the opioid crisis by reducing opioid deaths, preventing opioid abuse among our young people, and increasing recovery services and access to treatment.

Updates on a few bills FHSA is monitoring.

SB 1594 unanimously passed the Senate Education committee filed by Senator Gayle Harrell (R; Martin, St. Lucie, Palm Beach) on April 2. This bill creates a coordinated assessment system that allows for tracking the progress of students from VPK through grade 2, including assessments of children and teacher-child interactions and requires the Office of Early Learning to adopt a minimum program score to determine program effectiveness.  Early this week, we received information there were a few amendments added to this bill which was temporarily postponed in the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education April 16. Please take a moment to review this bill and let me know if anyone has any issues with this language in case it has a chance of being heard.

HB 1193 is the companion bill to SB 1594. This bill is sponsored by Representative Erin Grall (R; Indian River and Parts of St. Lucie) and Representative Vance Aloupis (R; parts of Miami-Dade). This bills further implements the early learning bill passed last year (HB 1091) requiring the Office of Early Learning and the Department of Education to create a coordinated assessment system to track the progress of students in the VPK program through grade 2. It also addresses VPK and kindergarten student and provider assessments. This bills passed unanimously and take effect on July 1, 2019. 

HB 1027| SB1456 these bills requires the Office of Early Learning to develop early learning professional development training and course standards for school readiness program providers and identify both formal and informal early learning career pathways with stackable credentials and certifications, which allow early childhood teachers to access specialized professional development. The House bill is sponsored by Representative Vance Aloupis (R; parts of Miami-Dade), and the Senate bill is sponsored by Senator Perry (R; Alachua, Putnam, and parts of Marion). The Senate bill will be heard later this week in Senate Appropriations. 

HB 649 Dental Therapy bill authorizes the Department of Health to issue a dental therapist license to an applicant who possesses a degree or certificate in dental therapy from an accredited program. Authorizes a licensed dental therapist to perform remediable takes under the general supervision of a dentist, and provides a scope of practice for dental therapists. This bill has been added as a work-shopped bill to Health Quality Subcommittee. The companion bill is SB684.

SB94|HB69 A strike-all amendment on HB69 was adopted last week changing substantive portions of the bill. The bill now requires child care facilities to enact procedures to ensure children are not left in vehicles used by the facilities including but not limited to transportation logs, physical/visual sweeps, and/or alarm system. The bill also provides for the emergency suspension of a child care facility if a child dies as a result of being left in the facility's vehicle. SB94 has not been amended and still required all vehicles use by child care facilities to transport children to be equipped with a reliable alarm system that prompt the driver to inspect the vehicle for children before exiting.

What's Happening Around the State 

FHSA Hosts First Hill Day

On Wednesday, March 27 FHSA hosted its first Hill Day during Children's Week in Tallahassee. Wanda Minick, Executive Director, FHSA; Tommy Sheridan, Senior Director of Government Affairs, NHSA along with Parent Advocates, Ikeshia Highsmith, Samantha Miller, and Kathie Brady visited with Legislators to discuss FHSA priorities and Florida early childcare education system. 

Duval Head Start Featured on NBC Nightly News

NBC Nightly News featured Lutheran Services Duval County Head Start Program on April 9 citing Head Start is "a federal program worth the investment." In case you missed it, Check it out. 

Children First recognized by the Literacy Council of Sarasota with the James E. Duffy Friend of Literacy Award

Literacy Council of Sarasota Board President, Vincente Medine, with Children First Families First Institute Manager, Jack Baker (Photo Credit: Amelia Hanks, Observer Media Group)

Children First celebrated our lifelong friendship with literacy on February 22nd! We are incredibly proud to have been recognized by the Literacy Council of Sarasota with the James E. Duffy Friend of Literacy Award at their annual 'Literacy Matters' luncheon. At Children First, we realize the value of early childhood education outcomes and the bright futures that can be created as a result. As we teach our children the power of knowledge and the opportunities it can provide them, we work with the parents to strengthen the family as a unit as all work toward educational success. 

A child's literacy development begins with the family. We are committed to the continuing education of the parents as well as the children, as research shows this type of learning creates a model of success to be learned and followed.

Children First honored with the 2019 Nonprofit of the Year at the 14th annual WEDU Be More Awards


On February 28, 2019, Children First was honored to be recognized as the 2019 Nonprofit of the Year at the 14th annual WEDU Be More Awards. As a recipient of the Be More Unstoppable Award, Children First was chosen from a field of the Tampa Bay area's most esteemed organizations across 16 counties. WEDU notes that the award is the most coveted and is determined through extensive research. An independent judging committee selected the winner and given to the organization that, through a superior level of service, helps their constituency Be More. The criteria to receive this award consists of overall organizational excellence and fulfillment of WEDU's Four Commitments to the Community: service to the organization's constituency, level of community impact, financial viability, an embodiment of overall community goodwill.

Children First received the other accolade, the Be More Knowledgeable Award, recognizing our longtime Nurturing Dads Program. The award is for the organization that, through a specific project, offers guidance, knowledge, and emotional or physical support aimed at improving particular aspects of community life. This award comes during a time of significant milestones for the Nurturing Dads Program. In its 20th year, with over 200 classes and over 2000 dad graduates, and completely free and open to the public, this program plays a critical role for children and families by creating a nurturing and supportive community of fathers.

Children First CEO Philip Tavill said, "Children First embodies mission in serving our children and families and exemplifies community goodwill. Today, and every day, we live the mission by providing opportunities to help families create a better future. We have 550 beautiful little children who depend on us to nurture their minds and bodies. This award from WEDU, recognizing Children First as a model in our community, is an honor and a privilege. We are deeply grateful for the dedication, passion, and grit that our frontline staff brings to this critical work. We are so thankful for our Policy Council and Board of Directors, our Management Team, our dedicated volunteers, our community of supporters, and all of the behind the scenes heroes who keep our mission at the forefront. Thank you for helping Children First Be More every day!"

FLIP IT! Transforming Challenging Behavior Training Event

Children’s ongoing use of challenging behavior is an occurrence that can stress even the most effectively run early care and education environments. Compounding this is the burnout and exhaustion teachers and staff often feel as they work to develop effective responses to support children. The purpose of this training is to enhance our understanding of the factors that contribute to children’s use of challenging behavior, review an evidence-based, commonsense and practical strategy for reducing instances of challenging behavior and introduce a variety of learning tools to teach and support this effective strategy. Click here for more information about this event plus others.

Updates from NHSA

Two weeks left to register and attend NHSA 46th Annual Conference and Expo April 29-May 2 in San Antonio, TX. This event will bring everyone together for a week of sharing knowledge, networking with peers, and celebrating achievements. Click here to access their conference website.

Employment Opportunities

Assistant Center Director | Lutheran Services Florida West Palm Beach, FL 

Center Manager | Episcopal Children’s Services, Westside Duval Early Head Start  

Child Development Specialist |  Mid-Florida Community Services, Inc., Volusia County, FL

>>> See More Job Openings 

Thank You to FHSA 2019 Corporate Partners & Sponsors

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Florida Head Start Association
111 N. Gadsden Street, Suite 200 |  Tallahassee, FL 32301
[email protected] | www.FLHeadStart.org

(850) 694-6477