Read the latest information in FHSA April 2022 Newsletter

April 2022 | The Monthly Newsletter of the Florida Head Start Association                                                                                                                  


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FHSA Top 3 @ 3


 FHSA Fall Leadership and Annual Awards Luncheon

October 20-21, 2022

Hard Rock Hotel
Daytona Beach, FL

Letter from the Executive Director

March was certainly a busy month for FHSA. We hosted our annual conference & expo, appropriately themed, Head Start is Heart Work, especially for the climate we have all been in the past several years. After reading and analyzing the survey results, attendees enjoyed all of our keynote speakers and educational training sessions offered during the three-day event. 

FHSA can't thank the professional development committee, volunteers, presenters, sponsors, and exhibitors for helping us put on this fantastic training event. Click here to view a complete listing of Corporate Partners and Sponsors for this year's conference.  If you are interested in reviewing the survey results, please download our 2022 Conference Survey Results document.

If you were unable to attend this year's conference but still want to snag one of our awesome Head Start is Heart Work t-shirts, no worries. You can order yours online! Details below.  

As we shift our focus to April, all month-long communities will be focusing on raising awareness for Child Abuse Prevention and Autism Awareness. Read more about these events in What's Happening Around the State below.  

FHSA will be releasing its 2022& 2023 annual awards program we host in collaboration with the Region IV Head Start Association (RIVHSA).  Now, more than ever, recognizing the work of Head Start/Early Head Start directors, staff, teachers, parents, fathers, programs, alumni, volunteers, and community partners for the significant impact on the lives of children and families each day. These commitments are heart-driven, and FHSA wants to recognize you! Watch your inboxes for details or visit FHSA awards webpage. 

As I wrap us this edition, I leave you with a quote from Ryunosuke Satoro. "Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." I know workforce, enrollment, and federal reviews have been on top of most minds lately but remember you are not in this alone. You have a state association network standing with you. Don't ever feel like you can't reach out and tap into this resource.  

Stay well, 

Wanda Minick, Executive Director


Head Start Work Is Heart Work: OHS Priorities

On March 31, 2022. Dr. Futrell, Director of the Office of Head Start, released the Office of Head Start (OHS) four priority areas to ensure eligible children and families receive high-quality services safely and responsibly. 

1. Advancing Equity:Promote belonging by identifying and addressing barriers and promoting new pathways for family stability.

2. Supporting Programs' Pandemic Response and Recovery: Work to safely restore in-person programming in healthy environments.

3. Investing in the Workforce: Sustain a highly effective and representative workforce to support all children and families.

4. Reaching More Children and Families: Focus Head Start services in places with greatest need. 

If you missed the email, you can view it here. 


Head Start Referral App Info Session

There are 1.3 million children aged six and under who are experiencing homelessness across the US, for whom connection to a high-quality early learning program is imperative. One way to reach more children & families might be to learn more about the SchoolHouse Connections referral app for young children experiencing homelessness.

This tool is designed for K12 liaisons to use when they become aware of a younger sibling of a student eligible for McKinney-Vento services and helps them share that information with their local Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

  • Thursday, April 7th, 1pm ET
  • Thursday, April 21st, 1pm ET
  • Friday, April 22nd, 2pm ET

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 898 4713 6161
Passcode: 804688
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,89847136161#,,,,*804688# US (Washington DC)
+13126266799,,89847136161#,,,,*804688# US (Chicago)

Questions? Please contact Erin Patterson, Director of Education Initiatives.

FHSA 2022 Conference T's "Head Start is Heart Work" Order yours TODAY!


What's Happening Around the State

We are happy to announce FHSA Corporate Partners and members Learning Beyond Paper, Inc.’s curriculum was approved by the Florida Department of Education’s Division of Early Learning’s School Readiness Program for Infants to Pre-K 4, offering childcare providers equitable, affordable access to high-quality curriculum solutions that prepare children for kindergarten and solutions to address the childcare staffing crisis.

Click here to read the press release. 

Hawthorne, Fla., April 4, 2022 – Episcopal Children’s Services (ECS) has opened the doors to its newest Head Start/Early Head Start center in Alachua County in the city of Hawthorne. This early education center is the first ECS center in the city to serve children and their families with a variety of resources including early learning, health and mental health services, nutrition and disability services as well as parent and community engagement resources. Click here to read the press release.

Taft Head Start Center (Orange County Head Start Grantee Recipient) recognizing Autism Awareness

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and is a time to recognize the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect. Collaboration, prevention services, and support help protect children. 

Pinwheels for Prevention is a campaign held as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month to increase awareness of child abuse prevention efforts. This campaign is coordinated by Prevent Child Abuse Florida, the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, and the Florida Department of Children and Families.  

The blue pinwheel is selected as the symbol for Prevention to represent children and the childhood they deserve. You can support Child Abuse Prevention Month by displaying pinwheels throughout your neighborhood or community. You can also help prevent child abuse and raise awareness by supporting agencies that serve children and families within your community.  

If you suspect or know a child is being abused or neglected in Florida, report it to the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).

April is also Autism Awareness Month. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is described as a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.
Research shows that early intervention can lead to positive outcomes later in life. The first step to supporting a child showing signs of ASD is identification. Some early signs of ASD can include little to no babbling or noisemaking, delayed language development, little to no response to name, or avoiding interactions like eye contact, back-and-forth exchanges, and gesturing.
Head Start has specific regulations and guidance related to children with disabilities and suspected delays. If you have a parent or staff who needs tools to help sharpen their observation skills, check out They will be offering 12 webinar series in 2022 that are free.


FHSA is a proud sponsor of the One Goal Summer Conference. This Friday, April 8, 2022, is the last day to submit conference presentation proposals. The event is held in Tampa from July 20-22, 2022. One Goal brings together early education and care providers and leaders from around the state. It is designed to share information on best practices in the field and build common frameworks of knowledge and understanding to assist in unified planning for young children and their families.

There are 11 focus areas they seek presentations for, which hit upon many Head Start buckets.  

If you have interested in submitting a presentation at this year's event, please complete the presenter form


Legislatively Speaking

Florida 2022 Legislative session ended Monday, March 14th, at 1:03 PM. 3,735 bills and proposed committee bills were filed, which resulted in 285 bills passing. This year's session also included the most extensive spending plan in Florida’s history, with the fiscal year 2022-2023 budget at $112.1 billion. 

The Florida legislature passed one of the substantive policies relating to the school readiness funding formula. SB 2524 regarding Education by Appropriations (lines 2008-2505)

SB 1048 regarding Student Assessments by Senator Manny Diaz (R- Hialeah Gardens). Governor Ron DeSantis signed this bill on March 15, 2022.  This bill requires a Coordinated Screening and Progress Monitoring System for Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Education Programs and public schools serving kindergarten through grade 8 students beginning with the 2022–23 school year. Cambium Assessment, Incorporated (CAI), partnered with Renaissance Learning, Incorporated (RL), has been selected as the vendor for this program. You can read more about this here. 

HB 7065 was an initiative led by Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls, which received bipartisan support throughout this year's legislative session to address Florida's "fatherhood" crisis. The Department of Children and Families will be tasked with developing what will be called the "Responsible Fatherhood Initiative."


NHSA Annual Conference & Expo

The National Head Start Association will be hosting its 49th Annual Conference and Expo on May 2 - 5, 2022, at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. They will also be offering a virtual option. 

To learn more, click here. 


Head Start Appreciates President’s FY23 Budget Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. –March 28, 2022 The National Head Start Association (NHSA) recognizes the commitment of support and funding in this year’s budget proposal from the President’s desk. The proposed budget increases Head Start’s budget by $1.16 billion over FY22, including a significant increase for expansion of infant-toddler care through Early Head Start (EHS) and EHS-Child Care Partnerships. 

“Early childhood education and care professionals are the lifeblood of our country’s family infrastructure and they are now in short supply. Current staffing shortages are creating crisis-level challenges for many providers,” said NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “It is essential for this year’s budget to not only embrace near-term solutions that stabilize the workforce but also focus holistically on long-term workforce sustainability and continue transformational efforts to prepare children for success in school and life, empower working parents, and redesign early learning to drive better outcomes for all Americans.”

Click here to read press release in its entirety.


Contact Info:

Florida Head Start Association

111 N. Gadsden Street, Suite 200 | Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 694-6477

[email protected] 

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