August 2023 | The Monthly Newsletter of the Florida Head Start Association 

Letter from the Executive Director  

There are many things that the month of August is known for, but nothing more powerful than when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his most famous "I Have a Dream" speech on August 28th, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. It was a historic moment that campaigns for equal rights and the end of discrimination. And for that, thank you, Martin Luther King Jr. To this day, we are still trying to inspire change, and that's what Head Start is all about. Providing our most at-risk pregnant people, children, and families life-changing opportunities #HeadStartHOPE.  

At FHSA, we focus on supporting our Head Start program members to build capacity and actively advocate for resources and policies that provide services to Florida's most at-risk children and families. That's why it's imperative to leverage the August recess, get Congressional Members to your programs, and show them how devastating cuts are. The country is already in an early care and education crisis. Cutting funding to programs serving children from birth to five is a huge mistake since we know these are the most formative years. Putting children at risk of exposure to abuse and neglect, loss of jobs and closed classrooms are just a few of the devastating effects these cuts could have on programs. Collectively we can make an impact in securing the funding Head Start programs need to continue operations and take care of those most in need of our services. That's why FHSA is asking for you to take a moment and take action by contacting your members of Congress today! NHSA has developed some valuable toolkits to help in your advocacy efforts that can be found here.  Of course, if you need further assistance, please get in touch with me at (850) 694-6477 or email me at [email protected].  You can read more about these proposed cuts in NHSA Appropriations Update below.  

August is also the time for membership renewals. FHSA is thankful to have members like you and why we do what we do. You inspire us and continue to ignite our passion to serve you through our membership offerings by providing professional development training, peer-to-peer networks, membership services and resources, communications, and conferences for our members. Heightening the awareness of Head Start and Early Head Start in Florida helps us strengthen collaborations among our members and with community partners. Don't forget to take advantage of our membership opportunities by logging in and renewing today. If you have forgotten your username and password, please contact me at (850) 694-6477 or email [email protected] 

Self-nominations are still being accepted to serve on the FHSA board of directors until August 11. There are two (2) director's seats available, one in each Central and Northwest region of Florida, and one (1) Director-At-Large seat, which is a staff, parent, or member of FHSA under the Individual or Corporate Friends level. To learn more about this opportunity to serve, click here. 

In Fellowship, 

Wanda Minick
Executive Director 

Office of Head Start Updates

Fiscal Year 2024 Monitoring Process for Head Start and Early Head Start Recipients

On July 11, 2023, the Office of Head Start released an Information Memorandum (IM) on Fiscal Year 2024 Monitoring Process for Head Start and Early Head Start Recipients. 

Here are a few takeaways from the IM.

  • CLASS scores will be used for Designation Renewal System.
  • Grant recipients will have the opportunity to self-record and submit their own CLASS videos or request an on-site review.

  • FA1 reviews will be conducted through a virtual format.

  • FA2 reviews will be conducted using a hybrid model, which is a combination of on-site and virtual monitoring.

  • Follow-up reviews will be conducted either in-person or virtually by the OHS regional office. 

Each year, grant recipients are required to submit an accurate calendar of availability as a way to inform OHS as to when their program is not operational.  Grant recipients scheduled to receive a monitoring review in FY24 will receive a notification letter 45 to 60 days before the start of the event. OHS also reserves the right to conduct unannounced reviews at any time. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the FY24 monitoring season, please contact your regional office.


The Office of Head Start Is Now on Instagram!

The Office of Head Start (OHS) has created an Instagram account to provide a glimpse into how Head Start programs and services positively impact the lives of children, families, and communities nationwide. You will find informative posts, including insights into OHS goals and priorities, helpful tips for nurturing child development and engaging content that connects families, parents, and staff.

Follow headstartgov to join the conversation and like and share posts to spread the word about the incredible work being done in Head Start programs.


What's Happening Around the State


FHSA was represented at the Infant and Toddler conference hosted by the Miami-Dade Community Action and Human Services Department Head Start/Early Head Start on July 27 & 28. FHSA Executive Director Wanda Minick provided greetings on behalf of the association to the early learning teachers in attendance. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava proclaimed July 27 as Child Educator Day during this event. Congratulations to Miami-Dade Community Action and Human Services Department Head Start/Early Head Start for making a positive difference in their community in child development. Below are photos from the event. 


FHSA Welcomes Our Newest Member, GoCheck Kids

5 Common Vision Problems in Children 

Our eyes play a critical role in children's proper physical development and educational progress. When it comes to children's eye health, it is hugely important to understand common eye and vision problems. Oftentimes it is difficult to know if a child is having vision problems because the child may not know what they're experiencing isn't normal. Vision testing children is imperative to help identify risk factors. Many conditions are only curable when detected and treated appropriately by a pediatric eye doctor or pediatric ophthalmologist. To help you better understand common eye and vision problems in children, we've compiled a list of 5 commonly experienced problems.

1.    Myopia
2.    Hyperopia
3.    Astigmatism
4.    Anisometropia
5.    Ocular Misalignment

Learn more about these 5 problems here!

GoCheck Kids vision screening solutions include photoscreening for children ages 1-6 years old and visual acuity for ages 4-21 years old. The American Academy of Pediatrics vision screening policies recommend instrument-based screening as early as 12 months with photoscreening being the most common type, and visual acuity attempted at age 4. 

Earlier treatment means better outcomes. If you're interested in learning more about how our photoscreening and visual acuity platform enables pediatricians, health systems, schools, Head Starts, and non-profits to easily detect vision impairment, contact us to schedule a demo.


NHSA Appropriations Update

In July, The House Committee on Appropriations released its Fiscal Year 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which includes $11.2 B for Head Start and Early Head Start, representing a $750 Million reduction from the FY23 funding level, among other significant cuts to critical services for children and families. That equates to losing 3,957 Head Start and Early Head Start seats in Florida. 

The good news is, last week, Senate Appropriations Committee passed their Fiscal Year 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which provides $12.3 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start programs, an increase of $275 million over Fiscal Year 2023. At the same time, the $275 million increase is well short of what is needed. 

Our Head Start programs are being threatened with significant cuts. That's why more than ever, we need our voices heard and take advantage of the August recess and invite your Congressional Members to your program.  


Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Funding Increase for Head Start and Early Head Start

July 27, 2023

Washington, D.C.–The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which provides $12.3 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start programs, an increase of $275 million over Fiscal Year 2023.


NHSA Fall Leadership Institute
September 18-21, 2023 | Crystal City, VA

Nothing matters more to members of Congress than their constituents! This is a critical time to show Congress the importance of Head Start and how many children and families depend on it.  To learn more about this event, click here. 


NHSA Parent Family Engagement Conference
December 4-7, 2023 | New Orleans, LA

NHSA's annual Parent and Family Engagement Conference is the only national event focusing on how Head Start parents, families, and staff can best partner to promote family engagement and children's development.

This conference will explore a wide range of new resources and thinking on the forefront topics of early childhood development and how Head Start programs can address the needs of children, families, and staff. To learn more about this event, click here. 

Click the link below to see what legislation NHSA is tracking. 


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Three Things Heightening Head Start Awareness

Links Worth a Read


Upcoming Events

7-11:FACA 43rd Annual Training Conference

 8: There is New Federal Funding Available in Florida

8: EHS Best Practice: Post-partum

11: 10 Tips for Creating Supportive Environments That Can Prevent Behaviors That Challenge Us

15: Using the 5Rs to be a Champion for Coaches

16: Aligning Practice-Based Coaching Efforts and Effects

22: Partnering with Families to Support Inclusion: Part 2

23: Trauma- Informed Strategies for Head Start Classrooms

23: Introduction to Evidence-Based Hearing Screening Practices for Children Aged 0-5

24: FHSA Lunch & Learn: T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program: Linking Training, Commitment, and Compensation


Member Information

Change of address, email or any information? You will need to login to your profile in our organization.

Important Links

FHSA Member Benefit Discounted Pricing
Teachstone CDA Class On Demand
Teachstone CDA Class Facilitated

FHSA has partnered with Teachstone to deliver FHSA members access to their on-demand and/or facilitated CDA with CLASS® program with discounted membership pricing now through September 30, 2023.

#ThankfulThursday Join the Movement

Region IV Early Head Start Institute, September 25-28, 2023 (Atlanta, GA)

Registration is open for the general conference as well as pre-conference seminars. Visit their conference website for more information.


Welcome Congressional Members to your Head Start Program

Advocay Toolkit

Congress members will return to their districts in August for five weeks. This is an excellent opportunity for Head Start programs to connect with their lawmakers by inviting them to visit their programs. Welcoming members of Congress to your programs is a powerful way to illustrate Head Start's value and elevate what negative impacts would mean if they cut spending to Head Start and what effects that would have on the children and families you serve. 

Check out our advocacy resources webpage to get started, and if you need assistance, don't hesitate to contact FHSA at (850) 694-6477 or email [email protected] 


NHSA calls on Head Start/Early Head Start programs nationwide to participate in their back-to-school activity by creating short, one-minute videos (not to exceed two minutes and 20 seconds) from parents or staff, sharing successes and realities about their Head Start and Early Head Start program. These videos will be shared via social media to help Congress and communities understand the impacts of #HeadStart in a more personal and connected way. Click here to get started. 


Join your State Association:  FHSA provides members with access to tools, resources, and collaborative relationships empowering your agency's management team, staff, and parents. FHSA offers Individual and Corporate memberships too!

Support your State Association: Help FHSA ensure Florida programs are supported through professional opportunities, research efforts, and legislation so they can continue to provide high-quality services to Florida's most at-risk children and families. 

 Florida Head Start Association
111 N. Gadsden Street, Suite 200
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(850) 694-6477
[email protected]