December 2020

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In This Issue...

Letter From FHSA Executive Director

Updates from the Office of Head Start

Updates from the Florida Head Start Collaboration Office

Updates from the Office of Early Learning 

Head Start Leaders Quality Focused- Innovation Driven 

FHSA Fall Leadership Training

What's Happening Around the State

Updates from NHSA

Employment Opportunities

Calendar of Events

December 2020 

10 - HSSCO & FHSA Monthly Directors Group Call  

12 - FHSA Fall Leadership Training: First Day Learning

16 - FHSA Fall Leadership Training: First Day Learning

24- FHSA Office Closed for the Christmas Holiday

31- FHSA Office Closed for the New Year Holiday

January 2021 

01 - FHSA Office Closed for the New Year Holiday

20 - FHSA Fall Leadership Training: First Day Learning

23 - FHSA Fall Leadership Training: First Day Learning

Letter from FHSA Executive Director 

The holiday season is always a difficult time for many Americans, especially this year, due to the pandemic. There have been so many lives lost, and it has hit too close to home for some. But the one thing that will keep me in the festive mood is maintaining my Christmas tradition. 

Every Christmas since I can remember, I watch It's a Wonderful Life. This American classic is over 70 years old that touches upon family, love, and hope. It is also the story of one man's struggle as the main character George Bailey goes through a crisis. He's reminded about the importance of family, love, and friendship, and it's one of the first films to highlight male mental health. I know the mental health of your children, families, teachers, and staff is at the forefront of your work, and focus on maintaining connections during COVID times and during the holidays too. Sometimes it's nice to know someone is out there serving as a support system, a guardian angel of some sort to get you through these tough times, especially during the holidays. We are so much better equipped to help people struggling these days. It's wonderful that Head Start is part of the healing process that serves the most vulnerable children and families in our communities. I thank you from the bottom of my heart as this work is not for the faint-hearted. 

What is your Christmas tradition? If you don't have one yet, here are some great suggestions I found in The Oprah Magazine that are 2020 social distance friendly. 30 Unique Christmas Traditions to Start With Your Family This Year.  

Please note the FHSA Holiday Schedule where our office will be closed in observance of these holidays:

  • Christmas Holiday – Closed on December 24th & 25th
  • New Year’s Holiday – Closed  December 31st at - January 1st

Thank you for letting me share my Christmas tradition. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. I hope you take the time to continue your family tradition or create a new one. 

Many blessings, 

Wanda Minick
Executive Director

Updates from the Office of Head Start 

On December 4, 2020, the Office of Head Start announced in the Federal Register an Interim Final Rule on Flexibility for Head Start Designation Renewals in Certain Emergencies. 

This interim final rule adds a new provision to the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) to establish parameters by which ACF may make designation renewal determinations during a federally declared major disaster, emergency, or public health emergency (PHE) and in the absence of all normally required data. This interim final rule became effective on December 7, 2020. Comments may be submitted on or before February 5, 2021. To read the Program Instruction, click here

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report highlighting Head Start’s effective response in managing the spread of COVID-19. The report detailed Head Start’s success in implementing CDC-recommended guidance and other mitigation strategies that could serve as a model for the country's early care and education system. The report also validated the critical role that increased funding, provided through the CARES Act, played in enabling Head Start programs to support families in a safe, healthy manner. NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci applauded the study and noted that maintaining best COVID-19 practices will require additional resources for programs as infection rates continue to rise across the country.  Click here to read the press release from NHSA. 

Visit the OHS COVID-19 resource page for the most current and updated information

Updates from the Florida Head Start Collaboration Office 

December is Literacy Month. Mimi Jefferson will be conducting a “Virtual Storytime,” so stay tuned for more details.  Also coming soon details on the Pre-K to Kindergarten Transition Summit!

A special thanks to Orange County HS, 4C HS/EHS, Kids Incorporated, and CACA, Inc., for their hospitality during her recent site visits! There’s A LOT of great work happening in FL! Check out the FHSA Facebook page for details about her recent visits. 

The HSSCO and FHSA will host it's monthly Directors Group call on Thursday, December 10th at 10:00 a.m. If you did not receive your invitation, please contact Mimi Jefferson at [email protected]

Updates from the Office of Early Learning 

Check out OEL December Parents' Pages! This edition is complete with Celebrating Holidays Around the World, Farm Share, Holiday books, and so much more.  


FHSA Annual Conference & Expo

March 3-5, 2021

Call for Speakers! 

We are looking for energized, engaging, and thought-provoking presenters for this years' annual conference, "Head Start Leaders: Quality Focused - Innovation Driven."  This virtual conference will take place from March 3-5, 2021.

We are looking for inspirational speakers who can provide actionable insights for our attendees in the following areas:

  • Curriculum/Instruction/Inclusion
  • Family, School & Community
  • Ongoing Care & Well-Being
  • Organization Leadership
  • Social Equity and Innovation. 

 Our ideal speaker is: 

  • Experienced, engaging, and comfortable speaking in front of groups
  • Passionate about sharing expertise, real-world strategies, and knowledge on topics to help our members grow 
  • Willing to partner with FHSA to deliver the best possible content experience and relevant information for our attendees 
  • Available to engage with attendees before and after your session
  • Committed to sharing about FHSA on and with your social networks
  • Interested in partnering with FHSA and staying connected to the FHSA community beyond the conference itself

There is still teacher training available through our partnership with First Day Learning.  The next few pieces of training focus on Intentional Teaching and Classroom Support.

These classes are limited in size and are filling up fast. To view the complete schedule, click here. 

Costs: $ 127 FHSA Members | $ 149 Non-Member Rate

FHSA members, when registering, use this code: FDLFLAHS20 to obtain the discounted rate.

FHSA has teamed up with Generation Wellness to provide the Workplace Wellness Academy. The Workplace Wellness Academy is a two-hour online course of 5 modules that equip Head Start staff with 20+ tools for less stress and more success both at home and work. Course access is good for 30 days after purchase. The program provides a certificate of completion and meets the Head Start Performance Standards on Health & Wellness.

When: Courses available through December 15, 2020

Costs: $ 79 ($20 discount off regular price)


 Thank you to our Fall Leadership Training Sponsor


 What's Happening Around the State 

The East Orange County Head Start program hosted a Culture and Fatherhood Activity. As you know, supporting the cultural diversity of enrolled families and Father' engagement is vital to Head Start and Early Start programs. Check out the marvelous photos shared with us. 

The Florida Times-Union, December 06, 2020
Fabulous reading program began in Jax, 

It started in Jacksonville in 2005. The Nemours Foundation, which specializes in children's health, set out to fund a program to raise the reading level of preschool kids.

Reading is the foundation of all education. Once behind, it's difficult for children to catch up. And if reading is difficult rather than fun, it's likely to affect education over a lifetime. There is research on that fact. The brain grows to about 80 percent by age 3 and 90 percent by age 5. Click here to read the article in its entirety. 

Increase Food Security Among Young Children (0-5 Years Old) Grant Opportunity

No Kid Hungry is pleased to release a new grant opportunity to increase food security among children from birth – five years old.

Community organizations, early child care centers, healthcare providers, and others working to ensure vulnerable young children have access to healthy food are encouraged to apply for a grant. Grants will be between $15,000-$25,000, and applications are due on December 18, 2020. Click here to get your grant application started. 

Want to be featured here? Add FHSA to your newsletter distribution list [email protected] and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.  We love highlighting programs and sharing your wonderful success stories. 

Updates from NHSA  

NHSA is seeking applicants through December 11 for its BOLD leadership initiative.  Do you know someone (or yourself) within the Head Start community that has demonstrated truly extraordinary leadership?  Turning challenges into opportunities and centered children and families in every decision you’ve made? NHSA is looking to honor such BOLD leaders who have adapted and led through the challenges of 2020. 

NHSA will be honoring four Silver Medal awardees $5,000 and one $10,000 Grand prize. Learn more here.

Don't forget to register for NHSA Kitchen Table Talks on Wednesday@ 2:00 p.m. You can register here. 

Employment Opportunities

Resource Teacher | Gadsden County School District Head Start/Pre-K, Quincy, FL 

Center Support | Episcopal Children’s Services, Alachua County   

Administrative Assistant, I |  Mid Florida Community Action Partnership, Deland, FL 

>>> See More Job Openings  

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

(850) 694-6477