Grab your lunch and check out FHSA January 2023 Newsletter

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

Letter from the Executive Director  

Did you know that women comprise 90% of the workforce in ECE? March is Women's History Month! Let's celebrate the contributions of women primarily to the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) workforce industry. This is our opportunity to highlight women's critical role in this sector and the part they still contribute to today.   

In February, FHSA honored and recognized our eight-state awards winners and three national finalists during our Leadership Training Annual Awards Luncheon in Daytona Beach, FL. You can check out the event highlights below or click here. After our awards event, we headed to Atlanta, GA to attend the Region IV Head Start Association Annual Conference Training and Awards dinner where they recognized four of our state award recipients and all three of our national finalists were also selected as their regional winners. Congratulations to all our award winners and thank you for your contributions to Florida's Head Start community. 

 By now, you all should be aware of the increases in President Biden's FY 23 funding for all Head Start programs. Grantee recipients can apply for the 5.6% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), which can assist with increased wages for those positions that are challenging to fill. Head Start was also awarded $262 million for Quality Improvement Funding (QIF), equating to $280.00 for each Head Start funded slot and $420.00 for the Early Head Start slot. These funds can assist with improving staff compensation and strengthening mental health for families and staff. $100 million was also set aside for Head Start/Early Head Start expansion. You can expect OHS to issue a funding guidance letter soon. The complete Program Instruction (PI) can be viewed below.  Although this funding increase is very much needed, I am willing to suspect that it still may not be enough. Considering the national climate we face, Head Start is very lucky to have the increased funding, but don't expect FY24 to reap the same funding levels.  

Last month FHSA launched its #ThanksfulThursdays, which is increasingly becoming a huge hit. You can learn more here. We are rolling out two more new members' benefits this month. Our Lunch & Learn series will be 1-hour segments of timely training and our 15-minute coffee talks that will connect front-line staff with their counterparts in the state to learn from one another and share resources. More details will be coming to your inbox.  

The 2023 Florida Legislative Session will officially convene on Tuesday, March 7. This is an excellent opportunity for us to educate new legislators about the work of Head Start. FHSA is currently finalizing its dashboard, which will help in these efforts. The dashboard will allow us to report the effectiveness of Head Start in each legislator's district, how many children and families you currently serve, and how many more we could be helping. We hope this will be completed by Children's Week, which is March 26-31.  If you can't attend in person, we encourage your programs to submit hands for the "Celebration of Hands" display during the week in the Capitol Rotunda. The deadline for hand submission is March 10. Scroll down for more details.   

FHSA is your state association supporting the work you do. We can't thank you enough for all your work in helping Florida's most at-risk children and families. 

Stay Well, 

Wanda Minick
Executive Director 


Office of Head Start Updates

Full Enrollment and Workforce  

The Office of Head Start continues to hold Grantee Recipients accountable for enrollment. Recipients between 50-60% underenrolled can expect to receive an official unenrollment letter from the Regional Office. Those Recipients will develop an action plan in concert with the Regional Office. The 12-month period for determining chronic underenrollment starts 10 calendar days from the date the Underenrollment Letter is sent. Grantees that achieve and maintain 97 percent funded enrollment for six consecutive months following the 12-month period will have successfully completed their unenrollment plan. Programs not achieving the 97 percent threshold may be subject to “recapturing, withholding, or reducing the annual funding and funded enrollment.” You can view the Full Enrollment Initiative Program Instruction here.  

Here are a few quick links to information issued by the Office of Head Start that was worth repeating. 

Are the workforce challenges the primary source of underenrollment? We would love to hear from you. For FHSA to better understand, we need to know how our Grantees in Florida are doing. Please take a quick moment to let us know what's happening in your programs by taking this short survey. 


What's Happening Around the State

Children's Week 2023

Highlights from FHSA Annual Awards Luncheon

Click the image below to view the photo gallery from this year's Annual Awards Luncheon February 9, 2023, at the Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach, FL 


Submit a Presentation Proposal for the 2023 One Goal Summer Conference

This year, the ONE GOAL: BUILDING THE FUTURE TOGETHER “PUTTING FAMILIES AND CHILDREN FIRST” Summer Conference will celebrate 36 years of bringing together early education and care providers and leaders from around the state. We all must collaborate and share how we can keep our children safe and healthy, do more with less in our programs, and best practices and techniques to improve the services and outcomes for all of Florida’s young children. 

The conference will be held at the Hilton Tampa Downtown in Tampa, Florida, on July 19-21, 2023.  The conference will include general sessions, concurrent presentations, and exhibits of appropriate materials.

FHSA is a sponsor and part of the planning committee and invites our Head Start community to submit a proposal to present. Click here to view the electronic version of the Presenter Proposal Form. The deadline for proposal submission is April 7, 2023. The Planning Committee will review all proposals and notify the primary presenter of acceptance or non-acceptance. While multiple proposals are encouraged, we will only select one or, space allowing, a maximum of two.

The Florida Early Learning Developmental Standards developed by the Division of Early Learning, Florida Department of Education, and the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework define what children should know and be able to do. The Classroom Assessment and Scoring System™ (CLASS™) is the state's tool to measure classroom interactions, an important predictor of quality linked to better child outcomes. This summer, the One Goal Summer Conference Planning Committee asks presenters to explicitly connect these standards whenever possible to their presentations and demonstrate how they can promote positive classroom interactions. Doing so will help educators better understand how to integrate them into every facet of their program day. 

The conference registration fee of $125.00 will be waived for the primary presenter only. All co-presenters will need to register and pay the registration fee. All presenters are responsible for making their hotel reservations and for any other expenses incurred. 

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Conference Coordinator, Frankie Allen, at (850) 893-6270 or email: [email protected].


Join NHSA in Phoenix, AZ, May 8-11, 2023, for their 50th annual Head Start Conference bringing you over 100 sessions, sharing knowledge, networking with peers, and celebrating achievements.  Early Bird registration ends March 31, 2023. Click here to learn more. 


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Three Things Heightening Head Start Awareness

Upcoming Events 


06- 09, CLASS Observation

07, FHSA Directors Affiliate Group Monthly Check-in 

09, Prioritizing Father Engagement Using the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework

13, The Role of Implicit Bias in Early Childhood Settings 

13, Building Healthy Bodies with the Foods We Serve 

14- 16, Region IV TTA Network | Responsive Program Planning – Going for the Gold!

15- FHSA Professional Development Committee 

15, Florida Head Start Free Music Classes 

15- FHSA Membership Committee Meeting

16- FHSA Executive Committee Meeting 

16, Front Porch: Brilliant Bilingual Preschoolers
21, Every Interaction Counts: Language-Based Professional Development from LENA 

22, Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Skills Through Coaching [in Spanish]

23, Talking with Families about Substance Use During Pregnancy

26- 31, Children's Week

27, FHSA Board of Directors Meeting 

27, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation National Office Hours


Member Information 

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Important Links

FHSA #ThankfulThursday
FHSA Lunch & Learn

Join Us for FREE Zoom Music Classes 

FHSA Free Music Classes 2023 Schedule
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.


Thank you to our Event Sponsors

Leadership Training Sponsor

Learning Beyond Paper Logo

Awards Luncheon Sponsor

Kaplan Logo

FHSA Attends WLI

The Florida Head Start Association members attended NHSA Winter Leadership Institute, January 22-23, 2023, in D.C. FHSA members attended meetings with their Congressional members from their districts. Overall, the conversations were very positive. 
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson was one of the 15 congressional members NHSA recognized for their steadfast commitment to Head Start and to serving our nation’s most vulnerable children and their families, not only in their districts but across the nation.


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]