March 2019

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In This Issue...

Letter From FHSA Executive Director

Updates from the Office of Head Start

FHSA 20th Anniversary Celebration Annual Conference & Expo

News from Florida Head Start State Collaboration Office

What's Happening Around the State

Updates From NHSA

Employment Opportunities

Calendar of Events

March 2019 

06- Safety and Injury Prevention Workshop

07 - Tour of New NCIT Online Solution Center

12 - New Director Mentor Initiative

14 - National Launch of the Strengthening Business Practices for Child Care Providers Training-of-Trainers

14- BabyTalks Series Bang! Squish! Leap! Supporting the A in STEAM with Infants and Toddlers

15 - Teacher Time Supporting Preschoolers and Their Families Through Transitions

24- Florida's Children's Week

 April 2019 

1-4 - FHSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo

1- FHSA Directors Affiliate Group Meeting

11 - Splash into Florida!

Letter from Executive Director 

Today, March 5 is the beginning of Florida's 2019 Legislative Session with a new Governor and Cabinet. There have been discussions already leading up to this session during committee weeks regarding early childhood care and education. FHSA will be advocating to ensure all children and families, regardless of circumstances, have an opportunity to achieve success in a local quality early childhood program.

Since the 2019 session is just gearing up, FHSA will begin sending Legislative Alerts to our members to keep you abreast on how the session is going. Here is a list of a few bills FHSA is currently tracking: 

SB 970 Sen. Baxley - Voluntary Prekindergarten Education 
this bill has a House companion HB 871 - Rep. Ausley

If your Head Start program administrators a VPK program then you might be interested in knowing this bill would require principals to take specified actions to facilitate communication and collaboration with private prekindergarten providers.  

SB 1144 Sen. Montford - Child Care Subsidies for Foster Parents this bills House companion HB 1367- Rep. Diamond

SB 646 - Sen. Book - Child Welfare this bills House companion HB 823- Rep. Ausley 

HB 1193 - Rep. Grall - Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program this bill has a Senate companion SB 1594.

this bill revises provisions of Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program relating to provider accountability, student screening, and assessments, & DOE and Office of Early Learning duties & responsibilities.

HB 4503 - Appropriations Project by Rodriguez, A. M. - Child Care WAGE$

HB 4287Appropriations Project by Rodriguez, A. M. - Help Me Grow Florida 

FHSA is proud to partner with the Early Learning Consortium, a group of early learning provider associations, funders, and subject-matter experts who are working together to improve Florida’s early learning system. To view the Consortium’s 2019 legislative priorities which include early care and education (ECE) initiatives, click here.

NHSA released its Fiscal Year 2020 Recommendations for Head Start & Early Head Start total funding package. The $1.05 billion increase includes a Workforce Investment of $191,000,000 to improve workforce quality through a Cost of Living Adjustment and a Quality Improvement Fund of $155,000,000 to help programs address specific needs to better support families, staff training, facility improvement, and community-wide coordination. View the complete package below under "Updates from NHSA." 

Are you attending Children's Week March 24-29, 2019 in Tallahassee? If you are planning to participate in any of the week's festivities, please email me, [email protected]. We would love for Head Start to have a considerable presence at this years' event. More details about the week's activities are below in the newsletter under "What's Happening Around the State." 

Also, the FHSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo is less than a month away. We hope you have made plans to attend.  We have some incredible sessions line-up for you and fun activities as well. Don't miss out because you forgot to register. Read more about our 20th Anniversary Celebration below.

In partnership, 

Wanda Minick
Executive Director

 Updates from the Office of Head Start

Home Is Where the Love Is: Homelessness, Children, and Families

Have you head about Dr. Deborah Bergeron "Home at Head Start initiative," please check out this video. Dr. Bergeron has set a goal to enroll 10,000 children living in homelessness into Head Start by the end of the school year. In the video, she discusses this initiative in detail with her very special guest, check it out. They talk about ways Head Start programs can support children and families experiencing homelessness. These actions include: 

  • Head Start programs should be prioritizing homeless children when enrolling.
  • Reserve slots for homeless families for 30 days.
  • If slots are not filled and become vacant, you have an additional 30 days to fill them. 
  • Over-enroll your classrooms. You can bump up your enrollment as long as you're within the guidelines of teacher-student ratio, to meet the needs of homeless families as they come and go. 
  • Develop partnership opportunities in your community.
  • Get the parents involved.
  • Reach out to the public school homeless liaison to see if they are enrolling children based upon the McKinney-Vento's definition and if they have younger siblings at home that could enter in Head Start.

In the video, they also share some great resources you can use at your Head Start program. Check out Sesame Street in Communities.  The website has a lot of specific resources like articles, links to McKinney-Vento, and activities that will help classroom teachers. There is also Professional Development resources available where providers can learn about the healing power of play. 

Dr. Bergeron Wants to Join Your Policy Council Meeting by Video

Policy Council parents and community members are a vital part of the Home at Head Start campaign! Dr. Bergeron values the role of parent leadership and Policy Council governance in Head Start. She would like to join your Policy Council members at their March, April, or May meeting through a recorded video. 

As you plan your upcoming Policy Council agendas, save 30 minutes to review Dr. Bergeron's video. Look for an email with a link to Dr. Bergeron's video in early March. During the meeting, view the video and engage your Policy Council members in a discussion using the guiding questions she will provide. Revisit the video as needed to best address services to children and families experiencing homelessness. Share your ideas and responses on Twitter or Facebook using the #HomeAtHeadStart tag. Click here to read this message in its entirety. 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED: Psychological First Aid Meeting Registration: Invitation for Head Start Programs to Apply

Registration is now open for Head Start programs to attend a training and technical assistance (T/TA) event focused on Psychological First Aid (PFA). The day-and-a-half-long event will include training around trauma and resilience for children, families, and staff. It will offer opportunities for planning and program-specific technical assistance on the mental health aspects of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery (EPRR). The training will be held March 11–12, 2019, in Atlanta, GA. Click here to read more.  

The National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness released it's March 2019 Early Childhood Health & Wellness Resource List. The list contains a variety of online training events, news items, resources, and funding opportunities. Click to download

Grant Notice: FY 2019 Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children's Health Grant Program (Project LAUNCH)

Application Due Date: Friday, April 19, 2019
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration issued a grant notice from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2019 Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children's Health Grant Program (Short Title: Project LAUNCH).
The purpose of this program is to promote the wellness of young children, from birth to 8 years of age, by addressing the social, emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioral aspects of their development. It is expected that this program will provide local communities or tribes the opportunity to disseminate effective and innovative early childhood mental health practices and services, ultimately leading to better outcomes for young children and their families.
The overall goal of Project LAUNCH is to foster the healthy development and wellness of all young children (birth through age 8), preparing them to thrive in school and beyond. Click to view the notice in its entirety.



Less than a month away, FHSA will take over St. Augustine, FL April 1-4, 2019 by Celebrating 20 Years of Excellence, Advocacy, and Leadership in Quality Early Childhood Education & Services. We hope you are making plans to join us. Regular Registration ends March 15, 2019. 

We have exciting events lined-up starting with our Opening Keynote Speaker, Adam White. His opening session will motivate and challenge you. Check out Adam's special message he created just for you. 

Visit this page to view our conference session line-up which is filled with high caliber learning for all. We have sessions for Head Start, Early Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, and Child Care Program Staff, Child Care Directors, Managers, Administrators, Teachers, Specialists, Policy Council Members, Parents, Community Partners, and Board Members. New for this year is our poster session. We will have ten posters on display in the expo center and have allocated time on Wednesday, April 3 from 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. for you to talk one-on-one with each presenter about their programs innovative ideas. 

Don't Miss out on these Event Highlights.

Expo Hall filled with vendors offering the best products and services available to Head Start Programs.

Donate a basket for our annual Silent Auction to raise funds for the Dollar per Child Campaign.

Grantees schedule a one-on-one meeting with Keno Simmons, Program Manager, Office of Head Start, Region IV.

Register for a St. Augustine Excursion. Bus departs Tuesday, April 2.

FHSA 20 Years Celebration dinner and all white party with Chris DJ Soulja Courtenay.

Sign up to participate in FHSA Choir.

Hotel Room Block Deadline March 7, 2019. 

Group Discounted Rate from $125 /per night++

FHSA room block is open and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Reservations made after Thursday, March 07, 2019 deadline or after the room block is at capacity are not eligible for the discounted group rate. 

Renaissance World Golf Resort 
500 South Legacy Trail,
St. Augustine, FL 32092


News from Florida Head Start State Collaboration Office

Florida Preschool Development Grant B-5 Project Summary/Abstract

As you are already aware, Florida was one of the states selected to receive the Preschool Development Grant Birth to 5. Florida received $8,520,000 of the $10 million grant. 

Through the PDG B-5 grant, Florida will move towards increasing the quality, alignment and efficiency of Florida’s early childhood care and education programs and services to support families’ needs, children’s readiness and early grade success, particularly vulnerable and underserved children. Click here to download Florida HSSCO PDG Road Map for implementation.  

February Directors Group Call

In case you missed the monthly Directors Group call on February 27, the recording from the meeting and all documentation is now available through the FL HS-EHS Community in MyPeers. If you have not signed up yet for MyPeers, you can do so here. 

The next Directors Group meeting will be held in conjunction with the FHSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo on Monday, April 1 at the Renaissance World Golf Resort. You can R.S.V.P. your attendance for that meeting via this link.

What's Happening Around the State 

Children’s Week at the State Capitol

Join thousands of Florida’s families, students, teachers, and advocates at the Florida State Capitol during the week of

March 24, 2019, for a celebration of our greatest gifts – our children! Now in its 24th year, Children’s Week advocates for
children’s health, education, and well-being and is brought to you by the United Way of Florida ( There
are many ways to participate in Children’s Week from Sunday, March 24 through Friday, March 25, 2019.

On Sunday, March 24, 2019, there will be a ceremony to hang the hand artwork collected from thousands of children across the state in the Capitol rotunda. These hands will remain hanging from the 2nd and 3rd floors for the entire week and will be taken down on Friday, March 29 as the conclusion of Children’s Week.

Each year, the Hanging of the Hands ceremony creates an impactful display to remind legislators to take care of our children during the legislative session. Click here to download the flyer with more details about how you can participate in the Hanging of the Hands event. 

Please join us for Children’s Week at the State Capitol – a unique and engaging opportunity that shines a spotlight on the critical issues facing lawmakers this legislative session. For more information such as a schedule of events, volunteer opportunities, or to register, please visit or email [email protected].


One Goal is accepting sessions proposal now through April 5, 2019. An electronic version of the Presenter Proposal Form is located on the conference website. The Planning Committee will review all proposals, and the primary presenter will be notified of acceptance or non-acceptance.

The conference is being held at the Hilton Tampa Downtown in Tampa, Florida, on July 17-19, 2019 and will include general sessions, concurrent presentations, and exhibits of
appropriate materials. 

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

FLAEYC call for Presenters, Exhibitors, and Sponsors is now open

FLAEYC is currently seeking Presenters, Exhibitors, and Sponsors for their 2019 Annual Conference, September 4th - 8th, at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando. They are accepting Presenter proposals for breakout sessions through April and applications for Exhibitors and Sponsors through July.

Visit the FLAEYC conference page for more information on how you can submit a proposal or application today.

Updates from NHSA

NHSA released its Fiscal Year 2020 recommendations for Head Start & Early Head Start

NHSA is working hard to ensure that the Head Start community continues to see funding increases. NHSA’s government affairs team has drafted a detailed plan for the fiscal year 2020. To download the plan click here. 

NHSA 46th Annual Conference and Expo will be held 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

Health Manager | Early Learning Coalition of Miami - Dade/Monroe

Human Resource Generalist | Mid Florida Community Services, Inc. 

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

Part Time Family Advocate | Episcopal Children’s Services

>>> See More Job Openings 

 FHSA Thanks our 2019 Corporate Partners & Sponsors

Platinum Level

 Silver Level


Conference Sponsors


Interested in learning how you can help support FHSA through its 2019 Corporate Partners & Sponsorship program? Click here.

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

(850) 694-6477