May 2020

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In This Issue...

Letter From FHSA Executive Director

Updates from the Office of Head Start

Updates from the Office of Early Learning 

What's Happening Around the State

Employment Opportunities

Calendar of Events

May 2020

05 - Infant/Toddler Webinar Series: Children's Environmental Health

05 - Teacher Time: Little Scientists — Exploring MATH with Preschoolers

05 - Promoting Healing and Resilience with Staff and Families

06 - Caring for Children in Group Settings During COVID-19: A Follow-up Conversation

08 - Keeping Our Children Well During COVID-19

14- Head Start Heals Office Hours: Partnering with Families to Address Domestic Violence

June 2020 



22- ACF's National Research Conference on Early Childhood


Letter from FHSA Executive Director 

FHSA hopes you and your family are staying safe and healthy in these unprecedented times. We will continue to be here for you and help navigate you through this pandemic.  Since COVID-19, the association has provided members with daily updates with our What You Need To Know (WYNK) Top 3 @ 3, which is filled with updates in this ever-changing climate. If you are not receiving them and would like to, please let us know via email, [email protected].   FHSA has also developed a dedicated COVID-19 resource page We hope you are finding this information helpful. We are also working to secure online training options and services to assist you with continuing your program and the reopening process of your centers.  Another initiative FHSA is working on is its Wage Study. Our focus group has been assembled and ready to begin the work on this essential project. Watch out for communications as your input will be crucial to this endeavor, which is slated to be completed by the fall of 2020. 

As we kick-off the month of May, we will celebrate Provider, and Teacher Appreciate Week (May 4-9,2020), I am in awe on how well Head Start centers have pivoted their programs to adapt to the ever-changing climate in our state. You all continue to make massive differences in your communities by supporting your children and families in a way no one could have even imagined. You all are genuinely essential, and the unsung heroes and FHSA salute you!

FHSA has two open board seats due to the resignation of Angela Doucette-Lyon and LaKysha Perkins. The board will be accepting nominations for the two (2) At-Large Directors seats, which are to be filled by members of the association in the Staff, Parents, and Friends affiliate groups. Please visit our website for information on the nominations process. Members will receive an email when the nomination form is active on Friday, May 8. If you have any questions about serving on the board or the nominations process, feel free to reach out to me either by phone (850) 694-6477 or email [email protected]

We appreciate our partnership and encourage you to reach out should you need any assistance moving forward. As the new slogan goes, "we are all in this together but not alone." 

In partnership, 

Wanda Minick
Executive Director

Updates from the Office of Head Start 

The Office of Head Start has created a one-stop-shop webpage with updates with the latest Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Head Start and Early Head Start programs have been impacted immensely by this pandemic.  Visit their webpage to stay most informed about the changes occurring that impact the operation of your programs. 

Be on the lookout for 

  • Guidance from OHS regarding no year-end PIR data collection

  • Reopening procedures from OHS

  • Summer Program Supplement application deadline is May 15. If States are unable to open, look for a "Plan B" for Summer Learning Progam to be released. 
  • One Time Activities fund available to Head Start, Early Head Start - CCP grantees deadline is May 15. These funds will be added to existing FY2020 COLA/QI applications.  

Resignation Announcement - Dr. Moore

Effective May 22, 2020, Dr. Calvin E. Moore, Jr. Regional Program Manager for Region IV will be departing his post to assume the Chief Executive Officer for CDA Council for Professional Recognition. The FHSA community has valued Dr. Moore's commitment to Region IV OHS through his guidance and support.  

Effective May 25, 2020, Heather Wanderski, Director of the Program Operations Division, Office of Head Start, will serve as the Acting Regional Program Manager for Region IV.  Heather is very familiar with the Regional Program Manager position, having served in that capacity in Region V for several years. She will be supported by the three competent Supervisory Program Specialists in Region IV, including Terese Jones, Erica Lundy, and Brionnea Williams-McClary. Mr. Jones has been a long-standing staple in the Region for many years. It will work closely with Ms. Wanderski to ensure the continuation of stable regional operations and ongoing communications with grantees and external stakeholders. 

Updates from the Office of Early Learning 

The Administrative Memo from the Office of Early Learning, along with their official newsletter, can be downloaded here. 

What's Happening Around the State 

On Monday, May 4, 2020, the state of Florida reopens under Governor DeSantis phase 1 plan. To view the executive order, click here. 

  • The Executive Order excludes Miami-Dade, Broward & Palm Beach counties
  • Restaurants & Retail stores can reopen at 25% capacity
  • Schools will remain closed & utilize distance learning
  • Large venues (e.g., movie theaters) will remain closed
  • Personal service establishments (e.g., barbershops & nail salons) will remain closed
  • Elective surgeries can resume statewide
  • State parks will reopen
  • Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home
  • Continue practicing social distancing
  • No groups larger than ten people should convene

Additional important information for Florida's families:

  • The CDC now recommends that all Americans wear a cloth face mask when out in public. The CDC guidelines can be found here. 

  • SNAP recipients can now purchase groceries online through the FNS Online Purchasing Portal that launched April 21. Amazon is an eligible store in Florida. More information here.

'It's a happiness I can't even describe': Immokalee farmworkers have rents covered, receive supplies, Naples Daily News, May 1, 2020

Just as the heavy rains began to calm down, the families arrived—one by one and far apart, each person wearing a mask.

Some walked while others were dropped off by organizers with the Redlands Christian Migrant Association.

Eight families gathered Thursday afternoon at the association's campus in Immokalee by a 24-foot enclosed trailer filled with supplies to help them get through the month. Click to read in its entirety. 

Miami Dade County HS EHSClick on the above image to view Miami-Dade County HS/EHS response to their community.

The Miami-Dade program, like many other programs, has been successful in finding the best ways to provide services to their families:

"Our teachers and educational staff are working with children to keep them engaged. Each week, parents receive educational activities that cover four domains: Language & Literacy, Physical Development, Social & Emotional Development, and Cognitive Development. In addition, open-ended materials and STEM kits have been provided, with activity cards to keep our children motivated. Mindfulness videos are shared weekly with families to promote our social and emotional wellbeing. Each teacher has created a ClassDojo account, where they post activities and videos daily. Teachers engage with each child, every day through an interactive Zoom session, working on ABC Mouse or Galileo, or through a phone call."

LSF Duval Head Start Announces Virtual Classrooms During Health Crisis,  LSF Press Release, Jacksonville, Fla. – 3/24/2020 

As the country faces a health pandemic, social services organization like Lutheran Services Florida, is adapting its critical services to the most vulnerable Floridians. Following guidance from Federal and State officials to control the spread of coronavirus by practicing social distancing, LSF Duval Head Start yesterday launched a virtual learning program for our families. We are excited to report 65 percent participation among Head Start/Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships families in Duval County. Click to read in its entirety.  

Coronavirus Florida: Over half of state's child care facilities are closed, Florida Times-Union, April 13, 2020

Florida's child care industry, consisting mostly of small businesses was struggling financially long before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation.

In late March, 16% of providers in Florida had closed down, according to the Florida Department of Education.

As of Wednesday, 57% of child care providers were closed, according to the department, many due to low enrollment and, therefore, low revenue.

"The profession has reached a breaking point," said Julia Musella, a Pompano Beach Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) provider and spokeswoman for "I Am Ready," an early learning advocacy group. "There will be a tremendous shortage on the other side when we come back." Click to read in its entirety. 


Employment Opportunities

Family & Community Partnerships Manager  | Mid Florida Community Action Agency, Deland

Director of Finance Lutheran Services Florida, Tampa

Child Care Program Monitoring Specialist Community Coordinated Care for Children, Inc. 4C, Osceola          

>>> See More Job Openings  

Don't forget to fill out the #2020Census! Florida lost out on $20 Billion from 2010-2020 due to census undercounting. Healthcare, education, transportation, and housing; strategic planning for private and public organizations and representation depend on an accurate count.

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

(850) 694-6477