Read the latest information in FHSA November 2021 newsletter

The Monthly Newsletter of the Florida Head Start Association                                                                                                                        November 2021                                                                                                                                


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CDC is recommending everyone ages 5 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.

Click here for the most current updated from the CDC. 

Letter from the Executive Director

Happy November! Awe, fall is my favorite time of the year. Tis' the season of pumpkins, leaves turning those gorgeous reds and yellows hues,  and there is a hint of cool and crisp feeling in the air.  Not only nature changing but changes could be happening within the Head Start community, and the most significant change is sitting in the hands of Congress. The fabric of the Biden administration's Build Back Better bill would undoubtedly change the lives of many American families and Head Start. This bill is still under negotiations, and changes are likely until it has been passed.

The Hunt Institute has provided a detailed guide of the Act's Child Care Provisions. NHSA will be drafting one as well.  That will be shared once available.  FHSA is monitoring the progress and collaborating with state entities to ensure all children and families in Florida receive the best quality in early childcare.   

Another primary concern on everyone's minds is the vaccine mandate President Biden announced on September 9, 2021, requiring all Head Start program staff and certain contractors to be vaccinated.  I know programs are waiting for the final instructions from the Office of Head Start.  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued its New Emergency Temporary Standard to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID–19 by strongly encouraging vaccination. OSHA is seeking comments about whether the final rule should apply to smaller employers. Smaller employers should be aware of this possibility and consider commenting on the proposed final rule. You may review the ETS here. You can find their FAQs located here. Additional compliance materials and sample vaccination policies OHSA developed can be found here. 


The Florida Head Start State Collaboration Director position is open for applicants. Do you know of someone who would be excellent in serving as the conduit between the Office of Head Starts regional office and Florida's early childhood system? The HSSCO Director will serve Florida's Head Start community by supporting policy, planning, and implementing cross-agency State systems for early childhood. This position requires someone with substantial knowledge of Head Start, gained from at least five years of experience working within a Head Start program. This posting will remain active until filled. I encourage you will share this with individuals within your program who meet the qualifications.  


I look forward to seeing you all soon, so make plans now to attend our 2022 annual conference & expo on March 2-4 in Orlando. More information is coming soon!


Stay well, 

Wanda Minick, Executive Director

FHSA is getting ready to open Sponsorships and Exhibitor registration for our
2022 Annual Conference & Expo.

This year's theme Head Start is Heart Work  will be held March 2-4, 2022  in person at the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando.  

FHSA 2022 Annual Conference Logo

Hotel Accommodations


DoubleTree by Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando

5780 Major Boulevard | Orlando, FL 32819


FHSA room block is open and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The room block cut-off is Thursday, February 11, 2022, or until it reaches capacity.


FHSA conference rate is being offered three (3) days pre and post-conference.


The Group Discounted Rate is from $152 /per night++. To book your room, you can call Hilton Reservations at 1-800-222-8733 using the unique rate code (HSA) or use the "Book your room" button below.


If booking multiple rooms under one reservation, please call Hilton Reservation at 1-800-222-8733 using the unique rate code (FE2).


Parking: Overnight and event day self-parking rate is discounted to $11+ tax a night. Valet services are $29.00+ tax a night.

What's Happening Around the State

The Office of Children's Medical Services Managed Care Plan & Specialty Program Florida Department of Health reached out to FHSA regarding spreading the message about the Medical Foster Care Program.  This statewide effort is actively recruiting medical foster parents. We share this information with Head Start programs to help reach parents and families or other caregivers who could be potential medical foster parents.  Below is an information card about the MFC program. Should you have questions, please reach out to FHSA, and we will put you in contact with a point of contact to address any questions and provide additional support materials you can share in your program.


The Florida Head Start Association sent a support letter to the Office of Head Start Director, Dr. Bernadine Futrell, reiterating the urgent need for flexibility and support in NHSA letter to Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development Katie Hamm.  Dr. Futrell contacted FHSA to clarify some of the recommendations, so we know they are evaluating our appeal.  To read FHSA letter,  click here.


The Senate FY22 Labor HHS Appropriations Bill, released on October 19, includes increases in Head Start’s federal funding. NHSA was pleased to see this legislation closely mirrors the House-approved spending plan and reflects our topline priorities—workforce compensation, quality improvement funding for trauma-informed care, and extended duration. You can read NHSA full statement here.


NHSA Parent and Family Engagement Conference

FHSA welcomes NHSA back to the Sunshine State to host their 2021 Parent and Family Engagement Conference on December 13-16, 2021, at the Hilton Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria properties in Orlando.
This year's event will explore a wide range of new resources, focus on early childhood development topics at the forefront and tackle how Head Start programs can address the needs of children, families, and staff. Registration is open through December 12. 


Contact Info:

Florida Head Start Association

111 N. Gadsden Street, Suite 200 | Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 694-6477

[email protected] 

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