June 2020

Subscribe Archive

In This Issue...

Letter From FHSA Executive Director

Updates from the Office of Head Start

Updates from the Office of Early Learning 

Reporting Child Abuse during COVID-19 

What's Happening Around the State

Updates from NHSA

Healthier Kids for Our Future

Employment Opportunities

Calendar of Events

June 2020 


22- ACF's National Research Conference on Early Childhood

 July 2020

21- FHSA Directors Affiliate Group Meeting

21- FHSA Board of Directors Meeting

Letter from FHSA Executive Director 

Each month when I sit down to write this open letter to our members, I often go back and revise what I wrote to reflect the ever-changing environment of the world. This month was certainly no different. What began as an optimistic point of view of the COVID-19 virus and Hurricane season has now turned to something much graver to a disruptive world full of abomination, bias, and cynicism. For 55 years, Head Start has provided love, acceptance, understanding, and the opportunity to learn and to achieve success for both the child and the family. While the majority of our county has not, I will not sit idly by.  I will remain focused on our core goal and practice love, knowledge, and acceptance for all. Change occurs when action takes place. Those actions come in forms of talking with our congressional leaders and legislators and our local authority leaders in our communities. It is up to us to take action so that change can occur. I stand with you and welcome your input as to how we can find resolve in fighting the inequities and disparities in the world. As Martin Lutheran King Jr., said: "Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly". "Almost 60 years have passed, yet America is still struggling to solve a 400-year-old problem.  We can not leave this task to others." 

Today is the final day for members to cast their votes for the two open Board of Directors seats available on the FHSA board. All Members in good standing shall be entitled to vote in the elections for the Board of Directors. Only one vote per program/per agency is allowed. Friends groups are also entitled to one vote only. If your organization is a member of FHSA and you have not cast your vote, make sure to do so today. 

Hurricane season is upon us. Are you prepared? As you know, preparedness saves lives. As we continue to do everything we can to stop the spread of the Coronavirus and get back to our everyday lives – we must also prepare for the 2020 hurricane season that began June 1. It's time to help our families and get our programs ready for the season. Make sure to revisit your emergency plans and check out these resources,  www.ready.gov.; CDC; FEMA and Head Start ECKLC Emergency Preparedness Resources. 

In partnership, 

Wanda Minick
Executive Director

FHSA would like to acknowledge its newest Partners and Members






Updates from the Office of Head Start 

ICYMI: OHS VLOG on COVID 19 –  Dr. B, along with Kiersten Beigel, discusses "Staying Connected to Decrease Family Stress in Difficult Times."

Grant Opportunities

Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Grants - estimated post date June 10, 2020

Migrant and Seasonal Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Grants - estimated post date June 10, 2020

The Office of Child Care Director Shannon Christian sent information out regarding a webinar hosted by the CDC Foundation on Adapting, Evolving, and Thriving: Tools To Evolve Your COVID-19 Child Care Strategy. The CDC Foundation provided a tool that child care providers, both center-based and family child care, can use to keep children and providers safer. Based on the seven ways that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is spread, the tool supports child care providers in creating their own effective practices to reduce the potential for the virus to spread. You will find this webinar to be a great use of your time and a valuable tool for your program. The link for the child care webinar can be accessed by clicking this link. 

There is so much information out about COVID-19 and the response from the Office of Head Start. Please visit their website for the most current information. 

Updates from the Office of Early Learning 

The Office of Early Learning held two hearings last month regarding the two proposed rules below. These rules are in the rule promulgation process and are scheduled to be heard for approval at the July 15, 2020, State Board of Education meeting.

OEL-SR 20M Statewide School Readiness Provider Contract Monitoring Tool. The purpose of the revised rule is to align the school readiness provider contract monitoring tool with the revised school readiness provider contract.

Rule 6M-4.735 - Early Learning Professional Development Standards and Career Pathways. The purpose of the rule is to develop both formal and informal professional development training and course standards for early learning program instructors.

For updates concerning the Office of Early Learning response to COVID-19, please visit their website.

Reporting Child Abuse during COVID-19 

Our friends at Prevent Child Abuse Florida has shared some resources regarding reporting abuse and neglect. Since COVID-19, abuse, and neglect reporting has decreased; however, we know it is still occurring in our communities.

If you suspect abuse, please call 1-800-96-ABUSE to discuss your concerns. The Handle with Care Flyer has excellent tips along with factors and indicators to help you in identifying potential abuse and neglect. Also, as the General Public flyer states, we are all on the front lines now. If we see a child in a situation that doesn't appear safe, we owe it to that child to bring the information to the attention of someone who can assess the situation, protect the child and help the family.

What's Happening Around the State 

Head Start and Early Head Start programs around the State have done a great job transitioning from an in-person classroom to a virtual format. I have had a lot of great conversations with Grantee Directors, who provided positive feedback about how you all are staying connected with your children and families. As we move into summer, most programs will continue with this format; some will open their doors cautiously being guided by what is feasible, practical, and acceptable and tailored to needs in their local community. You are encouraged to work with your local health departments, county government, and review state standards to reopen. The CDC has some great resources to help guide the way.   If you have not already seen the CDC decision tree, it's a great resource to reference when trying to make these tough decisions. To view the recording and slide deck from this webinar, click here.

During FHSA daily WYKNT, Top 3 @ 3, we shared information from OHS they will not be funding summer programming separately as they originally had planned. The $750 million CARES Act funding will be distributed to grantees all in one funding amount wither you applied for summer funding or not. This is a one-time infusion of funds to help programs deal with COVID-19. The total amount is based on funded enrollment. Please check in with your Program Specialist is you have additional questions.

Florida Moves Into Phase 2 of Reopening: SAFE. SMART. STEP-BY-STEP 

On June 3, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-139, announcing Phase 2 of Florida's reopening plan following COVID-19: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step.

The plan allows for further reopening of the state beginning Friday, June 5. All counties, except for Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, may move into Phase 2.

Phase 2 allows restaurants to serve at the bar with social distancing. Bars can open at a 50% capacity indoors with recommended social distancing. There will be no limit on the capacity for outdoor seating as long as social distancing guidelines are followed. Entertainment businesses, including movie theaters and bowling alleys, can also operate at a 50% capacity. Watch the announcement here. Executive Order 20-139 is available here.

Miami-Dade Head Start partners with education nonprofit Waterford to provide at-home learning during COVID-19.

MIAMI (May 13, 2020 ) — COVID-19 has affected all aspects of our lives. Many children in need of an early education have found themselves at home without an option in the crucial months before they begin kindergarten. In order to make sure children are prepared for that first day of school this fall, Miami-Dade Head Start is partnering with Waterford.org to provide the Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Path.

The goal: to keep kids on track over the summer. This program aims to support the students and families who have been affected by COVID-19 either through personal economic hardship or due to the indefinite closure of many PreK and Head Start options.

Re-Opening Childcare - A Thoughtful Approach Webinar 

FHSA invites you to join this Zoom webinar "Re-opening Childcare- A Thoughtful Approach" with FHSA members 1Place to learn from ongoing Head Start case studies regarding tools available to assist with reopening your programs. There will be live Q&A. Register here.   


Updates from NHSA 

On May 18, NHSA and the entire Head Start community came together virtually and celebrated Head Starts 55th anniversary of its past, present, and future.  To honor this milestone, NHSA is launching an anniversary campaign to pay tribute to the impact Head Start has had on millions of lives and celebrating the unlimited future legacy of Head Start's current children and families.   Later this year, NHSA will launch the official celebration – "Five and Five" – a campaign to celebrate Head Start's historical legacy and its future legacy by connecting trailblazing Head Start alumni with small groups of current Head Start children and families. If you missed the celebration, you could visit their blog post to read more about their virtual celebration and what's to come! In the meantime, feel free to continue the party throughout the year by utilizing the social media tool kit

Kitchen Table Talks: Every Wednesday, NHSA gathers the Head Start Community at their "Kitchen Table" for a place of discussion, share ideas, resources, and ask questions. You can join the conversation by signing up here. 

Healthier Kids for Our FutureSM 

Food Insecurity Grant Application

The Cigna Foundation has recently announced a new mental health grant to join the food insecurity grant, all included in their larger Healthier Kids for Our Future initiative!

Here's a summary for the mental health grant:
"Our goal is to partner with school systems and their surrounding communities to supplement existing mental health programming and help close gaps both within and outside the school environment to address loneliness, anxiety, depression, and suicide prevention. We will fund programs that foster collaboration between stakeholders, including school administrators and teachers, clinicians, and local and national nonprofits to address mental health and emotional well-being challenges for children. Click here to read more.

Employment Opportunities

Primary Caregiver I, II, III, IV  | Episcopal Children's Services

Child Development Specialist | Mid Florida Community Services, Inc., Volusia County 

Director of Finance| Lutheran Services Florida, Tampa 

>>> 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.


Twitter Icon Facebook Icon

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

(850) 694-6477