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

Letter from the Executive Director 

Present Biden has signed the Fiscal Responsibility Act Congress passed last week. The nation has averted a default that could have had catastrophic repercussions. However, there are many things in the bill that are concerning to FHSA. We understand there are spending caps on Federal Non-Defense Programs, work requirements for SNAP and TANF, and resends unobligated funding from some COVID-relief programs, including the education programs in the American Rescue Plan Act. Non-defense programs include education and early childhood, such as Head Start. This means Head Start programs could see flat funding for FY 2024. Of course, without additional funding, Head Start could continue to deal with workforce challenges and have the inability to serve our most vulnerable children and families. This is a considerable concern of FHSA.  To the right of this I have provided some links to resources regarding the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 I think you'll find helpful. 

On the state side of things, Florida closed out its 2023 Legislative Session on May 5 where 1,873 bills and proposed committee bills were filed with 356 bills passing both chambers. It also included the largest spending plan in Florida’s history with the fiscal year 2023-2024 budget coming in at $117 billion. We are still waiting on the Governor to sign this year’s budget. To view FHSA 2023 Legislative Recap, click here.  

Governor Ron DeSantis has been busy signing legislation and announcing his intention as President of the United States. On May 25, he signed Florida's most extensive tax relief plan during the 2023-2024 fiscal year, including a permanent exemption for baby and toddler necessities such as strollers, cribs, diapers, and baby wipes. Additionally, the tax relief package includes two back-to-school sales tax holidays and two disaster preparedness sales tax holidays lasting 14 days each, and a freedom summer sales tax holiday on recreational items and children's toys that will run from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  You can read the announcement here. 

I had the opportunity to attend NHSA's 50th annual conference in Phoenix, AZ, last month. I enjoyed seeing Khari Garvin, Director of the Office of Head Start (OHS), during NHSA's opening general session, where he provided insight regarding where Head Start is headed. He empowered attendees to recommit to the Head Start Movement and laid out his top 4 priorities.

  1. Child Health & Safety. 
  2. Resources aimed to reach children, families, and in greatest need. 
  3. Leverage and strengthen alignment with state systems and school districts. 
  4.  Reinvest in Head Start's workforce.

We will look for more direction from OHS on these focus areas and keep you posted.  

In Fellowship, 

Wanda Minick
Executive Director 

Office of Head Start Updates

Support the Mental Health and Well-being of the Early Care and Education Workforce

As part of President Bidens Executive Order to increase access to high-quality child care, including preschool and Head Start and support caregivers, the Office of Head Start released a letter that builds upon this directive by highlighting opportunities, strategies, and resources that ECE leaders from local programs, tribal communities, states, and territories should leverage to promote early childhood educators’ and providers’ mental health. 

Click here to download a copy of the letter. 

Apply by June 23 for the 2023–2024 National Head Start Fellowship Program 

The Office of Head Start (OHS) National Head Start Fellowship Program (NHSFP) application process is now open through June 23, 2023. 
This highly competitive paid work experience and leadership opportunity provides a multifaceted one-year experience that includes working full-time, contributing diverse content expertise and perspectives, and participating in professional and leadership development through interpersonal and networking opportunities with nationally recognized leaders. 

Click the Learn More button below to find out more about this exciting opportunity. 

ICYMI: On May 18, the Office of Head Start hosted a Full Enrollment Initiative Webinar. To view the recording, click here and download the slide deck here.


Deadline Fast Approaching- June 15

There is still time to get your nominations in before the June 15 deadline. Take a moment to recognize a deserving colleague, director, front-line staff, parent, father, a community partner that has demonstrated going above and beyond in Florida's Head Start Community.  

Consider nominating them for an FHSA Award. There are 14 State and Regional Awards and 4 National Awards.  

All 2024 applications must reflect services contributed during the current program/school year as of June 2023.  

Deadline is Friday, June 15, 2023

Hear from Teacher of the Year Azza Tawadros about what this recognition meant to her. 


What's Happening Around the State

FHSA was delighted when the Florida Division of Early Learning, Chancellor Cari Miller, visited FHSA members Kids Incorporated of The Big Bend in Jefferson County Early Head Start during teacher appreciation week. We know Ms. Miller is busy, and we appreciate her taking the time to visit to learn more about the services that Head Start provides to Florida's Children and Families.  

Representative Darren Soto visited the Orange County Head Start program at the Taft Head Start Center in May. During his visit, he read to the children, talked with parents and staff, and saw firsthand the benefits of the comprehensive services Head Start programs provide through education, health, and nutrition. 

One Goal Summer Conference Registration is Open!

The One Goal: Building the Future Together “Putting Families and Children First” Summer Conference is being held on July 19-21 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown Hotel. 

This year the Conference will celebrate 36 years of providing motivational and educational experiences for early education and care providers.

The Opening General Session keynote speaker, Patrick Mitchell, is an entertaining and engaging speaker who will positively impact achieving a work-life balance. Dr. Pamela Phelps is a passionate and inspirational speaker who will kindle a new awareness of your strength and value and close out the Conference leaving you energized and with a renewed sense of self-worth! 

The event will include 80 concurrent presentations providing information on developmentally appropriate activities and teaching skills that can be used daily to work with children. Commercial and educational exhibits will showcase the latest in early childhood materials, books, training, and educational aids. 

  • Early registration fee is only $125 per person, if received by July 13.  
  • Click here to register to attend this event.
  • Hotel reservations link can be found here. 

For any questions or assistance regarding this event, please call the Conference office at (850) 893-6270.


Early Childhood Innovation Summit 2023

Washington, D.C.—The HeadStarter Network’s Early Childhood Innovation Summit, the forum for early learning thinkers, innovators, and developers to network and explore, will take place June 27-29 in Newton, Massachusetts at Bright Horizons’ global headquarters. The three-day event brings researchers, innovators, practitioners and policymakers, together to engage in addressing 21st-century challenges to children, families and those who work with them.

“In just three days, about 100 folks committed to driving the field of early childhood education forward will learn, innovate, and become invigorated to lead. All of early learning is at a watershed, where innovation is no longer an option or extracurricular activity. Given the gravity of the situation, we’re grateful to sponsors like PNC Bank Grow Up Great, Bright Horizons and Buffett Early Childhood Fund committed to this effort,” HeadStarter Network Board Member and National Head Start Association (NHSA) Executive Director Yasmina Vinci said.  Click here to learn more. 

Click the link below to see what legislation NHSA is tracking. 



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Three Things Heightening Head Start Awareness

Links to resources on the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023


Upcoming Events

4-7: NAEYC's 2023 Professional Learning Institute

5-:The Conversation Guide for Professionals on Substance Use, Children, and Families: Virtual Training

5: A Spotlight on EHS-CCP: Amplifying the Voices of Grant Recipients 

6:  FHSA Directors Affiliate Group Monthly Check-in 

6-8: Learning & Leading with Equity Institute

 6: TTA Tuesday Talks: Improving the Quality of Teacher-Child Interactions - Behavior Has Meaning 

8: The Role of CCHCs in Supporting Nutrition and Physical Activity

12-15: RIVHSA 2023 Leadership Summit 

12: How the Environment We Create Shapes the Foundations of Early Development 

13: African American Boys' Journey to School Readiness: Part 2
15: The Conversation Guide for Professionals on Substance Use, Children, and Families: Virtual Training 

15: Supporting Preschoolers' Peer Relationships
19: Juneteenth Holiday

19-21: PreK Least Restrictive Environment Collaborative Meeting 

21-25: FFCCHA Annual Conference
21: FHSA Professional Development Committee
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation National Office Hours


Member Information

Change of address, email or any information? You will need to login to your profile in our organization. 

Important Links

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.

#ThankfulThursday Join the Movement

Invite Member of Congress to your Head Start Program

Advocay Toolkit

Hosting members of Congress in your program is one of the most powerful ways to illustrate the value of Head Start and provide lawmakers with memorable experiences that can shape their decision-making.  

NHSA has created an excellent toolkit providing programs with a quick and easy way to start. FHSA suggests you download the guide, and if you need any assistance with setting up these visits, don't hesitate to contact FHSA at (850) 694-6477 or email [email protected] 


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]