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May 2022 | The Monthly Newsletter of the Florida Head Start Association

Letter from the Executive Director

The first week of May is reserved for celebrating our most essential worker, the Teacher. Teacher Appreciation Week is an opportunity for us to shine a light on a profession that resonates with the heart. Teachers are not only educating our children but sometimes serve as a parent figure, a mentor, and friend. They give us hugs when we need them and help lay down the foundation for long-term academic success. I did not attend Head Start or Pre-K, but I remember my favorite 1st grade Teacher, Mrs. Fore. She was such a caring and nurturing person that I could not wait to get to school to see her. She made you feel like your words mattered and encouraged "her kids" to take turns and respect one another. By the end of the day, I'm sure she was glad to see us go because we could certainly be a handful, but she would be all smiles and happy to see us return the next day. That's because she was passionate about teaching. After all it is heart work. Don't forget to take a moment to thank the teachers who made a lasting impression on your or your child's life.  

Last month we were brought news from the Office of Head Start regarding SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) being added as "public assistance" to the Head Start eligibility requirements. By adding this eligibility will ensure Head Start continues with is mission to serve the most at-risk children and families and advance equity.  FHSA has reached out to the Department of Children and Families to see if we can add SNAP families to our current TANF Data Sharing Agreement. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, you can read more about the SNAP change in Office of Head Start Updates.  

On April 14, Heather Wanderski, Program Operations Division Director, OHS, ACF, sent an email informing us Ms. Goss is no longer the Regional Program Manager of Region IV.  Desmond Clayton, Program Operations Manager within the OHS Program Operations Division, will serve as the Acting Regional Program Manager for Region IV.  Desmond has been with ACF for 13 years, has been in leadership with OHS for seven years, and has supported Region IV internally for over a year. FHSA welcomes Mr. Clayton and looks forward to collaborating and increasing communications.   

If your program or company is a member of FHSA but not represented on the board of directors, maybe now is the time? FHSA has one Director-At-Large seat, which needs to be filled by a qualified member from a Head Start/Early Head Start program in a Staff or Parent role or is a member under the Individual or Corporate Friends level. The deadline for self-nominations is Friday, May 13. Click here for more details.  

FHSA is thrilled to have Mrs. Kim Singer as Florida's new Head Start Collaboration Director. I hope you take a moment to read the interview below.  Once Kim has her contact details set up, I will be sure to send them out. 

Stay well, 

Wanda Minick
Executive Director


Meet Florida's New Collaboration Director, Kim Singer

The Florida Head Start Association (FHSA) is excited to announce Florida's new Head Start Collaboration Director, Kim Singer. Mrs. Singer comes to us from the Broward County Public Schools/Head Start Early Intervention/VPK Department, where she served as their Professional Development Teacher Specialist for over 8 1/2 years. In addition to this experience, she has more than 25 years of training in the early childhood and special education field. Her well-rounded VPK and Head Start resume is how she was selected to serve as Florida's next Head Start Collaboration Director. 

I had an opportunity to sit down with Kim and asked her to share a little bit more about herself so that we could all get to know her a little better. Click here to read the full article. 

Office of Head Start Updates 

SNAP-enrolled families now eligible for Head Start/Early Head Start

On April 21, 2022, HHS and the Office of Head Start released information memorandum ACF-IM-OHS-22-03, that utilizes existing flexibilities in the Head Start Act to allow programs to count SNAP enrollment as eligibility for Head Start and Early Head Start. Previously, the public assistance provision of the Act only applied to TANF and SSI. 

This is an important change to Head Start eligibility that will:

  • Reduce the administrative burden on families already eligible for HS/EHS to facilitate enrollment;
  • Expand the eligible population of HS to include more food-insecure children and families; and
  • Facilitate more partnerships between HS and local and state partners on coordinated and supportive outreach and enrollment.

OHS has provided a resource collection to support programs in implementing this change, including responses to anticipated questions and an updated Eligibility Verification form. Click here to access resources.  


FHSA Accepting Nominations 

The FHSA nominating committee is accepting nominations for the 2022-2023 Annual Awards program, which recognizes Head Start, and Early Head Start employees, parents, alumni, volunteers, and partners who have dedicated their time and talents to Florida's Head Start Community. 

Awards will be given during our annual awards luncheon on October 21, 2022. All nominations should be submitted by June 17. Click the learn more button below for award details. 


NHSA Updates 

NHSA Fiscal Year 2023 Recommendations Released

NHSA submitted its FY23 budget recommendations of $14.4 Billion dollars to Congress which is an increase over last year by $33 Million dollars. This ask is coming largely in part to answer the workforce challenges programs have been facing over the past two-year dues to COVID-19, loss of staff and pay parity.  In this ask is also a $600 Million for a 5.4% COLA which is far greater than what was given in FY22 of 2.3%. This increase is still below current rate of inflation. 

NHSA thanks HHS for administrative change to allow Head Start to reach SNAP-eligible families, April 21, 2022 

Washington, D.C. — This afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced via an Information Memorandum that children who qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can now be considered eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start prenatal-to-five services and supports, including school readiness, nutrition and family support. This administrative flexibility will supercharge Head Start’s work in local communities to prioritize service to families and children who most need it, especially those who are already eligible but are either unaware or reluctant to go through an additional administrative process.

“On behalf of the Head Start community, NHSA expresses our gratitude to leadership at the helm of HHS for taking action on behalf of food insecure children by clearing a pathway to Head Start’s comprehensive services, including nutrition.” said NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “While this change to the paperwork process may appear small, it will relieve a significant administrative burden that keeps children and families from enrolling. Anything we can do in these times to ease a burden on families recovering from this pandemic is good policy.” 

Take Action: Ask Congress to Support Head Start Workforce

The Head Start Workforce in Crisis

COVID exposed the early childcare workforce crisis we have known for years. Now is the time for us to rally for the children and families who count on Head Start to provide the care and education they need to succeed in school and in life. 

NHSA is calling upon the Head Start community to take action now: reach out to your members of Congress to support efforts in Workforce Compensation Realignment.


Upcoming Events


2- 5th: NHSA Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD

10th: FHSA Directors Affiliate Group Monthly Check-In

13th: Deadline to submit self-nominations for the FHSA Board of Directors


7-10th: RIVHSA Leadership Summit, Atlanta, GA 

 17th: Deadline to submit nominations for FHSA Annual Awards Programs

22-26th:Florida Family Child Care Home Association, Clearwater Beach, FL  


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

Annual Awards Program
Workplace Wellness Academy Training

Member Information

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Important Links


This month we are highlighting our Premier to Silver level Corporate Partners for their continued support of Florida's Head Start Community.  Click the logos below to learn more about these great partners.  

Want to see your logo here? Click here to get yours added.

Florida Head Start Collaboration Office
Learning Beyond Paper Logo
Frogstreet Logo
Kaumbu Logo
Lakeshore Logo
Lena Logo
North Star Marketing Logo
Teaching Strategies Logo
WellAir Logo


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]