September 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 

FHSA Fall Leadership Training

What's Happening Around the State

Updates from NHSA

Employment Opportunities

Calendar of Events

September 2020

15 - NATIONAL PRENATAL-TO-3 RESEARCH TO POLICY SUMMIT: Building a State Policy Roadmap to Strengthen the Earliest Years  

16 - Using CLASS® for Quality Improvement: Supports for Head Start Programs

17 - Reaching Out to Families

21- NHSA Fall Leadership Institute 

23- WEBINAR: Policy Update on School Discipline Practices for Children with Disabilities

29 - RIVHSA's 2020 Virtual EHS Institute

October 2020 

05 - Zero to Three Annual Conference 2020

15 - FLAEYC Annual Conference

28 - Enrolling Children and Young Families Experiencing Homelessness in Early Head Start

Letter from FHSA Executive Director 

September is in full swing, and Head Start programs around the State are back in action doing what they do best, helping children and families. Either from a brick and mortar structure to a virtual platform, Florida's most vulnerable are not forgotten because of YOU!

As the new school year launches, there is still a lot of unknowns about how we move past this pandemic and get back to the way things were pre-COVID. But the question remains, do we want to go back to the way things were? I vote NO! We were living in a very topsy turvy world. Now, it's time to hit the reset button and make changes. I believe people now realize how important everyone is in the world and how we all play a part. Be kind to your neighbor, be grateful for the life you have, and don't take the day for granted. Start and become proactive about what's important to you and how you can make the difference. A great way to start is by standing up for Head Start and let your voices be heard. Tell your Legislators about how you have responded during this crisis and how your local program has continued to serve your community through remote leaning, addressing food insecurity, and providing ongoing family support. We need to continue touting the message that #HeadStartWorks but still needs help. 

Head Start needs additional funding to operate under COVID-19. Nationwide Head Start needs $1.7 billion to operate through the calendar year successfully. Due to the increased costs of sanitation supplies, staffing, and technology. Let's not forget about the Cost of Living Adjustments and the continued need for Quality Improvement Funding so that programs can continue to serve children and families experiencing trauma. Let's come together as a Head Start community with a united message as we approach NHSA Fall Leadership Institute virtual Hill Day event on September 24. If you have not signed up yet, there is still time. Please visit Updates from NHSA to learn more about getting involved. 

Don't forget, FHSA membership renewals are going on now. Membership runs October 1 - September 30 each calendar year. You still have time to submit your renewal. If you need assistance with renewing, please don't hesitate to reach out to me directly either by email [email protected] or phone (850) 694-6477. 

In partnership, 

Wanda Minick
Executive Director

Updates from the Office of Head Start 

Designation Renewal System Changes in 2020

On August 27, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released three changes to the conditions used to determine whether local Head Start grantees have to compete for continued funding. These changes will not only provide a consistent, stable target for Head Start programs to work toward, and they will also encourage programs to approach this work through a quality improvement framework, ensuring the highest level of quality for children in Head Start. 

  • The new DRS rule holds Head Start and Early Head Start agencies accountable for delivering high-quality and comprehensive services by ensuring the best grantees are providing services to Head Start children and families in each local area.

  • The final rule on the Designation Renewal System will become effective on October 27, 2020.

  • Head Start programs promote school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by supporting the development of the whole child.

To learn more about these changes and watch webinars released by the Office of Head Start, click here. 

Visit the OHS COVID-19 resource page for the most current and updated information

Updates from the Office of Early Learning 

Have you seen OEL September Parents' Pages? This is the official newsletter of the Office of Early Learning that's chock full of resources and helpful guidance to assist children and families during the new school year. You can view it here. 

FHSA Fall Leadership Training 

Join FHSA November 19 & 20th for its first-ever Data Camp training. This training will be part of FHSA Annual Fall Leadership Training event. 

This unique two-day professional development opportunity is designed for program directors and data managers, focusing on the many changes to Head Start/Early Head Start with regards to data and continuous quality improvement. It is required that organizations send a team of two, the program director and the data manager.  Registration will be opening soon. To learn more about this training, visit our website 

What's Happening Around the State 

Curious About What Head Start Looks Like in COVID Times? 

The Orange County Head Start program opened up their classrooms last week, offering virtual and face to face to their families. Check out these slides to view how Head Start is still making it happen. Thank you to Sonya Hill and her team at OCHS, Hungerford Head Start center, for sharing how they are making safety a priority while prioritizing the needs of the whole family and child. 

Children's Home Society Launches Free 24/7 Support

Right now, life is hard. Overwhelming. Exhausting. Lonely – even if you have a houseful of kids.

But you are not alone – and you don't have to go through this alone. Day or night, you have a listening ear and compassionate guidance with a caring counselor through Children's Home Society of Florida's Family Support Warm Line. It's completely free. Completely confidential. And available around the clock, 24/7.


Children First Receives $10,000 Grant From Suncoast Credit Union

Suncoast Credit Union has awarded Children First a $10,000 grant to provide scholarships for at-risk children and families in Sarasota County. Scholarships are one of the agency's highest priorities, creating opportunities for children living in poverty to make important cognitive, social, and developmental gains, so they are on par with their peers and ready for success in kindergarten and beyond. 

Updates from NHSA 

Join NHSA for their annual Fall Leadership Institute September 21-24, 2020, via an online portal. Don't miss this opportunity to hear from thought leaders, national political figures, and your colleagues or a week of in-depth policy discussion, practical training, and advocacy opportunities with members of Congress. Click here to learn more.

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. 

Employment Opportunities

Vocational Family Advocate | Children First, Inc., Sarasota, FL 

Head Start Lead Teacher Learning Empowered, St. Petersburg, FL 

Family Advocate | Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County 

>>> See More Job Openings  

The census deadline is quickly approaching. 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. Deadline: September 30, 2020!


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

(850) 694-6477