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NHSA Initiative
Quality Initiative
Head Start Performance Excellence and Quality Recognition Program

 

Program of Excellence

Children First, Inc.

Sarasota, FL

Designation Term: 2016-2021

Founded by the Junior League in 1961, Children First, Inc. proudly operates a total of 13 sites strategically located in Sarasota County, Florida serving 216 Early Head Start children (including pregnant moms) and 312 Head Start children, as well as children in our Early Childhood Education Program (children in Florida’s Voluntary Pre-kindergarten program, and state scholarship or private pay), blending services while providing the comprehensive Head Start model to all. 

Areas of innovation include: Nurturing Dads Initiative, Families First Institute, Mental Wellness Support Program, Take Stock in Children First, Raise Your Hand Campaign, numerous community partnerships and a strong and involved Board of Directors.

Our mission reflects our underlying aspiration for the successful achievement of Head Start and Early Head Start goals and objectives and our main priority of kindergarten readiness for all children and self-sufficiency for the families we serve.

This is Children First’s third Program of Excellence designation.

 

Program of Excellence

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, Inc. Migrant & Seasonal Head Start

San Luis Obispo, California

Designation Term: 2016-2021


The Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program of Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County serves approximately 2,500 children and their families annually.  It provides comprehensive, high quality child development options in nine California counties. 

The program has developed innovative models in the areas of family child care; parent, family, and community engagement; gardening and natural play; professional development for parents, staff, and community partners; and technology-based training, resources, and tools.  Specific innovations include:

 

  • an annual conference for family child care providers
  • parent and family engagement forums
  • couples forums
  • development of a garden coordinator position
  • an online, real-time intranet site that houses resources, policies and procedures, and program-produced informational and training videos

The program has received two previous Quality Initiative awards.  In 2007 it received the designation and in 2013 it was recognized as a Program of Excellence.     

Testimonial

"The Quality Initiative has helped our programs focus on our achievements, where we are, and where we wish to go. It has also helped us craft descriptions of various program components, which we now use in program brochures and other promotional tools… Lastly, MSHS staff has taken pride that they are part of an excellent program, and this has assisted with maintaining a high level of morale."

Program of Excellence

Community Services for Children Head Start/Early Head Start of the Lehigh Valley

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Designation Term: 2015-2020

Community Services for Children Head Start and Early Head Start of the Lehigh Valley serves 1,240 children and their families in center-based and home-based settings. In addition to earning the NHSA Quality Initiative Program of Excellence designation, some of the program’s other notable accomplishments are accreditation by the Middle States Association, all eligible Head Start and Early Head Start sites are accredited by the National Association for Education of Young Children and the Early Head Start Home Visitation option has been designated as an Evidence Based Program by DHHS and the State of PA, OCDEL. The program’s special initiatives include a STEM Demonstration Classroom, Literacy Technology Preschool Labs, Natural Learning and Arts Integration and University Research Grants.

Program of Excellence

Head Start of Greater Dallas

Dallas, Texas

Designation Term: 2016-2021

Head Start of Greater Dallas, Inc. (HSGD) began in 1968 and is a single purpose 501©3 that serves infants, toddlers and children ages zero to age five, as well as pregnant mothers. The agency currently serves 4,152 Head Start & Early Head Start children and their families at 46 centers located throughout low-income areas of Dallas County at stand-alone centers, ISD’s, childcare partners and delegates. HSGD is proud of its service delivery model of NAEYC accredited full day, full year locations open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday from mid-August to early June. Four locations offer both Head Start and Early Head Start services are open year round.

HSGD’s competitive advantage is their dedicated staff and the agency-wide belief in excellent customer service both internally and externally. HSGD employs data based decision making in all aspects of operations.  Our focus is a shared vision and goal of providing high quality school readiness outcomes for children and family self-sufficiency. Head Start of Greater Dallas, Inc. offers children a rich learning environment that promotes growth in all domains. Further the curriculum is enhanced with science, technology, engineering and math as well as programming for dual language learners.  

Testimonial

"The NHSA QI designation is another opportunity to review and analyze HSGD systems, procedures, practices and resource allocations against a credible quality metrics to ensure we continually provide the highest quality and best value child and family service programming possible."

Program of Excellence

Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) Head Start/Early Head Start

Tampa, Florida

Designation Term: 2016-2021

For over 50 years, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) Department has been serving the local community, and has successfully prepared thousands of at-risk children for entry into the school system by providing them with comprehensive services. Currently we serve 3,107 three and four year olds and 343 infants and toddlers (including 24 expectant parents) through its 19 Hillsborough County operated centers, 4 contracted centers, and 3 delegate agencies; the Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS), Lutheran Services Florida (LSF), and the Tampa Metropolitan Area Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). The Hillsborough County HS/EHS program is one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. The HS/EHS program operates a full-day/full-year program for low-income families who are either working a minimum of 20 hours per week, in school or job training.

Program of Excellence

Lutheran Services Florida Pinellas Head Start/Early Head Start

Largo, Florida

Designation Term: 2015-2020

Lutheran Services Florida Pinellas Head Start/Early Head Start serves 1600 children and families in Pinellas County, FL. Pinellas Head Start/Early Head Start has strong leadership, is intentional about measuring their performance, and using data to inform and drive program improvements. Effective mentor coaching and training and support program’s for parents are also embedded into program practices.

Program of Excellence

Mid Florida Community Services, Inc. Head Start

DeLand & Brooksville, Florida

Designation Term: 2016-2021

Mid Florida Community Services (MFCS) Head Start is proud to serve 977 children and their families through center-based services in three counties in central Florida. 

By ensuring all teachers are bachelor degreed and have been trained in “Making the Most of Classroom Interactions” (MMCI), Mid Florida Community Services’ CLASS scores have consistently exceeded the national average.  Their partnership with a local school district to provide blended classrooms, staffed by Head Start and the LEA, have further ensured that strong support services are provided for children with disabilities.

Mid Florida Community Services works closely with local higher education institutions to enhance services in their program, while also providing practical experiences for the university students.  This, along with other community partnerships, has allowed MFCS to implement a number of innovative initiatives such as, school gardens with the University of Florida extension office, Arts on the Grow with the Museum of Art – Deland, and 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go! with the local health departments.

Program of Excellence

Parents In Community Action

Minneapolis, MN

Designation Term: 2016-2021


Founded by concerned parents in 1969, Parents In Community Action, Inc. (PICA) is a private, nonprofit agency that operates Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Hennepin County, Minnesota, and provides a wide range of other early childhood and family development services for young children and their families living at or below the federal poverty level. As the largest provider of Head Start and Early Head Start services in the state of Minnesota, PICA serves over 2,600 low-income children and their families in 12 state-of-the-art early childhood centers located throughout Hennepin County. An NHSA Program of Excellence since 1999, PICA has been recognized nationally for its locally designed program options, its successful in-house parent training programs, its model of inter-agency collaboration, and its pioneering work in the area of male involvement. 

Testimonial

"Maricopa County has been recognized as a NHSA Program of Excellence since 2003. This designation is a reflection of the high quality work we do to support children and families in reaching positive school readiness outcomes. This recognition has allowed us to showcase the innovative partnerships and activities that have led to reaching our program goals and objectives and to share our success with the Head Start community."

Program of Excellence

Salt Lake Community Action Partnership (CAP) Head Start

Salt Lake City, Utah

Designation Term: 2016-2021

 

Salt Lake CAP Head Start draws on its strengths and connections in the community to act more like a business to generate revenue. With federal Head Start budget cuts looming and fewer consistent donors, our director began to strategize ways to diversify funding streams, leverage new funders, and create sustainable sources of unrestricted revenue. Erin built relationships with the private sector, hired experienced and capable staff, and challenged herself and the community to collaborate in the interest of building sustainable and innovative solutions to poverty and hunger that would promise a strong return on investment.

Testimonial

"Salt Lake CAP Head Start applied for the QI because management and staff believe it is important to run a top-notch agency at all times. Children living in poverty should be able to receive the best services they can and SLCAP Head Start prides ourselves on being innovative, creative, fiscally responsible and a high functioning agency."