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Dollar Per Child
Supporting Advocacy

About the Campaign

Millions of American children are in desperate need of the window of opportunity for success in life that Head Start provides. Through Dollar per Child, NHSA ensures that the voices of these at-risk children and their families are heard.

Why Dollar per Child?

Convincing Congress, and voters who are leery of any national program, is extraordinarily difficult these days. That’s why we need a dollar per child - one dollar for each of the million children in the Head Start program across the nation.

Where do your contributions go?

NHSA’s advocacy work ensures that every single Head Start child, family, and program has their voice represented in the halls of Congress, before the White House, and in your state capital. Some of the successes your contributions have enabled over the years include:

  • In 2017, NHSA brought together more than a thousand Head Start parents, staff and alumni for the Families Unite for Head Start Hill Day and Spirit Rally in Washington D.C. The army of grassroots advocates delivered a clear message to Congress: a strong Head Start is critical to our children’s future. After getting fired up at a Capitol Hill rally featuring more than a half dozen Congressional Head Start champions, the supporters from all over the country hit the halls of Congress to share their personal experiences in face-to-face meetings with their elected representatives. While in D.C., the Head Start parents also learned new leadership skills and strategies through NHSA’s first ever Parents as Leaders training program.
  • In 2016, NSHA secured the support of Hollywood actor and children's book author Taye Diggs to serve as the Head Start community’s Child Literacy Ambassador. He promoted Head Start through social media, lent his support to our national reading month advocacy activity and traveled to our nation's capital to meet with members of Congress to let them know what a difference the Head Start advantage can make. To show his commitment to NHSA’s advocacy work, he even contributed $25,000 to the 2017-2018 Dollar per Child Campaign himself!
  • In 2015, NHSA led a year-long, national celebration of Head Start's 50th anniversary. Advocacy activity on social media channels reached nearly 7 million people on May 18th alone!
  • Moreover, in celebration of Head Start’s 50th, NHSA helped draft and publish 57 op-eds and letters to the editor in all 50 states, with more than 130 news articles about Head Start sent to Capitol Hill, and over 40 visits by Members of Congress to their local their Head Start program.
  • When political battles in Washington were threatening Head Start’s funding in 2013, NHSA led the Head Start community in an intense, impassioned national appeal to Congress to restore the 57,265 slots and 18,000 staff positions that had been lost due to sequestration. By mid-January 2014, the funding was restored and an additional $500 million was secured for the expansion of Early Head Start. Additional advocacy efforts resulted in this new Early Head Start funding becoming permanent.
  • In 2011, NHSA organized national stroll-ins in response to a proposed $1.2 billion cut to Head Start funding. Our campaign not only prevented the cuts, it resulted in a $300 million increase from Congress—a $1.5 billion swing in funding for Head Start.
  • Every day, NHSA is advocating for Head Start on Capitol Hill with leaders from both sides of the aisle, collaborating with influential stakeholders who support the Head Start model for early childhood development, and bolstering programs across the country through our positive national media campaign. Our mission is to create a unified voice in the halls of power for the millions of children, pregnant mothers and families who have a window of opportunity through Head Start.

The 2017-2018 Campaign

The goal of the 2017-2018 is to raise one dollar for each of the one million children in Head Start programs across the nation. The campaign started on July 1, 2017 with a public launch in October in honor of Head Start Awareness Month.

At the opening session of the 2018 NHSA Annual Conference, we will recognize the programs, states, regions, and partners who have chosen to demonstrate their commitment to Dollar per Child once again by presenting a check before thousands of their colleagues. We will also recognize the top contributing program winners for each month along with our top contributing state and region to date by bringing them on stage.

This year we’ve improved our online giving ability to ensure that each and every online contribution will be credited to a local program, state, and region. Programs can fundraise through online donations and/or community events.

At the opening session of the 2018 NHSA Annual Conference, we will recognize the programs, states, regions and partners who have chosen to demonstrate their commitment to Dollar per Child once again by presenting a check before thousands of their colleagues! We will also announce the top contributing program, state and region to date!


Get involved today!

Interested in contributing to Dollar per Child, but not sure how to get involved?  Download our resource, "Making the Case for Dollar per Child" and check out our Dollar per Child Toolkit, equipped with turn-key fundraising activities and best practices for a program and staff.

You can also contribute now.

Fundraising FAQ

"I work for a Head Start program - am I allowed to raise funds for Dollar per Child?" and other questions answered on our Dollar per Child FAQ. For a quick review of the basics, see our Do’s and Don’ts of DPC Fundraising.

Special thanks to Discount School Supply, Dollar per Child’s top corporate friend for the 2016-2017 Campaign!



Where do Dollar per Child contributions go?

NHSA's advocacy for Head Start is funded exclusively by your Dollar per Child contributions.

Mailing a Check?

Checks can be mailed to: PO Box 759400, Baltimore, MD, 21275