School may be out for many of our nation's schools and programs, but there is still much work to be done on behalf of our Head Start community! We need your help today and have included extremely important information in our Call to Action section which is at the top of this week's Update.
Please read this email and share it with others in your network. It contains a Call to Action (for which we really need your help ASAP), a Legislative Update, an Administrative Update, an NHSA Update, a Funding Opportunity, and some Additional Resources just for you!
NHSA UPDATE AT A GLANCE
June 9, 2010
Calling All Members of the Head Start and Early Head Start Community and All Friends of Head Start and Early Head Start:
We need your help and the time is now!
Congress may not approve the President's budget request for Head Start and Early Head Start for Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011), which means we could lose the gains we recently made through the Recovery Act.
Contact your Member of Congress and your Senator this week and make the following points:
We need to ensure that the Appropriations Committees' members are contacted by their constituents. If your Senator or Representative is on either of the lists below, please make sure you call or email ASAP. If your Senator or Representative, isn't on either list, please call or email yours and ask them to contact their Appropriations colleagues in support of your Head Start request.
To Call: The Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. Just ask for your Representative or Senator.
To E-mail: Go to the US Senate's website and click on your Senator's personal website or go to the US House's website and click on your Representative's personal website. On each website, there is a contact or feedback form which will allow you to email him/her directly.
After you have contacted your Senators and Representative, please forward this email to all of your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers so that they can also support Head Start and Early Head Start. Don't delay, call today. Remember, raise your hand! Use your voice! Together, we can make a difference!
If you have any other questions, or if you do not know who your Legislators are, please contact Tommy Sheridan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-739-7560.
UNITY IN THE HEAD START COMMUNITY REGARDING THE FY 2011 APPROPRIATIONS
Aligned in Message, Unified in Action: Our network of state, regional and national Head Start associations has delivered to Capitol Hill today a strong message regarding Head Start's ask for the upcoming Federal Fiscal Year 2011 of nearly $1 billion increase. This position supports the Obama Administration's ask as well as secures an estimated 24,000 new jobs created with ARRA funding and services to 64,000 very low income children and families. This letter authored by the National Head Start Association and signed by over 60 Head Start associations sets the stage for individual and collective advocacy over the next few critical months. Thanks to all who are working hard to ensure Head Start is Aligned in Message, Unified in Action.
There is no way around it: we are in the midst of a very tough political and budgetary climate. With the 2010 midterm elections on the horizon, Congress is trying to deal with the nation's deficit while determining federal spending for FY 2011. This is no easy task. As noted above, we are in jeopardy of losing our Recovery Act expansion gains especially if Congress decides to approve a Continuing Resolution (CR) instead passing a new appropriation, because the gains are not yet a part of our base grants. (The President's proposed budget for FY 2011 would make the Recovery Act expansion part of our base grants instead of a supplement.)
The latest news on Capitol Hill is that if the Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies (Labor H) decides to pursue an appropriations bill for FY 2011 that is not a CR, the bill mark-up will occur in late July. This means that Congress is working to put together the bill now and your call can make the difference!
In order to ensure that Head Start maintains its gains, it is important for the Head Start community to send a message to Capitol Hill about why we cannot afford to lose the investment of 24,000 jobs, 64,000 Head Start and Early Head Start slots, and other program expansions made in the Recovery Act.
Please see the Call to Action above for more information.
The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (known as No Child Left Behind) is seen as a priority by the Obama Administration and Congress. The Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee has held close to 10 hearings about the reauthorization of the bill. On Tuesday May 25th, Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate's HELP Committee and Long-time Champion of Head Start and Early Learning, called a hearing titled "ESEA Reauthorization: Early Childhood Education." The hearing was attended by 10 Members of the Majority and by Senator Richard Burr (NC) of the Minority. Barry Griswell, Larry Schweinhart, Robert Pianta, and Henrietta Zalkind testified. NHSA's Executive Director, Yasmina Vinci, and Legislative Associate, Tommy Sheridan, also attended the hearing.
The hearing's discussion focused on the importance of Early Learning on the long-term successes of a child, his/her family, and our nation's economy and society. All of the panelists agreed that an investment in Early Learning should be an essential backbone of the US education system, and they argued that the investment should be included in the ESEA. Under Chairman Harkin's leadership, many Senators adamantly supported the idea of investing more heavily in Early Learning and trying to build a seamless transition from Head Start and Pre-K programs into elementary schools.
We at NHSA are very enthusiastic about the discussion of the hearing and its potential outcomes. We will continue to follow and work with the HELP committee to support and recognize the importance of Early Learning in the next ESEA Reauthorization.
To see a recording of the Hearing or to read the testimony from the witnesses, click here.
This week, the White House asked non-security federal agencies, such as HHS, to list wasteful programs and produce budgets for fiscal year 2012 that cut spending by 5 percent. The lists to be produced do not mean that agencies will definitely make the cuts, but they are intended to identify federal programs that are not performing well. This effort is intended to help achieve the President's goal of freezing federal non-security discretionary spending through 2013 while still leaving enough money for new needs and priorities. The Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") continues to explain that this may still mean that certain programs within agencies could receive increases as long as the overall agency budgets are frozen. Stay tuned and get your Head Start success stories out in your communities, in the local media, and on Capitol Hill!
Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, Carmen Nazario, has announced she will be stepping down from her position at the Administration for Children and Families ("ACF") this coming July. In the interim, ACF's current Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, David Hansell, will serve as Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. We thank Assistant Secretary Nazario for her service on behalf of our nation's children and families and look forward to continuing our work with ACF to better the lives of our Head Start community.
Last week, NHSA convened a group of experts in Washington, DC from all parts of the field as a first step to begin thinking together about what's on the horizon for Head Start in 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to listen to feedback about challenges that programs face and begin to think about the next reauthorization, expected to begin in 2012.
In the form of a brainstorming session, participants discussed definitional issues in the Head Start Act, the Head Start funding formula, matching share, re-competition, program monitoring (and reviews, corrective action), scientifically based measures, self assessments, disability, enrollments, governance, transitions and alignment with K-12, collaborations, public reporting, eligibility (including categorical and income eligible issues), EHS, T/TA, staff qualifications and development, research and evaluations, salary cap, comparability of wages, political activities, and other topics.
We encourage you to begin to think about Head Start on the Horizon for 2012. Similar to our initial field meeting last week to listen to ideas about the Head Start Act and reauthorization, we would love for the field to begin to consider:
We are also keenly aware that part of the strength of the Head Start model is its multi-faceted approach. To that end, we'd like the field to begin to consider how we can best articulate and characterize the Head Start program's mission and purpose. Does Section 636 of the Head Start Act accurately capture what it is we do?
We suggest that others begin to convene discussions about these issues within their regional, state and local levels. Some may want to begin these conversations with their Boards, Policy Councils, program management and staff. Others may want to begin Futures groups of their own. Still others may already have different mechanisms in place to kick-start these discussions. Conversations in the field about where we're heading and where we'd like to be as reauthorization approaches can help us all move forward... together.
Based the ideas generated in our meeting, NHSA will be following up with State and Regional Directors about convening their own conversations to bring ideas to the fore with NHSA over the next year which we'll then be able to get to appropriate Senators and Representatives.
We look forward to hearing what your community has in mind!
NHSA is excited to welcome Jane Adams to our team! Jane is joining us as Director of Membership Development and Services and comes with extensive experience in both Head Start (as teacher, program director, state association leader, and T/TA provider) and in leading membership-centered initiatives in a large national organization. She brings both a passion for Head Start and a deep understanding of the issues Head Start is facing at each level. Jane came to NHSA for one reason and one reason only: to work and advocate specifically for you, the members of our community!
Additionally, we are also pleased to announce that Heather Gaskins will join the NHSA team as our new Development Director. Her primary role will be the development and implementation of a fund development program that includes corporate, non-profit, and foundation gifts and grants to maximize NHSA financial resources. Heather brings a wealth of experience and passion to NHSA. She has over 15 years of fund development experience with nonprofit and corporate organizations. Prior to joining NHSA, Heather spent 6 years at Mathcounts Foundation as their development director.
Please join us in welcoming Jane and Heather to our NHSA family!
Summer brings a number of excellent training events hosted by NHSA & Affiliates for Head Start directors, managers, specialist and other key program staff. For more information go to NHSA Affiliate Relations and click on the association nearby to you.
If you have questions, please contact Edward Condon, Director of Affiliate Relations - email@example.com to learn more and work collectively to move Head Start forward.
NHSA encourages you to attend Research on Young Children and Families: Launching the Next Decade for Policy and Practice-Head Start's 10th National Research Conference, which will be held June 21-23, 2010 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. Conference registration is free. There will be a major plenary session about the Head Start Impact Study findings at the conference at 8:30 am on Tuesday, June 22, and we encourage the Head Start community to come and attend these sessions. At the conference, NHSA's Public Policy and Research Director, Ben Allen, will be chairing a symposium on health outcomes in Head Start and will be a panelist on a conversation hour with other national organizations.
The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, in conjunction with the Office of Head Start; Administration for Children, Youth and Families; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is sponsoring this national research-to-practice conference. The conference focuses on identifying and disseminating new research relevant to young children (0-8 years) and their families while expanding dialogue and fostering partnerships among researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. The conference focuses especially on research relevant to low-income families. We hope you can join us in our nation's capital! To register for the conference, click here.
The New America Foundation invites you to a book reception featuring prominent researcher Ellen Galinsky, author of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 5:30pm - 7:00pm at the New America Foundation.
The New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative and Workforce and Family Program are hosting a lively discussion of Galinsky's findings and their implications for family, workforce and education policies. Participants include David Gray and Lisa Guernsey of the New America Foundation and featured author Ellen Galinsky.
For more information and to RSVP, please visit: New America Foundation: Mind in the Making Reception Information
The NHSA Leadership Institute will be held September 20-23, 2010 at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC. This institute will cover hot Head Start topics, including discussions about the revised Head Start Program Performance Standards, federal legislation affecting Head Start, ethics, media relations, Migrant/Seasonal Head Start issues, NHSA affiliate relations, new potential partners for Head Start, and a discussion about how to make Head Start part of a birth to grade 3 model. This institute will provide an opportunity for Head Start leaders to educate their members of Congress about the need to approve President Obama's FY 2011 budget proposal for Head Start. In addition, attendees will have an opportunity to celebrate Head Start's 45th anniversary at a celebration event on September 22. Additional information about the Leadership Institute and celebration will be posted in the upcoming weeks on the NHSA website.
The Health Services and Resources Association and the Administration for Children and Families have recently announced that $90 million in Affordable Care Act funding has been available for Maternal, Infant, and Childhood Home Visiting Program Grants. Click here for more information. Don't miss out on this opportunity!
With all of the additional scrutiny that Head Start programs are receiving, the recent allegations of improper eligibility determinations in the Head Start world should serve as a wake up call to programs across the country. Effective legal compliance is the name of the game across the board for the Head Start program, whether you are explaining your practices to funders, program reviewers, auditors or the media. So just how do you establish a culture of compliance in your Head Start program? Join Ted Waters of the Head Start Legal Advisory Service on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 3pm eastern time to learn:
Sign up today to learn about NHSA member discount pricing for both this webinar and the one below by clicking here. Then click on "Read More/Register" under "For Head Start Organizations."
We had such an overwhelming response to our previously conducted eligibility webinar, join Ted Waters again on Tuesday June 22, 2010 at 3pm eastern time for an encore of Head Start Eligibility!
Recently, ACF issued Program Instruction HS-10-02, Income Eligibility for Enrollment, that addresses how Head Start employees should be determining and verifying income eligibility. The new PI states that programs "should provide annual training to employees responsible for determining and verifying income eligibility and to ensure that those employees are fully aware of the consequences established by the grantee for employees who knowingly sign a verification form that contains false information." These consequences are legal. Help your program comply with the often-confusing eligibility rules, and ensure all of your employees who determine eligibility get needed training!
Ted will not only cover the basics of the Head Start eligibility process, but also discuss the legal consequences of knowing violations of the eligibility rules. This webinar, like our other eligibility webinars, will cover:
And, we'll include a special add-on to discuss the new Program Instruction and what it means for your program, including employees' responsibilities when it comes to reviewing eligibility documents and signing income verification forms. Tips for best practices will be included and your questions will be addressed.
Please go to: Head Start Legal Advisory Service Registration for registration.
**Please note: The Head Start Legal Advisory Service will be taking a breather for most of the summer and will be back as programs return to the classroom in late summer. During our summer hiatus, you can continue use our on-demand contentto view at your leisure for 30 days! Check out on-demand topics at: Head Start Legal Advisory Service Topics
NHSA is dedicated to making sure our Head Start children and families remain safe. To do so, we are bringing you the "Most Wanted" recall list from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC") to make sure your program staff and families are aware of the latest and most relevant recalls from the CPSC. Check out this list and links with additional information below:
Most Wanted List:
For more information on these and other recalls, please visit http://www.cpsc.gov/
Attendees of the NHSA Annual Conference Closing Session, Dallas, Texas
Wyoming Child and Family Development, Wyoming
Absaroka Head Start, Wyoming
Region X Head Start Association Neighbors In Need Of Services (NINOS), Texas
Texas Head Start Association, Texas
Goodwill Homes Community Services, Tennessee
Wateree Community Action, Inc., South Carolina
Woonsockett Head Start Parents Committee, Rhode Island
Tri-Town Community Action Agency, Rhode Island
Parents of East Bay Head Start, Rhode Island
Capital Area Head Start, Pennsylvania
PPS Policy Council Head Start, Oregon
Hillsboro Community Action Organization, Oregon
Office of Head Start Association, Oregon
NE Oklahoma Community Action Agency, Oklahoma
Williamsburg "Y" Head Start, New York
Warren County Head Start, New York
Head Start of Rockland, New York
New York State Head Start Association, New York
El Grito, Inc., New Mexico
Central Nebraska Community Services, Nebraska
Nebraska Head Start Association, Nebraska
Child and Family Development Program, Nebraska
Parents In Community Action Head Start, Minnesota
Catholic Charities, Maryland
St. Veronica's Head Start, Maryland
Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield Head Start, Massachusetts
South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc., Massachusetts
Kansas Head Start Association, Kansas
Upper League of Madison County Head Start, Indiana
Catholic Charities, Illinois
Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Florida
Edward C. Mazique Center, Washington, DC
Excelligence Learning Group, California
ECS Head Start Parents, California
Region IX Head Start Association
Head Start of Eastern Orange County, California
ECC of Nassau Parents, California
Gulf Coast Community, California
California Head Start Parents, California
Northern VA Council for Government Head Start
Pinal Gila Community Child Services Inc., Arizona
NHSA would like to give a big thanks to all of the programs who have donated to the Dollar per Child Campaign so far.
As you know, the funds from Dollars per Child help NHSA pay for all of our legislative efforts, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Head Start Appropriations, Early Learning Challenge Fund, and other legislative efforts. Your support of the DPC Campaign is vital to NHSA's advocacy efforts on behalf of the Head Start Community. We cannot do our work without your support!
Our work is far from done. With an ever-challenging budget situation in Washington, the struggle to preserve the gains of the ARRA will undoubtedly be even more strenuous in the coming years. So don't wait!!! Please send your contributions, whatever amount you can afford, whether it is $1 per child, $5 per child, or $10 per child. You can even easily donate online on our website.
Dollar per Child funds will ensure that NHSA can continue to lead the way in all of the future advocacy efforts coming up - from regulatory issues with the Office of Head Start, to additional fiscal year appropriations, to the next Head Start Act reauthorization, which is not far off. Remember, raise your hand! Use your words! Together we can make a difference. NHSA continues to work for you and with you on your behalf on matters of importance to the Head Start community.
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© National Head Start Association, 2010. All rights reserved. Please feel free to redistribute this NHSA Update in its entirety to your networks. When you do so, please ensure that NHSA is credited with its contents. Forwarding this email in this original form is sufficient observation of the copyright.