From Pre-K to Home Visiting to child care, state early learning initiatives and decisions impact the lives of millions of children and families across the nation - as well as every Head Start and Early Head Start program.

NHSA Data Guidebook for States_2.10.21_Page_01

Playbook on Data-Informed Advocacy for Head Start and Early Head Start

The purpose of this data guide is simple. It is to teach the skills of using data to make the case for investing in Head Start and Early Head Start to address the rising tide of need in your state. Used wisely, data can provide policymakers and community leaders the insight and information they need to make smarter investments in the success of every child.

This Guidebook was prepared by Transform Consulting Group in consultation with the National Head Start Association (NHSA). NHSA is grateful for their expert support.

Background Resources

Find background information on the role states can and should play in early childhood development and education.


Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV)

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program provides funding to states for programs that seek to support low-income pregnant women and families with children birth to 5 to access the resources and develop the skills needed to raise a healthy child. Currently, about 17 states use MIECHV funds to augment their Early Head Start - Home Visiting program.

Child Care and Development Fund

The Child Care Development Fund (CCDF), including the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), is a Federal funding stream administered by states used to provide child care subsidies to low-income working families. Find more information about your state's CCDF efforts here.


State Early Learning Efforts

Learn about other Federal and State investments into early learning systems and programs here.

Quality Ratings and Improvement System

Quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) development and implementation is part of a larger conversation around what defines quality for early childhood programs and what the essential building blocks are for a well-financed, high-quality early care and education system. Find out more here.


Kindergarten Entry Assessments

Kindergarten entry assessments, sometimes known as kindergarten readiness assessments, are being developed by states to assess what children know and are able to do as they enter kindergarten. The results are used to inform better policies and resources for the years prior to kindergarten, and to help provide high-quality instruction and supports so that every child will be successful in the kindergarten year.