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Responding to COVID-19
How Head Start can help support vulnerable children and families

NHSA COVID-19 Principles

In these unprecedented times, the National Head Start Association pledges to you:


We remain committed to our core mission, which is timeless: To coalesce, inspire, and support the Head Start field as a leader in early childhood development and education.

Safety is our utmost priority—from COVID-19, but also keeping children and families safe at home. Our work reflects that priority.

We acknowledge the unique pressures Head Start staff find themselves under professionally and personally, and will work to address those stresses.

We will continue to prioritize the needs of the whole family and the whole child. We will strengthen our partnership with parents to better meet the multitude of needs that are critical to every child’s healthy growth and development, including physical health, socio-emotional well-being and mental health, school readiness.

The economic impact of COVID-19 will continue to impact the well-being of families in unprecedented ways. We will lift up the importance of comprehensive Head Start services for both child and family as a model to be emulated.

We will collaborate with new and old partners, build new relationships, and strengthen existing ones, all in the name of supporting the Head Start community.

We will continue to prioritize our efforts on Capitol Hill to secure more funding for Head Start, recognizing the growing number of young children living in poverty need Head Start.

We will be creative and innovative in our approach—this unprecedented time calls for new thinking.

We recognize that returning to pre-COVID routines and practices will not take place soon, and will continually re-evaluate the needs of programs, children, and families and keep adjusting our work accordingly.

We acknowledge the future is unclear yet we remain unwavering in our work and commitment to you.

This is our promise to you, the Head Start family.


May 2020