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NHSA Initiative
A Year of Whole Health
Supporting all aspects of health for Head Start children, families, and staff

The Challenge

Programs need more resources to support children’s mental health needs, challenging behaviors, and many other aspects related broadly to health.

The Response

Each month during the Year of Whole Health, NHSA is sharing resources, webinars, and other tools dedicated to supporting a specific area of health that is important to the Head Start field.

The Goal

Our aim is to help improve the culture of health in Head Start programs, communities, and homes to support better outcomes for children and families.

Supporting Whole Health for Children, Families and Staff

The National Head Start Association is engaging in a new initiative during the 2018-2019 program year to support all aspects of health. This year-long campaign is bringing a renewed focus to specific areas of health, which were identified as priorities for the field through surveys and other outreach. NHSA is using this opportunity to share resources, webinars, and other tools to help promote and improve the health and wellbeing of Head Start children, families, and staff. 

What is Whole Health? 

Head Start values good health as the foundation of school readiness and child development. The Head Start model takes a Whole Child approach to health by providing comprehensive health services and support to children and families. Across the nation, Head Start programs are providing nearly a million children and their families a year with health services such as immunizations, dental, medical, and mental health, and nutritional services, and early identification of health problems. 

Since the health of a child is impacted by the environment in which he or she grows and develops, the Head Start model also aims to promote the health of the child’s family, caregivers, and surrounding community. 

The Year of Whole Health will reflect this holistic approach to wellness.

A Month-by-Month Focus

During the Year of Whole Health, each month is dedicated to a different health topic important to the Head Start field. Topic-specific webinars, blog posts, resources, and other tools are being provided each month to support programs in their efforts to improve the health and wellness of all children, family, and staff in Head Start. Follow #HealthyHeadStart on social media for the latest updates from NHSA about this initiative.

September: Supporting Children and Families Impacted by the Opioid Epidemic

October: Nutrition & Gardening

November: Supporting Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness

December: Supporting Children with Challenging Behaviors 

Have questions about this initiative or want to share ideas for what you would like to learn more about this year?