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Help advocate for Head Start!

Where do your DPC contributions go?

Your contributions over past years have enabled NHSA’s advocacy to achieve far-reaching success.

In 2017...

  • NHSA fought for recent policy changes benefiting the entire Head Start community, including a reevaluation of the CLASS condition of the DRS that we have long argued is ineffective, arbitrary, and unnecessarily burdensome on Head Start programs.
  • NHSA's rational and consistent pressure on the Department of Health and Human Services led to a waiver of the new extended duration requirement, which we said was an unfunded mandate that would force programs to cut kids.
  • We cultivated new champions in a Republican-led Congress who are in key positions to impact funding for Head Start.
  • NHSA brought together more than a thousand Head Start parents, staff, and alumni to Congress in Fall 2017 to deliver a clear message: a strong Head Start is critical to our children’s future. While in DC, the parents also participated in an intensive leadership training program.
  • And despite budget cuts in most other areas of government, Team NHSA maintained a consistent level of funding for Head Start programs in the annual appropriations process.

In 2016...

  • We unified the Head Start field to ensure the community’s voice was strongest when the new Performance Standards were developed in 2016.
  • We cultivated celebrity advocates to increase support for Head Start among the general public.

In 2015...

  • 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.

In 2013 and 2014...

  • When political battles in Washington threatened Head Start 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 and 2012...

  • In 2011, NHSA organized a grassroots campaign in response to a proposed $1.2 billion cut to Head Start funding. During the nationwide “stroll-in day,” Head Start parents, staff, alumni, and students showed up at the district offices of members of Congress with facts, data, and personal stories reinforcing the critical need to protect services for at-risk children.  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.