Good Morning Colleagues!

I’m excited to let you know that the Administration has just announced the highly-anticipated Final Rule – the fresh Head Start Program Performance Standards. When the Notice of Proposed Rule Making was released last summer, the whole Head Start community worked together to request changes that would ensure that the final Standards would maintain and strengthen The Head Start Advantage. Ultimately, our comments included sign-ons from all state and regional Head Start associations, NMSHSA, NIHSDA, over 200 programs, over 800 individuals, and numerous partners. When we speak with one voice, we are powerful! The Final Rule reflects many of the important changes we proposed.

We are now delving into the details of the new Standards — confirming that they achieve the goals of providing greater clarity and flexibility, reducing bureaucracy, streamlining the requirements, and empowering programs to pursue what they know is best for the children and families in their communities. At first glance, we have already noted some significant positive changes in the areas of duration, local flexibility, and family engagement. We applaud the Administration’s attempt to streamline the Standards to make them more accessible and workable for practitioners, while not compromising Head Start’s hallmark of high quality.

NHSA is committed to supporting programs as the new Performance Standards make their way into our everyday practice. We have planned a series of webinars and have begun building useful resources. The following are available:

  • Learn more:
    • Webinar 1: Our Non-Negotiables: Local Flexibility, Program Duration, Family Engagement September 13, 2016, 3 PM EST – Register here!
    • Webinar 2: The First 60 Days – October 3, 2016,  3 PM EST – Register here!
    • Webinar 3: Looking Ahead to the Next Year – October 24, 2016, 3 PM EST – Register here!
    • Webinar 4: Programs’ Impressions – November 21, 2016, 3 PM EST – Register here!
  • Sign up to get updates and ask questions
  • Join us at our Fall Leadership Institute and NHSA Parent, Staff and Leadership Training Conference for special sessions and trainings on implementing the Standards
  • Get the Word Out!

We look forward to working with you in the coming months to successfully implement the new Head Start Program Performance Standards. But right now, let us all take a moment to celebrate the collective power of the Head Start community. Together we were the untiring voice that would not be quiet – we advocated for maintaining and strengthening the Head Start model of support for the whole child, the family, and the community. And as a result, our children and families will continue to have what they need to succeed.

In partnership,

Yasmina Vinci, NHSA Executive Director

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