Policy Positions

Head Start California is committed to providing more children aged 0-5 and their families access to Head Start and Early Head Start’s high-quality school readiness and comprehensive services and to improving the early childhood education and care system for the most vulnerable children in California.

Policy Principles

Funding – More children, quality programs, stronger profession.

We support federal and state funding that will allow Head Start to serve more children and families, recruit and retain qualified staff, and invest in data-driven program improvement. We support:

  • prioritizing and increasing funding for pregnant mothers and children zero to five years of age.
  • sustaining federal funding for local programming
  • aligning state funding to layer with federal funding
  • increasing funding so more children in poverty have access to Head Start’s comprehensive services and school readiness program.
Alignment – Balance eligibility, compensation and reimbursement.

We support policy changes that strengthen and align poverty eligibility guidelines, staffing requirements and wages, and reimbursement rates that will attract qualified staff to the field and allow families in or near poverty to qualify for services.

Simplicity – Less is more.

We support policy changes that reduce and simplify regulations that remove unnecessary administrative burdens and free agencies to focus on serving children.

Flexibility – Encourage adaptability and innovation.

We support policy changes that give service providers the flexibility to adapt services and leverage funding to fit local need, and to innovate in designing new services.

2019 Federal Priorities 2019 State Priorities
1. Urge congress to raise the debt ceiling before March 1, 2019 to avoid sequestration and cuts in any discretionary program. 1. Ensure Head Start is an active partner in the State’s approach to expanding care for pre-school aged children.
2. Petition congress to provide Head Start with: a. funding for the implementation of the revised Head Start Performance Standards. b. COLA increases to pay staff fair and competitive wages. c. funding that earmark 2. Broaden and encourage the use of Early Head Start home visiting as model and collaborator as opportunities arise
Advocacy Success

AB-605 (Mullin) was signed by the Governor in September 2018. It requires CDSS to adopt regulations on or before January 1, 2021, to create a child care center license to serve infant, toddler, preschool, and school-age children and requires all day care centers to be licensed as child care centers before January 1, 2024. This has been a multi-year goal of the association.
AB-2626 (Mullin) was signed by the Governor in September 2018. It raises income eligibility threshold for families initially applying for subsidized child care services; removes certain age restrictions for CSPP; provides staff training for providers of contracted center-based care; and increases flexibility in funding adjustments for contractors.