Policy Principles


Download the Head Start California Policy Platform

Guiding Principles

Alignment – Balance eligibility, compensation and reimbursement.

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

Flexibility – Encourage adaptability and innovation.

We must give service providers the flexibility to adapt services and leverage funding to fit local need and to innovate in designing new services.

Advancing systemic change

that recognizes and dismantles differences in educational outcomes as a result of who children are, where they live, and what resources their families have. All children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Legislative Priorities


  • Funding for Protracted Pandemic Operations: Increased ongoing funding for increased operational costs for technology equipment, PPE and cleaning/sanitation; and additional staffing costs for required safety procedures.
  • Service delivery: Head Start service delivery models must be redesigned to be appropriate for distance learning and technology.
  • Allocation of funding: Shift state-subsidized childcare allocation from contracts based on attendance to multi-year grants based on enrollment to mirror Head Start. (BRC Report, p. 72)
  • Coordination: Policies and regulations that improve the transition of children from the ECE system to the K12 system, with “locally driven agreements between LEAs and Head Start agencies (as required by ESSA) and other entities carrying out early education development programs. (BRC Report, p. 64)
  • Trauma-informed supports: Funding and resources to support mental health needs of family and staff, and additional staff training for more trauma-informed care.
  • Disaster Response: Strengthen the ability of Head Start and ECE providers to serve families during disasters and prepare for future disasters. (BRC Report, p. 64)
  • Access: Policies and funding that guarantee equitable internet access for all families, especially for those where access is either not available or not affordable.



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