• Head Start California Updates
    Please welcome HSC’s newest team member, Edwin Abarca

    Head Start California is delighted to introduce its newest team member, Edwin Abarca, who joins us as the Administrative and Finance Coordinator. In this role, Edwin will be responsible for maintaining the association’s financial records, human resources and event registration support.
    Bringing a wealth of experience in office operations, Edwin most recently served at a local pistachio farm where he managed a team responsible for human resources, accounting, purchasing, customer service, and industrial safety. His professional background extends to various industries,

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  • Head Start California Updates
    Highlights from HSC’s Achievements in Fiscal Year 2023

    By: Melanee Cottrill, Executive Director, Head Start California
    Happy New Year – I hope it’s off to a great start. As I look ahead to what’s in store for 2024, I cannot help but also look back at what an incredible year fiscal 2023 was. I joined Head Start California in late July, only a few weeks after the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year. It was immediately clear that we have an incredibly talented team;

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  • Advocacy and Policy News
    Head Start California Advocacy Updates

     
    By: Melanee Cottrill, Executive Director, Head Start California
    Federal Advocacy  
    2023 has been a year like no other when it comes to federal advocacy. The federal budget remains in limbo, with the Department of Health and Human Services currently operating Head Start under a continuing resolution which expires on February 2. Three dueling budget proposals leave Head Start’s funding for the remainder of the October 2023 – September 2024 fiscal year uncertain: President Biden has proposed a 9% increase;

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  • Head Start California Updates
    HSC Announces Retirement of Joe Franklin, Manager of Finance and Operations

    It is with a sense of both gratitude and sadness that Head Start California (HSC) announces the retirement of Joe Franklin, who has devoted over six years of exemplary service as the Manager of Finance and Operations.
    During his tenure, Joe demonstrated exceptional leadership in overseeing the association’s financial operations, playing a pivotal role in managing the books and serving on both the audit and finance committees. His responsibilities extended to crucial areas of human resources,

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  • Advocacy and Policy News
    Major Updates Proposed to Head Start Program Performance Standards

    The Office of Head Start on Monday, November 20 issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) with major updates to the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS). This proposal represents the most consequential changes to Head Start since the 2015 reauthorization. The 282-page NPRM details 67 proposed new rules and initializes a public comment period that will close on January 19, 2024.
    We are confident that by working together, we can make our voices heard.

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  • Advocacy and Policy News
    Federal and State Advocacy Updates

     
    By: Melanee Cottrill, Executive Director, Head Start California
    Head Start California exists, in large part, to advocate on behalf of your program. It is my privilege to support such a worthy cause! Here are the highlights of our current advocacy efforts.
     
    Federal Advocacy
    Despite the fracas in the House of Representatives, October was a busy month. We are focused on three bills that would impact Head Start. The House and Senate’s dueling budget proposals are also on our radar,

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  • Head Start California Updates
    Head Start Looking Forward

    By: Guest contributor, Paul Behrman
    Walnut Leadership www.walnutleadership.com
    Friends in California! I bring you good tidings from the Brave Little State of Vermont!
    In July 2021, I began work as a national consultant, trainer and keynote presenter for Head Start organizations across the U.S. My national work, and continued advocacy for the Head Start program, builds on my 22+ years as a Head Start director in Vermont, and 20+ years as chair for the Vermont Head Start Association.

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  • Head Start California Updates
    Mapping the Road Ahead: Insights from the Head Start Professional Development Survey

    Here at HSC, we have two critical functions: advocacy and professional development. And our goal in everything we do is to meet your most pressing needs and make your life that much easier. To that end, this summer we teamed up with the Region 9 Head Start Association to conduct a survey on professional development needs. Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey! Your input is impactful and appreciated. We know you are asked to answer a lot of surveys and are grateful you chose to help map our future professional development offerings.

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  • Head Start Stories
    My Head Start Story: Ramona

    Story submitted by: Ramona Topete
    Family Development Educator – Early Head Start
    Child Development Resources of Ventura County, Inc.
    This interview was originally published by Child Development Resources in May 2023.
    Ramona wanted to share the story about her daughter, Isis Topete, and her experience as a CDR Head Start student in the late 90s and how that journey guided her to a career as a successful pediatric optometrist.
    “I didn’t know about Head Start back then,”

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  • Head Start Stories
    My Head Start Story: Brenda

    Story submitted by: Brenda Poteete
    Executive Director, Sierra Cascade Family Opportunities Head Start and Head Start Parent
    When I became a Head Start parent of two young children in 1987, I was working fulltime in a retail job and raising two children with my husband. We were enrolled in a home-based program and I went from being the shy parent who sat at the back of the room for parent meetings to being the parent committee representative and then to the chairperson of the Policy Council.

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