Welcome to Virginia Head Start Association!

The Head Start community in Virginia is a close, supportive network. We like to think of our fellow Head Start administrators, teachers, family advocates, home visitors, health coordinators, mental health consultants, bus drivers, cooks, and HR staff as part of a diverse team working together to provide the very best early childhood educational experience for Virginia's children. 

Dawn Ault, Executive Director

As an integral part of our community, Virginia Head Start Association's mission is really about you -- we are dedicated to help you grow as individuals and as programs, whether through training, education, advocacy or community building. We are only as strong as our members. If you have ideas on how to make VAHSA an even stronger organization, please share those with us.

 Thank you for all you do, every day, to have a positive impact on the lives of Virginia's children and families. 


 What's the Latest?    

New VAHSA Staff Member!

We have a new Communication and Events Manager. Melissa Palombi is a positive, creative collaborator, experienced in executing diverse events from brainstorming to day of execution. Raised in the DC area, she has returned to the east coast via Colorado and finds the Shenandoah as comforting as the Rockies. Her background is in the arts having received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon. In Colorado, she earned her MA in Art History and completed coursework in K-12 art education before returning to Virginia. Melissa most recently worked for 7 years at UVA in the Athletics Marketing and Communications Department coordinating large events and school programs.

In her spare time, she produced a cookbook called, Hoos in the Kitchen, which features University of Virginia staff, alumni, and Charlottesville residents, telling their stories through a shared love of food. She is thrilled to apply her skills in marketing/communications, education, and event production, to support the VAHSA.

 Upcoming Events:

Region III Virtual Training Series: Trauma Informed Care -- CLICK HERE! Starts January 27, 2020

Health and Family Institute Virtual Conference

March 28, 2022- April 1, 2022

Click below to learn more!















Alumni News:

Virginia Head Start Alumna Azhane Pollard who is Virginia’s 2021 Poetry Out Loud Champion.

See her 2021 Poetry Ourselves spoken poetry winner for the poem “Generations.”

Read More here:

National Endowment for the Arts