Welcome to the Virginia Head Start Association 

What is Head Start?

Head Start is a national child development program for children from birth to age 5, which provides services to promote academic, social and emotional development for income-eligible families.

Created in 1965, Head Start is the most successful, longest-running, national school readiness program in the United States. Head Start is a child-centered, family focused, comprehensive and community-based program. Head Start provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, dental, mental health, social services and parent involvement opportunities to low-income children and their families. More than 21 million preschool aged children have benefited from Head Start.

2019 Virginia Head Start Fact Sheet

Our Mission

The Virginia Head Start Association dedicates itself to training and advocacy which enhances and fosters growth of individual members, member agencies, partners and others who impact the lives of children and families.

What's the latest?

Voices for Virginia’s Children 2019 Election Guide is now available! Use this guide to interact with candidates running for House and Senate to ask questions about issues impacting children and families in Virginia. This guide includes infographics, data, and talking points on early childhood education, foster care, mental health, family economic security and trauma-informed care.   

Other resources that you can access to elevate children and families in the 2019 election include: 

2019 Users Guide Webinar– Listen to our webinar for ideas and tips on using the Election Guide as a nonprofit organization or an individual.
2019 How-to Guide– Download tips for using the Election Guide.
2019 Social Media Toolkit– Download sample posts, graphics, and social media handles for candidates.

Voices is not hosting a forum this year, but instead is providing technical assistance. We hope organizations will consider using their guide for electoral advocacy or send to other organizations interested in doing so and/or collaborating with other organizations interested in taking the lead. This guide is intended to help inform candidates on issues that impact children! We hope you will keep it right next to your front door.#VAVOTES4KIDS.

Establishment of The Governor's Executive Leadership Team on School Readiness 

The Governor and First Lady announced an Executive Directive today to establish an Executive Leadership Team on School Readiness, which will be co-chaired by Commissioner Duke Soren and Chief School Readiness Officer Jenna Conway. 

 The team is being tasked with two core objectives:

  1. Ensure that all at-risk three-year-olds and four-year-olds in Virginia have access to a publicly-subsidized option; and 
  2. Ensure that all publicly-funded programs that serve children birth to five are measured as quality as part of a uniform quality rating system by 2025.

 The team is directed to: 

  1. Conduct a series of stakeholder listening sessions around the state to share needs assessment and strategic plan findings and to solicit feedback on how to improve school readiness in the Commonwealth.
  2. Analyze existing funding streams and formulas including, but not limited to the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI), IDEA Part B, Title I, Early Head Start, Head Start and the Child Care Development Block Grant in order to make recommendations on how to maximize access for underserved children and families. Analysis should illustrate what would be required to ensure that every underserved three-year-old and four-year-old has access to a publicly subsidized option by 2025 without jeopardizing access for infants and toddlers.
  3. Build, pilot and scale a uniform quality measurement and improvement system for all early childhood care and education programs that accept public funds to serve children five and under outside of their homes. 
  4. Develop recommendations to most effectively consolidate state oversight and administration for all early care and education programs that serve children out of their home.

 Here is another good summary:  https://bluevirginia.us/2019/07/gov-northam-establishes-executive-leadership-team-on-school-readiness

 You can read the full details here.  


Conference News

Health & Family Institute
November 13-15, 2019
DoubleTree Midlothian
1021 Koger Center Blvd, Richmond, VA 23235

Annual Conference
March 31-April 2, 2020
Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center
2371 Carl D. Silver Pkwy, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Director's Council 
June 23-25, 2020
Sheraton Ocean Front Hotel
3501 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451