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?

Virginia Receives Federal Funding of $9.9 Million for Preschool Development Grant

Welcome 2019! We are starting off the new year with good news for early childhood in Virginia. Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), in partnership with the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) and the University of Virginia (UVA), received a one-year $9.9 million competitive federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5). Read today’s press release for details. I see many collaborative practices coming into play. Some initiatives include producing a statewide needs assessment and strategic plan, aligning early learning standards, and developing kindergarten-readiness tools for teachers and families.

“With this funding, Virginia can accelerate the development of an equitable mixed-delivery system that delivers stable, affordable and quality early childhood care and education for the state’s families and children, particularly those who are most vulnerable and will benefit the most,” Bill Ermatinger, Board Chair of Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Read the full Governor's Press Release for more details.

We are looking forward to the Hill visits with the new 116th Congress and our Virginia Head Start Parent Ambassadors on January 30, 2019.

The 116th Congress has a historic number of new members. Today, NHSA took the first steps to ensure they were familiar with the #HeadStartAdvantage. Click here to see the video.

 Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam, and Chief School Readiness Officer Jenna Conway, visit Head Start classrooms and other early childhood facilities in a Back to School Tour.   

First Lady of Virginia, Pamela Northam

In June 2018, First Lady Pamela Northam announced a new initiative to bolster early childhood education in Virginia and improve student outcomes for youth across the Commonwealth. The First Lady will lead the effort to improve the quality of and access to early childhood education programs across Virginia, support the early childhood education workforce, and ensure that Virginia makes the most of early childhood education resources. “We believe that all children should have access to opportunities regardless of the circumstances into which they are born. Early childhood education is the best investment we can make in our future workforce,” said First Lady Pamela Northam. “I look forward to bringing my experience as a parent, therapist, science educator, and environmentalist to continue advocating for our youngest and most vulnerable Virginians.” 


News Links of Back to School Tour:





Conference News

Annual Conference

April 2-4, 2019
Southwest Higher Education Center
1 Partnership Circle, Abingdon, VA 24210

Registration now open!

Director's Council 
June 18-20, 2019
Sheraton Ocean Front Hotel
3501 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

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