Arizona Head Start Association Newsletter
Arizona Head Start Association
March/April 2013 Happenings


Spring Greetings to our Head Start Friends and Colleagues!

By now, you've heard of the recent news of sequestration, which affects so many of us, especially those of us in federally funded discretionary programs. Like many of you, we've been very busy making plans A, B, C and planning for reduced funding. At this point, it seems there are many more questions than answers.

Thanks to so many of you who have asked about how this news affects our programs and services. It helps to know that so many care and are concerned about the continuation of services for our neediest children and families. As our programs throughout the state are all on different cycles of grant funding timelines, and have unique and locally designed services, the best answer is to steer you to your local Head Start program for those answers. You can find a list of all of the programs in Arizona at our website, by clicking here.

In the meantime, keep up with the news and remember to engage your elected officials and let them know how you feel - and - that you VOTE! While we do need to address our federal deficit issues, cuts to Head Start and other needed services won't solve the national problem. Our families need these services now more than ever.

Are you trying to find a Head Start program? Just click here!

Upcoming AHSA Events - Save the Date!


AHSA Health & Wellness Symposium - Phoenix
Open to Early/Head Start staff only

AHSA Quarterly Meetings and Training - Phoenix
May 15, 16, 17 - 2013
Training - TBD
General Membership/Committee Meetings
Board Meeting

AHSA Quarterly Meetings and Training - location TBD
September 11, 12, 13 - 2013 - Note NEW DATES
Training - TBD
General Membership/Committee Meetings
Board Meeting

7th Annual Mental Health Symposium - Phoenix
October 17 & 18, 2013
Call for Papers & Vendor/Exhibitor Information Coming Soon!

AHSA Quarterly Meetings and Training - Phoenix
November 20, 21, 22 - 2013
Training - TBD
General Membership/Committee Meetings
Board Meeting

Early Childhood Education & Preschool in the News!

In my 30+ years of active involvement with young children and families, I've watched the national conversation slowly elevate over time. Head Start, CCDBG, publicly funded Pre-K, Early Head Start, Home Visiting, NAEYC Accreditation, Developmentally Appropriate Practice, and especially BRAIN development and what SCIENCE can now tell us about the first few years of life...these are just a few highlights of how our field has grown in public awareness, perception, and credibility. Now, the President has made early childhood development a major piece in his State of the Union address! For the full transcript, click here.

Early childhood is indeed, in the news!

Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) Update

The Arizona Early Intervention Program has produced a new video with information for parents regarding the transition to Team Based Early Intervention Services for children who are eligible for AzEIP.

Click here to watch the video.

To see the list of current AzEIP Contractors (effective 4/6/13), click here.

Disability Resources

'People First Language' - Do you know what than means?

Too often, we fail to realize the power of our words to empower or limit people with disabilities. While having a disability is a part of who a person might be, it is not the whole of any person. However, when we use phrases like "autistic child," "disabled adult," and "wheelchair-bound friend," we are using a person's disability to define them and, in turn, limit them.

People-First Language is the first step in establishing an atmosphere of acceptance and empowerment. Make it a habit to put the person before the disability. Say "child with autism," "adult with a disability," or "friend who uses a wheelchair."

Here are some links to learn more here.

Take this Survey - We Need Your Input!

Arizona is developing an Early Childhood Professional Development System which includes a new website and registry. In order to best meet the needs of our early childhood workforce, we need your input!

Please take a few moments to complete this survey and feel free to forward to your colleagues who work with young children from birth through age 8.

Arizona Website & Registry Survey

School Expulsion and Zero Tolerance Policies

Out-of-School Suspension and Expulsion is a hot topic in our public schools throughout the country. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published an article citing pediatrician referral to early childhood education programs as one of the best methods of prevention. The role of the child's pediatrician is discussed here.


"A child's ability to succeed in school depends, to a great extent, on factors affecting the child's life well before the child begins school. Recognizing and addressing the socioeconomic and cultural risk factors affecting a child and the child's family are essential to maximizing a child's chances of success in school and to preventing, insofar as possible, the circumstances that may eventually lead to serious school behavior and discipline problems."

First on the list of recommendations is...

"The pediatrician should screen for and recognize early childhood and preschool behavior problems. Once a pediatrician identifies a high-risk child, the pediatrician should refer the child to age-appropriate community resources, such as Birth to 3, Head Start, or other school district and community resources. Early identification of and intervention to address potential mental health concerns are critical."

Read the entire article here.

FTF Early Childhood Therapist Incentives Program

Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Child Psychologists, and Mental Health Specialists may qualify for up to $44,000 for two year contracts for service in specific regions. SLPs completing the CFY are eligible. Physical Therapists may qualify for up to $54,000 for two year contracts.

Currently slots are funded for therapists in the following regions:

  • South Phoenix
  • Navajo Nation
  • Graham/Greenlee
  • Yuma
  • Central Pima (beginning 7/1/13)

We would be happy to make a presentation to students, therapists, and other groups if there is an interest. Please contact Sherry Haskins with any questions or if you would like to host an information presentation.

Stress & Trauma in Children

Local psychologist's book helps identify stress in children

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School has left many parents hugging their children a little closer but one Ahwatukee Foothills children's psychologist said it's getting back to the regular routine that will be most beneficial for kids.

Dr. Bhalla recently released her second book, "Stress in Children - Causes, Prevention and Intervention: A Guide for Parents and Teachers" and said the lessons taught in the book are especially timely now.

Dr. Bhalla has presented at AHSA's Mental Health Symposium with warm reception!

Another good source of resources comes from partners in Maryland, Resources for Dealing with Traumatic Events in Schools.


Our friends from CSEFEL at Vanderbilt, have provided this helpful resource, Teaching Your Child to: Identify and Express Emotions, for our very youngest learners. Young children deal with many of the same emotions adults do. Children get angry, sad, frustrated, nervous, happy, or embarrassed, but they often do not have the words to talk about how they are feeling. Instead, they sometimes act out these emotions in very physical and inappropriate ways.

Do You Work with Families?

The Head Start and Early Head Start Relationship-Based Competencies for Staff and Supervisors who Work with Families (RBCs) is a technical assistance resource that outlines the knowledge, skills, and actions for staff working with families in Head Start and Early Head Start (HS/EHS) programs. This document is a tool to assist programs with implementing the Head Start Program Performance Standards and the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework. These competencies represent both research-based and best practices in the early childhood, human services, and social work fields. This resource was developed with broad input from Head Start and Early Head Start programs, parents, and the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement.

Children of the Southwest

The Southwest is home to more than one-fourth of America's children. This unique set of publications brings some of America's most innovative thinkers together to examine the distinct needs of children in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah, and offer game-changing ideas to meet those needs. Take a look at Big Ideas.

Professional Development Opportunities

Office of Head Start's 2nd National Birth to Five Leadership Institute
April 28-30, 2013
Washington, DC
in conjunction with
NHSA 40th Annual Conference
Securing our Success: Kids Ready for School and Life
April 30-May 3, 2013
Washington, DC

2nd Annual EMPOWER Conference
Empowering Habits, Empowering Lives: Superheroes in Action
May 4, 2013
Phoenix, AZ

2013 National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute
May 13-15, 2013
Chapel Hill, NC

ADE-ECE Boot Camp
3rd Annual ECE Summer Boot Camp
June 10-13, 2013
Mesa, AZ

NAFCC Conference
Building Relationships that last a lifetime
July 18-20, 2013
Scottsdale, AZ

National School Bus Conference and Exhibition
July 20-24, 2013
Reno, NV

FTF Summit - save the date - details coming soon!
Building Strong Systems
August 25-27, 2013
Phoenix, AZ

AHSA 7th Annual Mental Health Symposium
save the date - details soon!
October 17-18, 2013Phoenix, AZ

NAFFA 10th Annual National "Fatherhood is Leadership" Conference
November 4-6, 2013
Mesa, AZ

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the AHSA Happenings. If you would like to have information included, please contact us! Please forward to members of the Head Start community and our ECE Friends. Encourage them to 'subscribe' to learn more about what is going on in Arizona's Head Start programs!



Arizona Head Start Association
602-338-0449 (phone)
480-540-9987 (cell)
PO Box 45483.
Phoenix, AZ 85064 (office hours by appointment only)
Note - Our fax number has been discontinued!