Arizona Head Start Association Newsletter

Arizona Head Start Association

April 2012 Happenings 




Greetings AHSA members and friends!


We have been busy, busy, busy this month making all kinds of positive changes within AHSA. You may have already heard but here are a few highlights!  In order to capitalize on our resources, we are transitioning from a brick and mortar office to a virtual/home office.  Within the next several weeks, we will be making this physical change of cleaning and moving, shredding and storing, but always staying in touch with our members and partners.  Stay tuned for ongoing developments.  Our mailing address has already changed.  Be sure to use our new address... 

AHSA, PO Box 45483., Phoenix, AZ 85064 


We are thrilled to have rolled out our new AHSA website!  Visit us soon and often as we add more features and content on a regular basis.  Our members can now complete meeting registration and post job openings on the site.  Our partners can access resources, programs, committee chairpersons and executive committee members, and much more is planned as we find the time!  We are grateful to the Arizona Community Foundation for providing funding which enabled us to redesign the website.  Thank you!    


For the past several years, Leard Consulting (David Leard, NACOG) has been AHSA's bookkeeper, webmaster and conference organizer, via contract.  As our mutual needs and demands have recently changed, we are transitioning to new providers.  Thank you David, for many years of service to AHSA.  We are grateful to you for your dedication!  


Lastly, on a personal note, I had knee replacement surgery earlier this month.  I am thankful to our AHSA members and partners who afford patience and understanding as my recovery continues.  I'm so fortunate to love what I do!    


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

Upcoming AHSA Events:  Save these Dates ...




Yasmina Vinci, NHSA Executive Director will be at our  

May Quarterly Meeting!


Interpreting CLASS Results and Increasing Instructional Support Domain is the topic of the May Quarterly Training! 

Phoenix - Location University of Phoenix - REGISTER NOW via the website

May 16, 2012                   AHSA/AZ T/TA Training Day              
May 17, 2012                   AHSA Quarterly Membership Meeting &

                                          AHSA Committee Meetings

May 18, 2012                   AHSA Board Meeting &
                                          Region IX Association Meeting

Prescott - Prescott Resort & Conference Center
August 22, 2012               AHSA/AZ T/TA Training Day
August 23, 2012               AHSA Quarterly Membership Meeting &                                            AHSA Committee Meetings
August 24, 2012               AHSA Board Meeting

Phoenix - Desert Willow Conference Center
October 18, 2012             6th Annual AHSA Mental Health Symposium
October 19, 2012             6th Annual AHSA Mental Health Symposium


Head Start is the Window of Opportunity!  

27 Million Windows    

At the National Head Start Association, we believe it is no less than a national catastrophe that there is a massive and growing population of poor children, since it is clear that childhood poverty greatly impedes success.


We know that the opportunity to succeed is a core American value and that Head Start provides an opportunity to succeed in school and in life, regardless of circumstances at birth. Head Start is a proven model of early childhood education that puts at-risk children on a trajectory for success.

Since 1965 more than 27 million children have participated in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. They have gone on to become Members of Congress, famed athletes, award-winning musicians, doctors, teachers, lawyers, and members of every community in the country. More than one in eight Americans has participated in Head Start, and many more have been touched by the program. This year, 27 million stories will be told about how Head Start has touched lives and changed them forever.


Tell (write) your story here or record your video here.   


Infants & Toddlers  


Baby Talk
To join the Baby Talk listserve, send an Email to Baby Talk with no message.  Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed monthly. Each issue features one or more resources, the majority of which are available to download at no cost. For additional information (or to offer suggestions), please email Camille Catlett or call her at (919) 966-6635.


Attachment: What Works? 

Donna Wittmer authored this concise and practical resource for The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Childhood which highlights what attachment is, why it's important, and how caregivers and family members can support it.  To read this piece, click here.    


The Infant Toddler Temperament Tool (IT3), developed for the Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, is available to download in English and Spanish. IT3 includes a short online survey that allows parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers to better understand their own temperament, the temperament of the children they care for, and how adult/child similarities or differences in temperament may affect "goodness of fit." The IT3 also provides tips to help adults foster the unique temperament of each child within their care.    

Instrumento sobre el temperamento del bebé y del niño pequeño 


Naps May Be More Important Than You think 

Toddlers between two and a half and three years old who miss only a single daily nap show more anxiety, less joy and interest, and a poorer understanding of how to solve problems, says Monique LeBourgeois, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her results indicate that insufficient sleep alters the facial expressions of toddlers-exciting events are responded to less positively and frustrating events are responded to more negatively.


Finger Feeding vs Spoon Feeding 

Allowing babies who are being weaned to feed themselves with finger foods rather than spoon-feeding the baby with pureed foods may reduce their risk for obesity later on, according to new research. The study, which included 155 children aged 20 months to 6.5 years, found that those who were allowed to feed themselves were more likely to eat a healthier diet and maintain a normal weight as they got older. 


Youngest Kids Rarely Get Help for Early Mental Disorders 

There is increasing recognition that infants and toddlers can suffer serious mental health disorders. But such young children are unlikely to receive treatment that could prevent lasting developmental problems, according to new research by the American Psychological Association.  To read this article, click here. 





The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States has been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study released today that looked at data from 14 communities.  Autism spectrum disorders are almost five times more common among boys than girls - with 1 in 54 boys identified.  The number of children identified with ASDs ranged from 1 in 210 children in Alabama to 1 in 47 children in Utah.  The largest increases were among Hispanic and black children.  To read more and get resources, click here.



CDA Updates


CDA Renewal Amnesty Program Continues 

The Council's new CDA Renewal Amnesty Program, which began on March 1, allows anyone who has earned a CDA in the last ten years to apply for Renewal,

even if their CDA has expired. If your initial or renewal CDA has a credential date of January, 2002 or later, you are eligible for Renewal Amnesty. This program will only last until December 31, 2012 so don't delay... Renew your CDA today! To learn more, click here.


CDA Candidates Can Earn $50 Volunteering To Test New Computer-Based Exam 

The CDA Council for Professional Recognition is now pilot-testing a new CDA Exam that Candidates will take on a computer, as part of their credentialing process, starting early next year. A key component of the revised CDA 2.0 credentialing system, the new CDA Exam follows the format of the current Early Childhood Studies Review (ECSR) that includes 60 multiple choice questions and five scenario questions utilizing images of teachers in action.  Current Candidates who are applying for their first CDA can volunteer to take the new exam and receive $50 by providing feedback about their test-taking experience. The pilot test runs through this June.  To learn more, click here. 



Reading, Language & Literacy


Reach Out & Read is a helpful website.  You've heard the claim 'By age three, children in more affluent families will have heard 30 million more words, on average, than children in low-income families'.  This is a staggering statement when you take time to digest the implications.  Children's vocabulary development by age three has been shown to predict school achievement in third grade.  To read the article, click here.

Beginning in the school year 2013-2014, Arizona will implement an innovative new policy that will create multiple opportunities for 3rd grade students to master reading at the grade level. Students who score Falls Far Below on the AIMS reading test may be retained  in the 3rd grade to meet the rigorous reading standards set forth in the  Arizona English Language Arts Standards. The law does provide for exemptions under certain circumstances. Those include students who have disabilities and did not take the AIMS test; those who are English Language Learners or Limited English Proficient and have received less than two years of English instruction; and cases in which a district or charter governing board approves a parent's request. The law will provide for extended time, intervention and remedial strategies for students who are not promoted. Those include providing summer school reading instruction; requiring the student to be assigned to a different teacher for reading instruction; online reading instruction; and intensive reading instruction during the following academic year either before, during or after the regular school day. To learn more about Arizona's Move on When Reading, click here.   To read the FAQ, click here.  You can also read about the Family/Community piece by clicking here. 


Bullying is in the News


Early Childhood

Early childhood often marks the first opportunity for young children to interact with each other. Between the ages of 3 and 5, kids are learning how to get along with each other, cooperate, share, and understand their feelings. Young children may be aggressive and act out when they are angry or don't get what they want, but this is not bullying. Still, there are ways to help children.

Helping Young Children Get Along with Others

Parents, school staff, and other adults can help young children develop skills for getting along with others in age-appropriate ways.

  • Model positive ways for young children to make friends. For example, practice pleasant ways that children can ask to join others in play and take turns in games. Coach older children to help reinforce these behaviors as well. Praise children for appropriate behavior. Help young children understand what behaviors are friendly.
  • Help young children learn the consequences of certain actions in terms they can understand. For example, say "if you don't share, other children may not want to play with you." Encourage young children to tell an adult if they are treated in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, upset or unhappy, or if they witness other children being harmed.
  • Set clear rules for behavior and monitor children's interactions carefully. Step in quickly to stop aggressive behavior or redirect it before it occurs.
  • Use age-appropriate consequences for aggressive behavior. Young children should be encouraged to say "I'm sorry" whenever they hurt a peer, even accidentally. The apology should also be paired with an action. For example, young children could help rebuild a knocked over block structure or replace a torn paper or crayons with new ones.

Visit the new Stop Bullying Now website for a plethora of information.  




Challenging Behavior


Do you struggle with challenging behavior?  Have you heard about FLIP IT®FLIP IT® is a strategy that offers a simple, kind, strength-based, commonsense and effective four step process to address children's day to day challenging behaviors. The four steps are embodied in the FLIP IT mnemonic which stands for F - Feelings, L - Limits, I - Inquiries, and P - Prompts. FLIP IT is nothing new, but transforms best practice into a strategy that is easy to remember, applicable in a variety of challenging situations and portable.


April Events


Upcoming Conferences & Trainings


Collaborative Therapies Conference
May 5, 2012
Phoenix, AZ  


National Head Start Manager & Director Academy 
June 4-7, 2012
Louisville, KY


NAEYC Professional Development Institute
June 10-13, 2012
Indianapolis, IN


National Indian Head Start Directors Association, Management Training Conference
June 11-15, 2012
Acme, MI


The 16th Annual Birth to Three Institute
June 11-14, 2012
Washington, DC


Head Start's 11th National Research Conference
June 18-20, 2012
Washington, D.C.


"Becoming a Mom/Comenzando bien Training Session"
June 21, 2012
Phoenix, AZ


2012 Intertribal Circle of Caring & Sharing Training Conference
June 27-29, 2012
Chandler, AZ


2012 Arizona Early Childhood Summit
August 19, 2012
August 20 and 21, 2012
Phoenix, AZ


National Head Start Fall Leadership Institute - info coming soon!
September 17-21, 2012
Washington, DC


DEC's 28th Annual International Conference On Young Children With Special Needs & Their Families
October 28-30, 2012
Minneapolis, MN


NAEYC Annual Conference & Expo
November 7-10, 2012
Atlanta, GA


27th National Training Institute (NTI)
November 29 - December 1, 2012
Los Angeles, CA


National Head Start Winter Leadership Institute - info coming soon!
January 27-31, 2013
Washington, DC

Are you interested in joining AHSA as an Affiliate Member or a Corporate Sponsor?  Depending on your level of joining, your membership or sponsorship includes a menu of benefits such as attending AHSA events at member prices, vendor tables at our annual conference, speaking in person to AHSA membership & board, company logo on AHSA website, and sending email to our list of over 2200 recipients!

                  Contact Bonnie for more information or an application! 


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!



Bonnie Williams, Executive Director
Arizona Head Start Association

602-338-0449 (phone)  

PO Box 45483. 

Casa Grade, AZ 85130 (office hours by appointment only)