Arizona Head Start Association Newsletter
Arizona Head Start Association
May 2013 Happenings
Greetings to our Head Start Friends and Colleagues!

Now that sequestration is a reality, at least for FY 2013, our programs are adjusting their budgets and services to reflect a total cut of 5.27%.  While it may not seem like much, a 5.27% cut means many things, which vary from program to program.  Things like all Head Start services being cut from some of our small communities, one or two classrooms being eliminated from our larger centers, instructional staff being let go, benefits being reduced for staff, and maybe most detrimental, reduced numbers of children being served in our programs.  What the cut doesn't mean is reducing quality for the children and families that we do serve.  Our programs in Arizona, along with our partners at Office of Head Start (OHS) and National Head Start Association (NHSA) stand firm in maintaining quality amidst these cuts.  Quality is the hallmark of Head Start.  Without quality, we cannot be proud of the important work that we do.  Please join us in our quest to fight for continued funding for Head Start and the entire early childhood community.  ALL of Arizona's young children deserve a healthy beginning and successful path to begin school.

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


Upcoming AHSA Events - Save the Date!

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

AHSA Quarterly Meetings and Training - Tucson
September 11, 12, 13 - 2013 - Note NEW DATES
Wednesday, September 11        Training - TBD
Thursday, September 12             General Membership/Committee Meetings
Friday, September 13                  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
Wednesday, November 20         Training - TBD
Thursday, November 21              General Membership/Committee Meetings
Friday, November 22                   Board Meeting

AHSA - 5 years in review...

After five years as Director of AHSA, I will be leaving on May 20th.  During my tenure as Director, we have accomplished many great and wonderful things - both within our member community and with our external partners. 
  • Mental Health Symposium
  • Special Education Forums around the state
  • Homeless Forums & Conference participation
  • Oral Health activities
  • Health & Obesity Conference participation
  • AHSA 'Happenings' Newsletter, reaching over 3300 readers!
  • AHSA Sponsors & Affiliate Members  
  • Visits to Capitol Hill and work with OHS & NHSA
  • Quarterly Meetings & Trainings
  • Collaboration with state agencies
  • Collaboration with colleges & universities 
  • Collaboration with community partners     
  • Annual Report & Fact Sheet
  • Family Development Credential program
  • Parent Leadership Institute
  • Resource Tool Kits  
  • Website revitalization including event registration and invoicing
Nothing could have been accomplished without the commitment and hard work of the Head Start and early childhood community.  None of this was done in isolation.  While there are too many of you to name, we would be remiss if we did not recognize the support of the Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO), specifically Amy Corriveau at ADE and Connie Shorr, formerly with the Governor's Office.  

I am not going far - I'll be working with ADHS, coordinating an early childhood grant as Early Care and Education Prevention Manager - and will still see many of you while I'm out and about!  Contact me if you'd like personal/future contact information.

All the best to AHSA and the Head Start community!  It was my pleasure to work with you in this capacity ~

Free Webinars, Videos & Tutorials

Monday, June 3, 2013, 1-2pm EST 

Head Start Approaches to Strengthening Families 
The video echoes the research-based fact that Shonkoff and Phillips point out in  From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development, "Parents...are 'active ingredients' of environmental influence during the early childhood period. Children grow and thrive in the context of close and dependable relationships...Children's early child development depends on the health and well-being of their parents."

Early Childhood Staff Orientation
This online tutorial has been designed to help early childhood care and education staff to meet 11 of the 18 Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS) requirements for new staff orientation.  At the end of this tutorial, participants will have detailed and accurate  information on 11 basic DHS requirements for licensed child care and education providers.  Participants will also have documentation of completion, including a DHS new staff checklist and a certificate for one hour of professional development.

Online Screening for Children Birth to Five   

Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) AE is now available to parents and caregivers on the Easter Seals' Make the First Five Count website. 

you can see if your child's developmental progress is on schedule.  
Child development issues can be identified and monitored so concerns can be readily addressed to stay on track and prepare to enter school.

How Does TV Affect Children's Behaviors? 

A study published in the journal Pediatrics  reports on behavioral outcomes from children's television viewing habits based on a randomized controlled trial involving hundreds of preschool-age children primarily from low-income families.  

This study builds on past findings that the content of children's TV viewing plays a significant role in television's impact on child development. Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, a pediatric researcher at Seattle Children's Research Institute and lead author of this study, explained this is in a TEDx video, in which he noted there was a 10 percent increased likelihood of attention problems for children at age 7 for every hour of TV they watched a day when they were aged 3 or younger if the television programming was entertainment-based rather than educational. 
Video Series - Three Core Concepts in Early Development

1. Experiences Build Brain Architecture

2. Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry

3. Toxic Stress Derails Healthy Development

The series depicts how advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and genomics now give us a much better understanding of how early experiences are built into our bodies and brains, for better or for worse. Healthy development in the early years provides the building blocks for educational achievement, economic productivity, responsible citizenship, lifelong health, strong communities, and successful parenting of the next generation.   

Head Start Information


Created for the 45th anniversary celebration of the National Head Start Association, this video documents the history of the Head Start program from it's inception to 2010.


Two U.S. Secretaries Speak Out for Early Learning
National Head Start Association Conference
On May 3, 2013, Secretary of the Department of Education, Arne Duncan, and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, spoke at the National Head Start Association Conference stressing the importance of quality in all early childhood education settings and the need to have a comprehensive birth through five early learning strategy.

The final fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding level for Head Start is $7,573,194,006. All Head Start, Early Head Start, American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start grants will be reduced by 5.27 percent. The new FY 2013 funding levels for your grant are available in the Head Start Enterprise System, directly on each grantee's homepage. These funding levels should be considered grantees' final funding levels until Congress takes action on a FY 2014 budget.


Early Head Start Home Visiting Leadership Network

New health care legislation and growing attention to home visiting are creating exciting opportunities to expand Early Head Start home visiting in states across the country. To ensure Early Head Start programs are aware of these opportunities and have the resources to meet them, the National Head Start Association is convening an Early Head Start Home Visiting Leadership Network.  This interactive network will serve as a platform for NHSA to disseminate resources and updates and also a forum where members can ask questions, share their experience, and build new connections among themselves and with a national group of colleagues and allies.  We invite you to explore this site and learn more. If you have any questions or would like to be added to the google group, contact Emmalie Dropkin  The website is very helpful and includes Policy, Resources, Research, Webinars, Calendar and EHS Home Visiting Information! 


Child Care in the News 

Study Explores Arizona Parents' Struggle with Child-Care Options
A statewide team of researchers from the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University released a set of reports with results from more than 1,400 interviews with parents of children from birth to 6 years old from across Arizona to determine what they consider important factors when they choose child care for their children, how they find out about child-care options, and what is their demand for child care.  The Arizona Child Care Demand Study is the most comprehensive report on child-care demand that has been conducted in Arizona.

The Hell of American Day Care
Trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things that a parent has to do-and in the United States, it's harder still, because American day care is a mess. About 8.2 million kids-about 40 percent of children under five-spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent...This situation is especially disturbing because, over the past two decades, researchers have developed an entirely new understanding of the first few years of life.

The Sad State of Child Care in America
Parents in the labor force face numerous decisions when balancing their work and home life, including choosing the type of care to provide for their children while they work. Deciding which child care arrangement to use has become an increasingly important family issue as maternal employment has become the norm, rather than the exception. Child care arrangements and their costs are significant issues for parents, relatives, care providers, policy makers, and anyone concerned about children.

What is the Office of Child Care (OCC)?
The Office of Child Care supports low-income working families through child care financial assistance and promotes children's learning by improving the quality of early care and education and afterschool programs.


NAEYC Updates


First Things First CEO Leaving Arizona to Head National Early Childhood Organization - Rhian Evans Allvin tapped to lead the National Association for the Education of Young Children

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has named Rhian Evans Allvin as its next Executive Director.  Allvin has been an active player in the early childhood field in Arizona for several decades.  She was instrumental in promoting the statewide ballot initiative, which created First Things First to advance early childhood policy and quality in Arizona.  She currently serves as CEO of First Things First.

In accepting this position, Allvin observed, "This is an extraordinary time in the field of early care and education, and I believe NAEYC is poised to advance early childhood policy and practice across the country.  I look forward to leading the NAEYC team into its next era of service on behalf of America's youngest children." Allvin will assume office on August 12, 2013 following the retirement of Dr. Jerlean Daniels.  

Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.

NAEYC for Families
Sign up for the monthly newsletter 'NAEYC For Families' get research-based, family-friendly tips and ideas about your child's learning and development delivered right to your e-mail box!

Saying Good-bye to Preschool and Hello to Kindergarten

Many preschoolers feel anxious about moving on to kindergarten. They worry that they won't have friends, won't like the teacher, will get lost, or won't be able to do what the teacher asks.  Click here for some tips to guide your child through the move from preschool to kindergarten.


State Early Care and Education Public Policy Developments:   

Fiscal Year 2012 

This NAEYC report is a highlight of state developments, categorized by issue areas. It highlights selected enacted legislation; new initiatives approved by the state executive branch; major funding increases, decreases, or level-funding; and additional significant fiscal or policy changes that impact early childhood education for Fiscal Year 2012.


Common Core Standards Initiative   

The Common Core State Standards is an initiative to develop common core standards in English language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. As of August 2012, 46 states have adopted the Common Core. The Common Core is being implemented in schools across the country. Its implementation affects early childhood educators teaching in grades K-3 directly, and may have implications for early educators working with children in the years prior to kindergarten entry. NAEYC is developing resources to engage in a dialogue to ensure that the Common Core standards reflect our best understanding of education in the early years.  


Mental Health Awareness
This two-page summary-part of the InBrief series explains why, many costly problems for society, ranging from the failure to complete high school to incarceration to homelessness, could be dramatically reduced if attention were paid to improving children's environments of relationships and experiences early in life.  The science of child development shows that the foundation for sound mental health is built in the first days, months, and years of a child's life, as early experiences-which include children's relationships with parents, caregivers, relatives, teachers, and peers-shape the architecture of the developing brain. Disruptions in this developmental process can impair a child's capacities for learning and relating to others, with lifelong implications.

Community Action Guide - New Resource by SAMHSA
Supporting Babies and Families Impacted by Caregiver Mental Health Problems, Substance Abuse,  and Trauma
has really excellent information for engaging communities in developing strategies for infants and toddlers living in situations impacted by mental illness, trauma, and/or substance abuse.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Mental Health Newsletter
The Mental Health E-News is a bi-monthly electronic publication that contains the latest news, research, and resources in children's mental health; upcoming conferences and Webinars; and funding opportunities.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. Progress in preventing and recovering from the nation's worst health and social problems is likely to benefit from understanding that many of these problems arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences.
  An InfoGraphic examines how adverse childhood experiences affect our lives and society.  

Professional Development Opportunities

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

Evidence-based Practice in Disability Disciplines
June 10-11, 2013
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001

CLASS Training with Teachstone 

June 18-20, 2013   

Phoenix, AZ


2013 Intertribal Circle of Caring & Sharing Training Conference
June 19-21, 2013

Prescott, AZ

2013 National Head Start Manager & Director Academy
Getting Results, Moving Forward
June 24 - 27, 2013
Denver, CO

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
Building Strong Systems
August 25-27, 2013
Phoenix, AZ

Fall Leadership Institute
September 30-October 3, 2013
Arlington, Virginia

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

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

30th Annual Head Start Parent Conference and Family Engagement Institutes 
December 9-13, 2013

Atlanta, GA


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!