Arizona Head Start Association Newsletter
Arizona Head Start Association
October 2012 Happenings 

Greetings AHSA Members and Friends!

October is a BIG month!  October is National Head Start Awareness Month!  If Head Start has meant something to you personally, a great way to tell your story is to visit the 27 Million Windows site and either write a testimonial or record a video.  Head Start changes lives, one person at a time.  Visit the site to write your own or read the inspiration of others.

October is also the time for AHSA's largest premier event, our 6th Annual Mental Health Symposium, on Thursday and Friday, October 18 &19.  For a list of sessions and schedule for Thursday and Friday, click here.  Can't decide which day to attend?  Register for both days!  You won't be disappointed!   

Our mailing address has changed.  Be sure to use our new address...  


PO Box 45483.

Phoenix, AZ 85064  

Note:  We have discontinued our fax line. 


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

Upcoming AHSA Events:  Save these Dates ...


Phoenix - Desert Willow Conference Center  

October 18, 2012             6th Annual Mental Health Symposium

October 19, 2012             6th Annul Mental Health Symposium



Quarterly Meeting
Phoenix -
November 14, 2012        AHSA Training Day
November 15, 2012        AHSA Quarterly Meeting & Committee Meetings
November 16, 2012        AHSA Board Meeting

Parent Leadership Institute
Phoenix - Southwest Human Development
February 7, 2013

Quarterly Meeting
Phoenix -
February 20, 2013          AHSA Training Day
February 21, 2013          AHSA Quarterly Meeting & Committee Meetings
February 22, 2013          AHSA Board Meeting

Effects of Poverty on Children        


Stresses of poverty may impair learning ability in young children:     

The stresses of poverty - such as crowded conditions, financial worry, and lack of adequate child care - lead to impaired learning ability in children from impoverished backgrounds, according to a theory by a researcher funded by the National Institutes of Health. The theory is based on several years of studies matching stress hormone levels to behavioral and school readiness test results in young children from impoverished backgrounds. Read more here.


Back in January, an op-ed piece, "A Poverty Solution That Starts With a Hug" appeared in the New York Times (written by Nicholas D. Kristof, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the paper).  In it, they discuss the report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) which issues a landmark warning that this toxic stress can harm children for life. The piece really makes one stop and think.  Toxic stress might arise from parental abuse of alcohol or drugs. It could occur in a home where children are threatened and beaten. It might derive from chronic neglect - a child cries without being cuddled. Affection seems to defuse toxic stress - keep those hugs and lullabies coming! - suggesting that the stress emerges when a child senses persistent threats but no protector....The crucial period seems to be from conception through early childhood. After that, the brain is less pliable and has trouble being remolded.  As Frederick Douglass noted, "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."  Read the full AAP The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress here.  For more food for thought, there is also another excellent piece from the AAP, Early Childhood Adversity, Toxic Stress, and the Role of the Pediatrician: Translating Developmental Science Into Lifelong Health


Children and Medication

When adults are advised by their health care professional to use a medication, they expect to receive information-backed up by data from studies-on the correct and safe dose to take. For drugs used in children, this information may not be available because historically not all products are studied in children.


To fix this situation, Congress passed legislation to increase pediatric studies and incorporate the resulting information in labeling. This is a key point because medicines often affect children differently from the way they work in adults.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been working hard on this project. To make it easier for parents and health care professionals to find information on pediatric medications, the FDA created a database that covers medical products studied in children under recent pediatric legislation.  To learn more, click here. 

Good Parenting Outcomes

Decades of research reveal 10 essential parenting skill sets. A new study of 2,000 parents determined which skills are most important to bringing up healthy, happy and successful kids.

Giving love and affection tops the list. Then comes a surprise: managing stress and having a good relationship with the other parent are more helpful than some child-focused behaviors.

All types of people are equally competent at child-rearing-and anyone can learn how to be a better parent with a little effort.  

There are 10 competencies that predict good parenting outcomes, asserts researcher Robert Epstein in Scientific American Mind (November 2010).  These 10, listed in order from most to least important, predict a strong parent-child bond and children's happiness, health, and success:  

  1. Love and affection.
    "You support and accept the child, are physically affectionate, and spend quality one-on-one time together."
  2. Stress management.
    "You take steps to reduce stress for yourself and your child, practice relaxation techniques, and promote positive interpretations of events."
  3. Relationship skills.
    "You maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse, significant o ther, or co-parent and model effective relationship skills with others."
  4. Autonomy and independence.
    "You treat your child with respect and encourage him or her to become self-sufficient and self-reliant."
  5. Education and learning.
    "You promote and model learning and provide educational opportunities for your child."
  6. Life skills.
    "You provide for your child, have a steady income, and plan for the future."
  7. Behavior management.
    "You make extensive use of positive reinforcement and punish only when other methods of managing behavior have failed."
  8. Health.
    "You model a healthy lifestyle and good habits, such as regular exercis e and proper nutrition."
  9. Religion.
    "You support spiritual or religious development and participate in spiritual or religious activities."
  10. Safety.
    "You take precautions to protect your child and maintain awareness of the child's activities and friends." 

Military Families      


Grab & Go Resources:  

New Inventory of Parent-Child Resources Available  


Military OneSource has recently been re-supplied with a range of resources designed for use with parents and very young children who are anticipating or experiencing deployment or who are planning for an upcoming reunification.  Currently available resources developed by Coming Together Around Military Families include the board books    


Home Again (on reunification)

Over There (on deployment)

I'm Here for You Now (on deployment)

Honoring our Babies and Toddlers: Supporting Young Children Affected by a Military Parent's Injury   


The Arizona Coalition for Military Families is a public/private partnership focused on building Arizona's statewide capacity to serve and support all service members, veterans and their families. The Coalition works to foster cross-sector collaboration between the military, government and community. 

Social and Emotional Tips for Families and Providers
Caring for Infants


The Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CECMHC) has published two new resources: Social and Emotional Tips for Families of Infants (2012) and Social and Emotional Tips for Providers Caring for Infants (2012), which provide one-page posters with tips that families and providers can refer to during specific daily routines to help nurture the social and emotional health of infants. Each poster offers a rationale for using the tips which are based on research. They are meant to help families and providers practice using behavior and language that supports healthy, positive connections with children, learn more about social and emotional health, and understand the importance of social and emotional health to school readiness. 

It's Election Time!    

Elections are always important.  It's our opportunity - and responsibility - to vote for people and ideas who reflect our beliefs and priorities for our fellow citizens - our country.   


Are you registered to vote?  If not, register here!  Hurry though, the deadline is October 9th

Election Day is November 6th!

Head Start funding is always allocated at the federal level.  Regardless of who is elected President, our country's leadership has important decisions and problems to solve, one of the most important to Head Start and other non-defense discretionary programs, being the issue of sequestration - or - the Budget Control Act.  Under this implementation, across the board cuts of 7.8% would be anticipated.  For Head Start in Arizona, that translates to roughly $9.5 million and 1500 fewer children served, not to mention a loss of 316 Head Start jobs!  For complete information on sequestration by state and program, click here.   

At the state level, we have other issues going on.  Arizona's cuts to school funding are the worst in the country, Arizona ranks 5th worst for children and families, and 1 in 4 Arizona children are living in poverty.  

Proposition 204, the Quality Education and Jobs Bill offers some hope.

Prop. 204 will renew and make permanent the one-cent sales tax approved by voters when it expires in 2013, creating a long-term, dedicated source of funding for education. Prop. 204 would generate about $1 billion in the first year and dedicate 80 percent of those revenues to education.


Prop. 204 funds must be spent as voters direct; the Legislature cannot redirect these funds.


It creates a funding floor for K-12 education and prevents the Legislature from making any further cuts to K-12 education. It also prevents the Legislature from reducing other funding that benefits education. It does not replace the need for locally generated bonds and overrides, but does prevent the Legislature from reducing the amount that local communities can generate for their schools.


Prop. 204 helps education across the spectrum: K-12, vocational education, community colleges, universities and adult GED programs. It will establish scholarship funds for in-state community college and university students, whose tuition rose 63 percent over a four-year period because of legislative budget cuts. It will fund GED programs and invest in career and technical education programs in high schools and community colleges that graduate students ready to enter the workforce.


Twenty percent of the revenues will be spent on other statewide needs such as restoring healthcare funding for children living in low-income families; making grants to state agencies and non-profits that provide child care and help reduce hunger, homelessness and family violence; and building statewide road, rail and public transit projects.


To learn more about issues affecting children and families in Arizona and what your elected officials and candidates think, Children's Action Alliance is a good source.


Most importantly - VOTE! 

Upcoming Conferences & Trainings

CLASS Trainings - Instructional Support
Flagstaff, October 18, 2012
Register here!

7th Annual EAR Foundation of Arizona Seminar
October 12, 2012
Phoenix, AZ

Annual Conference - Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness
October 16 & 17, 2012
Phoenix, AZ

6th Annual Arizona Head Start Association Birth to Five Mental Health Symposium

Theme:  Building Social Emotional Foundations for School Readiness
October 18-19, 2012

Phoenix, AZ

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

Minneapolis, MN

9th Annual National Native American Fatherhood Conference
November 7-9, 2012
Mesa, AZ

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 Parent Conference and Family Engagement Institutes 

December 1-5, 2012
Dallas, TX

National Head Start Winter Leadership Institute
January 28 - February 1, 2013
Washington, DC

AHSA Parent Leadership Institute

Phoenix, AZ
February 7, 2013

10th Annual National Training Institute on Effective Practices: Supporting Young Children's Social Emotional Development

March 20-23, 2013 

Clearwater Beach, FL


40th National Head Start Conference
April 28 - May 2, 2013
Washington, D.C.


Are you interested in joining AHSA as an Affiliate Member or a Corporate Sponsor

Depending on your level of membership or sponsorship, your participation 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 2900 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 usPlease 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!