Honor Our History, Carry on the Legacy

Blanca Enriquez

As Head Start celebrates a historic 50 year milestone, it's the perfect time to reflect on how our program has grown and evolved to become a model for early childhood education. Head Start not only gives our most vulnerable young children the tools for success in school, it provides their families hope for their future and leaves a lasting impression on them for life.

This week, I am humbled to join the Office of Head Start (OHS) and be part of one of the most historic and successful national programs of our time and look forward to the formative and innovative work ahead of us.

We, at Head Start, have known for years the benefits of early care and education, so I'm elated to see a stronger and more comprehensive emphasis on the importance of investing in early childhood education. At OHS, we will continue to be at the forefront of transformation and innovation as we envision the opportunities afforded by the five-year funding cycle, designation renewal system, the EHS-CC partnership, and revision of performance standards, to name a few.

Through our work, we will position Head Start as a valuable, highly respected, and accepted program for young children where grantees are high-performing organizations, where every child receives a comprehensive high-quality preschool education, and where their families increase their quality of life.

Head Start was built by visionaries who sought to open avenues of opportunity for families most in need. We must continue with this endeavor and hold ourselves to the highest of standards so that those we serve become successful.

Before arriving to OHS, I was the Executive Director for the Education Service Center Region 19 Head Start Program in El Paso, Texas. I held that position for 28 years and left knowing that the pillars for a successful program are in place. It has been a quality journey—one that I plan on sharing with our nation’s Head Start programs.

Along with my Head Start experience, I bring knowledge in the areas of strategic planning, quality principles and practices, early childhood education, dual language program design, organizational administration, and the experience of forming successful partnerships with school districts and business organizations.

I have earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at El Paso as well as a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from New Mexico State University.

I'm honored to join ACF and OHS and look forward to collaborating with a team of incredible professionals who share the same commitment and passion for making a difference in the lives of the young children who need and count on us most.

Dr. Blanca Enriquez is the Director at the Office of Head Start. This blog is crossposted from the ACF Family Room blog.

Honor Our History, Carry on the Legacy. HHS/ACF/OHS. 2015. English.

Last Reviewed: April 2015

Last Updated: March 2, 2016