About Us

Leaders in School Readiness

Head Start Programs and Elementary Schools Collaborate!

Across the country, more than 320,000 Head Start children enter kindergarten each year. Their transitions are easier when programs and elementary schools work together on school readiness.

The Leaders in School Readiness (LSR) Campaign encourages Head Start directors and school principals to collaborate for children's success. Smooth transitions help children keep their "head start" in learning. Those gains are precious. Compared to their peers, Head Start graduates are more likely to finish high school, go to college, be employed, and enjoy good health.

"Bring a Principal to Your Head Start" Celebration

This celebration aims to build connections between Head Start programs and their receiving schools through face-to-face meetings during the month of October.

Three Easy Ideas for Connecting with Principals

  • Bring a principal to your program. The principal could join story time, meet a parent group, and strategize with you about school readiness goals.

  • Visit the receiving school and learn how they extend a child's "head start." There's so much to share, from early learning goals and curricula to ways parents can stay involved.

  • Celebrate your partnership by sharing highlights from your visit using the hashtag #LeadersinSchoolReadiness on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Resources for Reaching Out to Principals

Four Levers for Head Start–School Collaboration

These are four high-value areas where Head Start program and schools can work together:

Head Start and Receiving Elementary Schools: Transitions That Work

Watch this short video to learn about Head Start’s comprehensive approach to preparing children for school. Hear from directors and receiving elementary school principals who share ways that they partner to support children and families as they get ready for the transition to kindergarten.

OHS–Elementary School Connections

Head Start Public Schools Collaboration Demonstration Project
Thirteen school system teams are working with colleagues from their local Head Start programs to collaborate with intention in the 2019–2020 school year.

Formal Collaborations with Associations

The Office of Head Start (OHS) has formalized partnerships with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the School Superintendents Association (AASA) to improve the transition of Head Start children as they enter elementary school. Review the following memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for details:

OHS is also working with the National School Board Association (NSBA) to improve Head Start program connections with the public school system.

Partner with Your Local Head Start!
Use this two-page introduction in your relationship-building and marketing efforts in your communities.

Learn more
To learn more about the LSR campaign, check out the Office of Head Start Blog.