Office of Head Start Blog

newborn infant

Collaborating Across Federal Programs to Address Maternal Depression

By Patty Marickovich and Amanda Bryans


Kelly was in my office and unsure of what to do. While I, as usual, was in awe of her work as a home visitor, she was stumped. A mom in our Head Start program had a newborn. This should be a joyful time, right? Continue Reading »

Marco Beltran

Promoting Health Literacy for Families

By Marco Beltran


The term "health literacy" is often used in connection with improving individual or family health outcomes. Health Literacy is defined as the degree to which a person has the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions... Continue Reading »

Mark Greenberg

Launching a Federal Training and Technical Assistance System

By Mark Greenberg


At ACF, we work to ensure that all children—especially children who experience poverty and other challenging circumstances—have early childhood experiences that build the foundation for their success in school and in life. We administer Head Start, child care, home visiting, and other programs designed to help children reach their full potential... Continue Reading »

Marco Beltran

Take Time to Prepare During National Preparedness Month

By Marco Beltran


Emergency situations arise suddenly. When they occur, crises and disasters can be devastating to our programs and communities. Head Start and Early Head Start programs take time to prepare in advance so the negative effects of an emergency can be reduced. Although programs cannot anticipate everything that might happen, comprehensive... Continue Reading »

Angie Godfrey

Head Start Staff Serve as a Lifeline for Families and Communities

By Angie Godfrey


As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Head Start, many people have shared their memories and stories on how the program has influenced their lives. Former Head Start children tell such sweet memories of their first experience meeting a teacher or a home visitor, and how they were welcomed into a world of books and painting and... Continue Reading »

Sarah Merrill

Head Start Professionalized the Early Childhood Education Workforce

By Sarah Merrill


Did you ever wonder why you need specific professional qualifications to work with young children? Head Start has always known the importance of having qualified, well-trained staff in working with young children.... Continue Reading »

Sangeeta Parikshak

Supporting Head Start Teachers through Professional Development

By Jamie Sheehan


Over the years, Head Start teachers have been the cornerstone of their programs. Head Start teachers have been, and still are, responsible for guiding children’s learning experiences in the classroom. How we support our teaching staff is essential to children's learning.... Continue Reading »

a caregiver helps a toddler stand

One Year in the Life of the Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships Program

By Linda K. Smith


For most parents, celebrating the first birthday of your child is a big milestone. The first year is typically a blur of sleepless nights, lots of anxiety and worry about whether you are doing the right thing. It’s a period of rapid growth... Continue Reading »

Sangeeta Parikshak

Introducing a New Framework: Early Learning Across Settings from Birth to 5

By Amanda Bryans and Sangeeta Parikshak


I don't know how or why my mother signed us up for Head Start, but I think it was one of the best decisions she ever made for us. My father dropped out of school in the 9th grade to support his younger siblings. He is a Korean War veteran, and I believe he realized education was the way for us to avoid the back-breaking labor that he... Continue Reading »

Fatherhood Specialist for the Office of Head Start David Jones

50 Years of Service to Children, Families, and Fathers

By David Jones


Father engagement has changed a lot over the years. As we celebrate Head Start's 50th anniversary, it's a time for us to reflect and celebrate our accomplishments. We have come a long way, and yet, there is still... Continue Reading »

Blanca Estela Enriquez

Office of Head Start Proposes Revised Program Performance Standards: Helping Grantees Focus on What's Important

By Dr. Blanca Estela Enriquez


When I was Executive Director of a large Head Start program, not so long ago, I worked around the clock to ensure it was the strongest it could be, and I know that Head Start programs across the country do the same. I am bringing that passionate commitment to my new role as the head of the Office of Head Start... Continue Reading »

Blanca Estela Enriquez

Celebrating the Launch of Head Start: May 18, 1965

By Dr. Blanca Estela Enriquez


Built by visionaries who sought to open avenues of opportunity for families most in need, Head Start continues to be at the forefront of transformation and innovation. As Head Start celebrates the historic 50 year milestone, it is my great pleasure to serve as the director of the Office of Head Start, to help create the vision, and lead the visionaries... Continue Reading »

Marco Beltran

Healthy and Ready to Learn: The Importance of Health Services in Head Start

By Marco Beltran


When you think about a high-quality early childhood program, what does it look like? Does it look different for children from low-income families? Very few early childhood programs are designed to address the complex needs of their communities. Yet, Head Start, which serves pregnant women and children ages birth to 5 from low-income families... Continue Reading »

Kiersten Beigel

50 Years of Prioritizing Families in Head Start

By Kiersten Beigel


"Get involved. Know what your child is being taught. Be a part of your child's teaching."
— Head Start Parent

Family engagement has always been a cornerstone and a great source of pride for Head Start. Looking back, both consistent commitment and important policy efforts have kept family engagement in the forefront of the program. The love and hope that parents have for their young children has been a constant. Families have placed trust in staff, both for their children and themselves... Continue Reading »

Blanca Estela Enriquez

Honor Our History, Carry on the Legacy

By Dr. Blanca Estela 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... Continue Reading »

Sarah Merrill

Head Start and the Evolving Concept of Family Involvement

By Sarah Merrill


Did you know that Head Start was the first child development program to include intentional involvement of parents and family engagement in all aspects of services? The program was designed to promote the growth and development of parents and their children. The Planning Committee for Head Start felt that children would benefit... Continue Reading »

Colleen Rathgeb

The President's FY 2016 Budget for Head Start

By Colleen Rathgeb


President Obama's fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget is great news for Head Start and Early Head Start programs across the country. The budget requests $10.1 billion for Head Start, which is a $1.5 billion increase over the current year. The largest share of this $1.5 billion increase is a $1.1 billion investment to ensure that every Head Start program... Continue Reading »

Amanda Bryans

Head Start Volunteers Make a Difference

By Amanda Bryans


I worked in a Head Start program from 1989-1999. I think it was the best and hardest work I ever did. Hard work can bond a team of teachers and volunteers in a way that is almost like family. In 1994, a Head Start teacher assistant, Ms. Lewis, died. When the news of her death reached our community, we were stunned with grief... Continue Reading »

Amanda Bryans

Leading the Way in Community Partnerships

By Amanda Bryans


From the very first, Head Start was envisioned as a community effort. We always knew its success rested in both the leadership of parents and support from local businesses, municipalities, community members, and neighbors. We could never do all that was needed alone. Head Start agencies assessed what was available at the... Continue Reading »

Ann Linehan

Leading the Way for 50 Years

By Ann Linehan


As we enter 2015, we are fortunate to reflect on the 50th year of Head Start services. In May of 1965, the first Head Start summer programs began. These programs provided the most vulnerable preschool children and their families with comprehensive services to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional, and... Continue Reading »

Kiersten Beigel

In Brief: 50 Years of Family Engagement in Head Start

By Kiersten Beigel


Head Start and Early Head Start have an amazing legacy of family engagement. As we celebrate Head Start's 50th anniversary in 2015, Kiersten Beigel, Program Specialist for the Office of Head Start, shared her thoughts with Harvard Family Research Project's Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE) Newsletter... Continue Reading »

Alana Buroff

OHS Anytime, Anywhere, Anyhow: User Experience Drives Improvements to Head Start Communications

By Alana Buroff


The Office of Head Start (OHS) is making big strides towards making our information available to anyone, in the locations they need it, and on the device they happen to be using. Based on information from you, our users, and trends in mobile usage, we have made big changes to the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) and our... Continue Reading »

Woman with baby

New Infant-Toddler Training and Technical Assistance Projects

By Linda Smith, Ann Linehan, and Shannon Rudisill


It seems we learn more and more every day about all that our youngest children can learn. Research shows [PDF, 93KB] that a tremendous amount of brain development happens in the very first months of life. By the time children are 3 years old, the structures of their brains that influence later learning are... Continue Reading »

Marco Beltran

Practicing Your Preparedness Plan

By Marco Beltran


An effective emergency preparedness plan helps your program to respond appropriately and quickly to circumstances that occur. It helps to reduce risks to everyone in the Head Start community. But, the only way that can happen is if staff, children, families, and community partners know the plan and their responsibility... Continue Reading »

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Last Reviewed: November 2015

Last Updated: November 13, 2015