APRIL 2016
Updates from IHSA Executive Director, Lauri Morrison-Frichtl
Dear Head Start/Early Head Start Family:

Since our last edition of the IHSAdvisor I have had time to relax and enjoy a vacation on the beach in Florida.  Nothing is better than stepping away from our day to day work.  While on the beach I had lots of time to think and reflect.  Time to clear the clutter and focus on what's important.  Several thoughts I've carried back with me.  First, I am reminded time and again about the great things you do each and every day for the children and families you serve.  It's not only about the work but about passion and the belief in what you do.  The stories I hear from many of you are astounding and make me want to work even harder.  Please know that I appreciate you!

The second thought was on the upcoming release of the revised Performance Standards, sometime this summer.  The proposed revisions include many changes but I want to focus on a couple that I know will be on our plate.  Let's start with DATA.  There were several areas in the proposed revisions relating to data.  In fact, DATA has its own section.  We think the Illinois Head Start/Early Head Start data infrastructure couldn't be timelier.  Plus, we all believe using data to better understand our work and sharing data is key to our future.  So let's get ready!  We see the IHSA data infrastructure supporting your work and the ability to tell a statewide story.  Here are the key components:

Updates from Associate Head Start State Collaboration Director, Shauna Ejeh
Local DCFS Connections 
The HSSCO continues to work with DCFS' Technology department to update the list pull criteria in order to inform programs of age-eligible children entering foster care.Currently, the regional DCFS School Readiness team liaisons are providing support with connecting local DCFS offIces and with sharing the lists of eligible children. All programs are encouraged to be participating in the quarterly regional and local collaboration meetings.These meetings allow for communication around program vacancies/enrollment needs. If you're program is not receiving information regarding the meetings or lacks current local DCFS contact information, please contact Shauna at  sejeh@ilheadstart.org to be added to the email list.

Any and all Head Start and Early Head Start programs that are interested in pursuing the gold level in ExceleRate for their directly-managed (includes community-based and school-based) centers should contact Shauna to learn about the expedited pathway. 

Program Services Verification
HSSCO is requesting that all IL E/HS programs verify program information that was pulled out of the HSES. All HS programs should have received an email requesting verification of their site and program locations by  April 29th. Please respond as soon as possible regarding the accuracy of the information and let HSSCO know of any proposed program model changes over the next 12 months. HSSCO Is working to provide accurate Early/Head Start program information for local, regional, and state ECE systems planning.

Early Childhood Block Grant Re-Competition Webinar
Only current ECBG grantees are eligible to apply for additional funds for the FY16-FY17 school year, however, E/HS programs that are not current grantees, are also encouraged to be a part of local community discussions regarding ECE services. the Illinois State Board of Education is also looking to expand this application process for the FY17-FY18 school year when there will be open competition.  for The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development invite you to participate in a webinar on May 10 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. to learn about plans for the FY 2018 re-competition of the Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG).  During this webinar, you will learn from ISBE about the ECBG re-competition planning process and the recommendations for redesign that have been made to date through broad stakeholder input from the Early Learning Council.  Participants will receive information on what to expect from the redesign, changes to the application process, projected timelines, state priorities, and new factors to consider and plan for if applying for funds. This is also an opportunity for participants to raise issues and provide input.
Please register for this webinar  HERE.

New Funding to Increase the Duration of Head Start Programs
April 25, 2016

By Dr. Blanca Enriquez, Director, Office of Head Start

Today, I am pleased to announce new funding that will allow all Head Start communities to have access to full school year and full school day programming, and all Early Head Start families to receive continuous services. Congress has appropriated $294 million in supplemental funding for existing Head Start and Early Head Start programs to increase the number of hours and days of high-quality services offered each year to children enrolled in Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

Early Head Start - Child Care Partnerships
April 27, 2016

As part of President Obama's  Early Learning Initiative, ACF has set aside $635 million for new  and existing Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships and Expansion. In FY 2014, Congress appropriated $500 million which funded 275 grantees. In FY 2016, Congress appropriated an increase of $135 million to support additional EHS-CC Partnerships and Expansion programs. These  grants will allow new or existing Early Head Start programs to partner with local child care centers and family child care providers serving infants and toddlers from low-income families.
ACF will support states and communities as they expand high quality early learning opportunities to infants and toddlers through EHS-CC Partnerships. The partnerships will support working families by providing a full-day, full-year program so that low-income children have the healthy and enriching early experiences they need to realize their full potential.


Standing Together Against Suspension & Expulsion in Early Childhood
A Joint Statement

Every year, as many as 8,710 3- and 4- year-old children may be expelled from or pushed out of their state-funded preschool or prekindergarten classroom. i A disproportionate number of these children are African American boys and girls, and these early childhood expulsions are happening at a rate more than three times that of their older peers in grades K- 12. ii In child care centers, expulsion rates are 13 times what they are in K-12 classrooms, with as many as 39 percent of child care providers reporting at least one expulsion in the past year.iiiMany more children, both with and without diagnosed disabilities, across all early childhood settings and sectors, are suspended, with data reflecting severe racial disparities. Indeed, while African American children make up 18 percent of public school preschool enrollment, they represent 48 percent of preschoolers suspended more than once, leaving them with few supports and fewer options to ensure they are able to participate in high-quality early learning during this critical period in their development

The Real Risk of Lead

Top 5 Lessons Learned in the World of Head Start
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 by 
Deborah Kaiser

Head Start is a fabulous program with its own culture, language, sense of community - and many moving parts. As a former Head Start Director, I learned a number of valuable lessons throughout the years. Here are five fundamental elements that are vital to a Head Start program's success.

1. Custom designed, practice-based training for staff
Invest in the staff to ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed to provide the high quality services that's expected from Head Start and that children and families deserve. When staff members feel their organization is investing in their professional development, each staff member will give their all to their job. Just as programs provide services that meet the specific needs of their community, staff training should also be custom designed to meet the specific needs of each group. Whenever possible, use a "learning by doing" training model so staff will know how to take what they learn and implement it immediately.

2. Helping teachers do their best work with children
Our teachers work tirelessly to prepare children for Kindergarten. We know from research that teachers do their best work by receiving professional development in both a group environment as well as individually. Providing teachers with training on topics such as improving CLASS scores, working with children with challenging behaviors, and interpreting data to drive instruction is instrumental in increasing teachers' knowledge. It's equally important to provide teachers with mentor coaching - an opportunity for one-on-one modeling, guidance, and support to improve teacher practice. Investing in our teachers has a direct impact on promoting positive child outcomes.   

Historian Crystal Sanders Discusses the Advantages of Head Start Programs
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

By Rachel McBride

This April, the Africana Studies Program is celebrating more than 50 years of Head Start, a War on Poverty program, by hosting Penn State University historian Crystal Sanders, who recently published "A Chance for Change: Head Start and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle."

Tuesday evening in Ming Hsieh Hall, Sanders presented "Cookies, Crayons, and Black Power: Head Start in the Magnolia State," a lecture chronicling the struggles and triumphs of former sharecroppers and domestic workers who forged a program to provide early childhood education for their children whilst expanding their political reach and power.

When discussing the importance of Sanders' work, Krystal D. Frazier, coordinator of Africana Studies at WVU, said everyone can find inspiration from Sanders' most recent publication.

"I hope people can think about how they can relate to the people in her narratives, to feel empowered to make change, the way these people did," Frazier said.

Upcoming Training and Events

MAY 2016
May 5 & 6, 2016 - Heath Institute 
May 6, 2016 - PITC Module IV / Part One
May 20, 2016 - PITC Module IV / Part Two 
May 30 & June 1, 2016  - New Directors/Leaders Meeting Series #3

JUNE 2016
June 1- 3, 2016 - Directors Institute
June 7, 2016 -  EHS Expansion Grant/EHS CC Partnership Grants Training
June 8 & 9, 2016 - Vanessa Rich Leadership Experience Series One

August 4, 2016 - Vanessa Rich Leadership Experience Series Three


Don't miss....The Chancellor's Academy - Early Childhood Strand in Champaign, IL on June 27 - 29, 2016! Click here for more info
Current Job Openings


*Chicago Department of Family Support and Services - Deputy Commissioner - Children Services Division*

*Illinois Action for Children - Head Start Site Director*

We Need Your Star Parents for the IHSA 2016-2017 Parent Ambassador Program!
IHSA is accepting applications for the Parent Ambassador program, supporting parent leadership. We have received a small grant to support the IHSA Parent Ambassador Program. I wanted to make sure you had a bit of information and time lines for the Parent Ambassador Program so you can decide if you would like your parents to participate and what you can expect:
Goals of Parent Ambassador Program
  • Teach ambassadors about the legislative process.
  • Train ambassadors how to educate, organize, and mobilize parents in their program. 
  • Give ambassadors the skills to advocate for themselves and their community.
  • Help ambassadors serve as a liaison between a local program, IHSA, and the larger early learning community. 
  • Ensure that parents have a voice in policy making discussions and deliberations. 
  • Provide IHSA and the Head Start community with a strong grassroots network that can help move positive policy proposals forward.

Our 2016 Annual Conference Keynote Speaker, Dr. Pam Schiller is presenting a webinar "A Dozen Easy-to-Implement Brain Boosters to Optimize Learning and Development Right from Birth"  
Fri, Apr 29, 2016 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT

Illinois Head Start Association 
3435 Liberty Drive
Springfield, IL 62704