Updates from IHSA Executive Director, Lauri Morrison-Frichtl
We hope your new year is off to a great start!  Lots has happened since our last IHSAdvisor.  Our world was turned upside down on December 27th as we learned about the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Vanessa Rich.  Vanessa was an IHSA and Region V HSA Board Member and served as Board Chair for the NHSA.  The IHSA plans to celebrate Vanessa's life at the Annual Conference during the "Awards Luncheon" on Tuesday, March 15th.  We hope that all can join in this tribute to an amazing, inspiring person.  In addition, IHSA plans to sponsor t he Vanessa Rich Innovation and Leadership Program Award.  This award will be presented annually to an Illinois Head Start/Early Head Start program that embodies the spirit and values exemplified by Vanessa Rich.  Vanessa was relentless in her quest for quality for our most vulnerable children and families and her courageous spirit empowered those around her.  Outstanding IL Head Start/Early Head Start programs that exhibit leadership and inspire others to engage in the pursuit of quality and assume leadership positions will receive this award. 

The IHSA Office is in full swing with work on the Annual Conference.  We have several nationally known key note speakers and in-depth, dynamic sessions planned for the Annual Conference.  Along with a Public Policy Luncheon and the Edward Zigler Research Institute this year's conference promises to be the best!  Don't forget about parents!  We run our Parent Conference in conjunction with the Annual Conference.  Our parent tracks are awesome this year!  Visit our website for more details on the 2016 Annual Conference and to register online.

Also, the IHSA Board of Directors worked to revise our Bylaws.  Over the last six months the IHSA Board reviewed Bylaws from other state associations, discussed and debated the potential changes to our existing Bylaws.   Bylaws are regulations or rules for operating the Association.  Please follow THIS LINK to read about the changes.  These changes will be discussed further during Component Meetings on Monday, March 14th from 2:30 - 4:00 pm at the Annual Conference and approved by the general membership at the Business Meeting immediately following the Component Meetings.   Component meetings and the business meeting are important.  They serve as a conduit for you, as a member, to have input and guide the work of your Association.

In addition, each Component (Parent, Director, Staff and Friend) will be hosting elections for the IHSA Board of Directors during Component Meetings, on Monday, March 14th.  Follow the link for more information on how you can become an IHSA Board Member.  I want to learn more about becoming an IHSA Board member

Updates from Associate Head Start State Collaboration Director, Shauna Ejeh
Health & Safety Training Requirements Coming for All CCAP Providers
In line with federal requirements, the State CCDF Plan will require that all ECE 
professionals have training in 10 health and safety areas if they are CCAP providers. 
Illinois is looking to align the ECE Level One Credential training modules to address 
these areas. It will be recommended that providers take modules 1-4 of the training 
which cover 9/10 of the requirements and then take the mandated reporter training on  the DCFS website. All training will be available online.
Here's a link to search current ECE Credential Level 1 training options:
Early Learning Council Home Visiting Task Force
Statewide, many different programs offer home visiting services for families prenatally and with a child up to five years old. The Home Visiting Task Force works to support the work of these programs and determine best practices in the field. As Head Start programs work to serve more children Birth to Five, it is important to be connected to and aware of state funded birth to three programming within local communities to ensure a seamless coordination of services for children and families and to minimize competition. Participation in the HVTF is open, contact Anna Potere at [email protected]  if you would like to join. In 2016, the meetings are at the following dates and times:  January 27 th , 2016, 2:00-4:00pm; May 3 rd , 2016, 3:00-5:00pm; July 26 th , 2016, 2:00-4:00pm; October 18 th , 2016, 2:00-4:00pm.

Keeping the Commitment: Moneyball for Head Start by Yasmina Vinci
January 12, 2016

In Washington, D.C. there's no shortage of  tinkerers  who write about what they think Head Start was, is, and should be without ever fully experiencing an actual Head Start program. That is why I have been so excited over the past year to be involved in discussions about strengthening the culture of data and continuous improvement in Head Start. Those engaging and passionate discussions included a group of organizations who respect the importance of practitioner perspectives in advancing policy and practice.

"Moneyball for Head Start: Using Data, Evidence, and Evaluation to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families"  was written by Sara Mead and Ashley LiBetti Mitchel of Bellwether Education Partners and was crafted in partnership with Results for America, the Volcker Alliance, and the National Head Start Association with valuable input from both Head Start program leaders and policy experts. Not only does the paper recognize the extraordinary contributions Head Start programs have made to the lives of children and families over the past fifty years, but it also looks forward to how local programs can pursue stronger outcomes by using data to understand strengths, while identifying and intervening in potential areas for improvement. While federal energy has been building around the collection and use of data for years, "Moneyball for Head Start" specifically submits a set of recommendations for the roles the federal Office of Head Start, researchers, philanthropists, advocates, and programs can play in achieving a strong and effective culture of data in every Head Start program.

Head Start Among Programs Boosted in Proposed White House Budget
February 9, 2016

The Obama administration's proposed budget for fiscal 2017 would provide more money for early-childhood efforts through a variety of programs. 

Head Start, which provides early-education programs for children from low-income families, would be funded at $9.6 billion in the budget proposal, a boost of $434 million over the previous fiscal year. The money would be used to support expansion of Early Head Start (which serves pregnant women and children up to age 3) as well as the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships. Those partnerships link federal Early Head Start programs with private providers in an effort to increase the number of high-quality child-care slots. The increase would also be used to help more programs develop a full-year, full-day program.

The Case for Better Data in Head Start
January 22, 2016 

More Americans , including policymakers, are realizing the value of early education. Yet Head Start, the nation's largest early education program, continues to come under scrutiny. Since the  Head Start Impact Study  found that on average  the measureable school readiness benefits of Head Start were no longer discernable in early elementary school, some policymakers have questioned whether the program is a worthwhile investment.

Instead, what policymakers should take from the Impact Studies is that there is room for improvement in Head Start. The program has the potential to better the lives of our nation's most vulnerable children, and it often does.  Other research  has shown that Head Start children are not only better prepared for kindergarten, but also continue to benefit into adulthood. The question policymakers should be asking is this: how can we make Head Start more effective so that all attendees see long-lasting benefits?

Addressing Chronic Absence in Head Start
February 4, 2016

Chronic absenteeism: the term sounds as though it belongs in the depths of a medical dictionary. Much like a disease, it's a condition that spreads rapidly, appears in clusters, runs in families, and has serious, detrimental effects. Unfortunately, it's infecting our schools. What are the risk factors? Is it preventable?

Chronic absenteeism means missing 10% of a school year for any reason, including excused and unexcused absences. Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works, paints a picture of what this means in one example: "If you're chronically absent in kindergarten or first grade because of an asthma issue, then by third grade you're not reading at grade level and by sixth grade you don't like school because it was never a positive experience. Now maybe you're truant and you're skipping school. But you're losing sight of the fact that we never created an equal opportunity for this child to be successful in school." Chang highlights the value at the core of this growing problem: because chronic absenteeism is disproportionately affecting minorities, students with disabilities, and students from low income families, it's a matter of equity. A missed day of school is a missed opportunity for learning, and the implications are massive.

Upcoming Training and Events

February 10, 11 & 12, 2016 - Practice Based Coaching Leadership Academy 
February 18, 2016 - New Directors/Leaders Meeting Series #1 

MARCH 2016
March 2 & 3, 2016 - CLASS Observation Training / El Valor, Chicago Illinois
March 2 & 3, 2016 - CLASS Observation Training / IL Action for Children, Homewood, IL
March 14 - 16, 2016 - IHSA ANNUAL CONFERENCE / Springfield, IL
March 14, 2016 - IHSA Pre Conference / Public Policy Luncheon
March 16, 2016 - IHSA Post Conference / Edward Zigler Midwest Research Institute 
March 16, 2016 - Let's Talk About Transportation Meeting
March 16, 2016 - Let's Talk About ERSEA Meeting 

APRIL 2016
April 7 & 8, 2016 - Practice-Based Coaching  Coach Training 
April 13, 2016 - Central Education & Disability QEC
April 14, 2016 - Central Family Services QEC
April 15, 2016 - Central Health, Mental Health and Nutrition QEC
April 19, 2016 - South Education and Disability QEC
April 20, 2016 - South Family Services QEC
April 20 & 21, 2016 - New Directors/Leaders Meeting Series #2 
April 21, 2016 - North Health, Mental Health and Nutrition QEC
April 22, 2016 - PITC Module III / Part One 
April 26, 2016 - Chicago Education & Disability QEC
April 27, 2016 - Chicago Family Services QEC
April 28, 2016 - Chicago Health, Mental Health and Nutrition QEC
April 29, 2016 - PITC Module III / Part Two
April 29, 2016 - Let's Talk About Transportation Webinar (rescheduled)

Current Job Openings


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

*Illinois Action for Children - Head Start Site Director*


In Memoriam of our Dear Friend 
Vanessa Ann Rich
October 1951 - December 2015


Illinois Head Start Association 
3435 Liberty Drive
Springfield, IL 62704