What is Head Start
- Why Head Start is
Important in Alaska
What is new at AHSA?
There are many Critical Issues facing Head Start. Get more information from this link about the need to increase Head Start funding in Alaska by $3,000,000.
Join or renew your membership now. The current membership year is November 1, 2012 through October 31, 2013.
2013 AHSA Awards of Excellence
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For the AHSA Track - 6 Workshops During AEYC
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Through your membership support, AHSA can help provide training, information, resources and recognition to the Head Start community and work with legislators and government administrators to ensure the continued success and growth of the Head Start programs in Alaska.
We are proud of the work we have accomplished and with your support we will continue to make a difference in the lives of Head Start children and families. Your membership is vital in building a strong voice for Head Start children and families in Alaska.
Head Start is a national program that promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children. The program engages parents in their children’s learning and helps them in making progress towards their educational, literacy and employment goals. Significant emphasis is placed on the involvement of parents in the administration of local Head Start programs. Over forty years of experience in delivering high quality early childhood services makes Head Start stand out as one of the most successful demonstration programs in the nation.
The Head Start program provides comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families, with special focus on helping preschoolers develop the early reading and math skills they need to be successful in school. The Early Head Start program was established to serve children from birth to three years of age in recognition of the mounting evidence that the earliest years of development are very important.
Why is Head Start Important in Alaska
- Alaska Head Start is the largest early childhood program serving over 3,000 young children ages birth to age five in 100 Alaskan communities.
- Head Start and Early Head Start grantees insure that thousands of children receive health and dental screenings each year. In many communities where medical and dental care choices are limited or non-existent, Head Start programs play a vital role in helping families access treatment for their children.
- Research shows that well-trained teachers are a key component of high quality child development programs. In spite of funding and distance challenges, Alaska’s Head Start grantees have increased the number of teachers with BA degrees in Early Childhood Education and significantly increased the number of teachers with AA degrees since 2003. This achievement not only has raised Head Start program quality but also has helped Alaska address its statewide shortage of trained early childhood educators.
- Over 10% of enrolled children have a diagnosed disability and are receiving coordinated services.
- Children transition from Head Start to Kindergarten with increased literacy, math and social skills.
- Parents of Head Start and Early Head Start children are involved in their child’s program. Parent involvement is directly related to children’s cognitive growth and social outcomes.
- In 2008, Head Start programs employed over 900 people across the state. If Head Start were a private company, it would be among the top 20 of the state’s largest employers. In many smaller communities, the Head Start program is an important source of employment and local economic activity.
- Demonstrated collaborative relationships with local and regional resources support and strengthen services to children and families in the State.
- According to an Economic Opportunity Institute report from 2002 entitled “The Link between Early Childhood Education and Crime and Violence Reduction”, investments in early childhood education lead to large economic savings. For every $1 invested $7 is saved in special education services, correctional system services, and long term societal effects of delinquency.
For more information on the 16 Head Start Programs serving Alaska go to our Alaska Head Start Programs page.
The Alaska Head Start Association (AHSA) is dedicated to strengthening early learning programs through advocacy, education, and leadership.
AHSA Executive Committee: