What is the New York State Head Start Association?
The Association has been in existence for close to thirty years, but was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1990. Since then, it has continued to grow in membership and scope. In 1997 it employed its first Executive Director and opened the Albany office.
Who does the Association represent?
It represents its members across New York State, the Directors, Staff, Parents, and Friends who join the Association every year. In addition, it serves the nearly 10,000 employees of Head Start programs in New York State. Thirty percent of these employees are former parents, who with their children receive the benefit of Association activities and projects.
What does the Association do?
It advocates for the interests of the Head Start community, responds to members' needs and concerns, and promotes quality programming and professional development. Many of these activities take the form of projects, often involving teams of people from Head Start programs and others interested in a particular issue.
What effect do these activities have?
They can influence state government policy on issues that relate to early childhood education and care, like child care subsidies and funding for Universal Pre-Kindergarten. They can provide up to date information about pending legislation, new regulations, Association meetings, and opportunities for professional development.
Who else is involved in these activities?
The Association represents its membership and the greater Head Start community by participating in partnerships and collaborations with other organizations, agencies and individuals with similar interests related to early childhood education and care. These networks give us strength when advocating for change in state policy and practice.
What specific projects are going on at this time?
Currently, the Association is working on projects related to Family Literacy, Transition, Violence Prevention, Coordination of Higher Education, Alternate Pathways to College Credit, and Professional Development Models for Head Start Programs.
What benefits do members of the Association have?
In some ways, you already benefit from information and opportunities for professional development. However, the New York State Head Start Association is your professional organization for New York State. There is no other state level group representing your interests and advocating for your causes. Belonging to a professional association is an important aspect of your career because it ties you to others with a similar commitment to quality programs for children and families. Membership provides a unique opportunity for you to support and serve this statewide organization.
How can an individual support the Association?
First, become a member. Then urge your program to join by paying Association Agency dues. These funds support the operation of the office in Albany, staff, communications, development of partnerships, organizing quarterly Association meetings, etc. Participate in local fund raising efforts to support the $2 Per Child Campaign, which uses non-federal dollars for lobbying at the state and federal levels to keep Head Start strong. Attend Association membership meetings where you will take part in Affiliate, Committee, and Board meetings. Volunteer to work on projects currently under way, or share ideas for new projects that will benefit the Head Start community.
How can an individual join the Association?
Print out the membership form on this page and mail it, with your dues, to the Association Office. Contact the Association Office in person at (518) 452-0897 (phone) or (518) 452-0898 (fax) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.