2017 Fall MHSA Conference was a success!



Picture above is Pam Kuechler (Executive Director), Tabatha Colon (Vice Chair),  and Tache Figueroa (Board Member) at the Devens Conference Center on November 1, 2017

Everyone enjoyed the day beginning with Keynote Speaker Dr. Jayne Singer.  In the afternoon, participants chose between the workshops “Digging Deeper: Working with Families with Complex Needs” and “Taking Care: Tools to Help Ourselves and Those Around Us Shine.”

Massachusetts Head Start Association is on AmazonSmile!

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AmazonSmile is a simple and easy way to support MHSA every time you shop on Amazon, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Massachusetts Head Start Association just by selecting our name from the list of beneficiaries.

We’re excited to take part in Amazon’s charitable giving and appreciate your support!

Questions? Learn more here!

News from the National Head Start Association: #HeadStartAwareness

To recognize the extraordinary impact that Head Start has on a child’s literacy skills, our partners at Reading is Fundamental selected an exclusive Head Start book list. Complete with free activities, this new monthly feature will encourage deeper interactions as adults and children read together. While we’re kicking the new initiative off to celebrate Head Start Awareness month, the list will change each month – so be sure to check back!

In support of Books Building Bridges, this month’s book list focuses on members of the community and the importance of their involvement. The selected titles are great options to consider when you invite members of your local police to read aloud in your Head Start programs. If you haven’t already connected with your local department, there’s still time! For extra tips and advice, you can contact Bob Manning at . We love hearing about your developing partnerships, so keep sharing on social media with #HeadStartAwareness!

This Head Start Awareness Month, show your commitment to our Dollar per Child campaign by contributing what you can on Money, Money, Money Mondays (or any other day!). The Dollar per Child campaign is essential to making sure each Head Start program is adequately represented in Congress, the Administration, and in their respective state. Every dollar counts and at the end of the month we will announce which program raised the most money per capita! Who will be the program that gives the most this Head Start Awareness Month? Control your destiny and give your gift today!

Thanks again for participating in #HeadStartAwareness Month – we can’t wait to continue the celebration in Week Three!


PS: don’t miss our inaugural Office Hours with Sesame Street discussing the importance of community! The webinar will be October 25th 4:30-5:30 EST. Register here.

NHSA’s Alumni Network

MHSA encourages Massachusetts Head Start alumni to join the National Head Start Alumni Network. This initiative was started by the National Head Start Association to celebrate Head Start’s semi-centennial as a public awareness campaign to promote the successes of the program’s 32 million alumni.

Who can join?

All former Head Start children and their parents are welcome to join! Just like Head Start itself, the Alumni network takes a two-generation approach. It’s a great opportunity to create or attend a local networking event, connect with other alumni, and contribute to Head Starts ongoing success.
Click here to join!


Massachusetts Head Start Association members go to the Hill!

Participation in the Early Childhood Education Rally and Advocacy Day

By Michael P. Norton
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, APRIL 24, 2017…About 200 early education supporters rallied outside the State House Monday, thanking lawmakers for their efforts to boost the salaries of early educators but urging them to do more to help young learners and workers whose wages place them on the edge of poverty.
Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz told the ralliers that she was able to be at the rally because she knows her young children are being cared for while she is at work.
“We depend on you,” said Chang-Diaz, co-chair of the Legislature’s Education Committee. “Look, I’m here because I know where my kids are today and they’re with tremendously talented educators, and I don’t worry. Our economic viability as a state depends on you.”
But early educators earn on average $26,000 per year, Chang-Diaz said, just above the poverty level for a family of four. Ralliers shouted in agreement as she said early education workers can’t afford to pay their mortgages, pay down their student loans or send their own children to early education.
Early Education Commissioner Tom Weber did not address the House budget amendments ralliers are pushing this week but told the assembled early educators, predominantly women, that they play critical roles in contributing to the state’s success in education and its overall quality of life.
“You are the Commonwealth’s unsung heroes. You are,” said Weber, urging ralliers to build relationships in the state Legislature where representatives and senators decide how to spend $40 billion per year. “We’re not going to win this cause in one day,” said Weber.
Noting she meets with him monthly, Chang-Diaz said Weber has been an ally in the fight to improve early education and “has been scrounging in the couch cushions for months” to find money for salary supports.
Women, including many women of color, hold together a system of 90,000 educators who nurture and educate the state’s youngest children, said Jesse Mermell, president of the Alliance for Business Leadership. Supporting early educators and their salaries, she said, will help address income inequality.
“Lifting these women and their families out of mere poverty or having to rely on multiple jobs just to get by may be a small drop in the bucket when it comes to addressing inequality, but it is significant nonetheless,” Mermell said.