Explore the State Network

Select a state below to visit the State Head Start Association webpage.

Head Start State Network

The Head Start State Network aims to promote a sense of community and cooperation between the national association, Head Start state associations, and collaboration offices across the country. Led by Senior Director of State Affairs Kent Mitchell, NHSA facilitates communication, coordinates policy development, strengthens advocacy activities, and disseminates innovations and best practices in state-based early learning systems.

State Network Monthly Calls

  1. Water Cooler Call: 3 to 4 p.m. ET, 4th Thursday monthly
    Catch up on Head Start federal affairs and advocacy, interact with your peers, and share your updates in a pre-call survey. If you can only attend 1 call each month, this is the one!
  2. State Collaboration Directors Call: 2 to 3 p.m. ET, 4th Tuesday monthly
    Policy brief for State Collaboration Directors. Mirrors the Water Cooler, but with a lesser focus on advocacy. As with Water Cooler, we issue a pre-call survey.
  3. Workshop: 2 to 3 p.m. ET, 2nd Thursdays monthly
    Opportunity for both State/Regional Associations and Collaboration Directors to do a deep dive on a topic of interest and exchange with peers or hear from an external partner. This is a members-only call.


Advocacy is a pillar of early childhood education. NHSA's legislative and political advocacy advances the profession and the cause of our nation's youngest learners.

State Collaboration Offices

Collaboration Offices in each state—and nationally with the Migrant/Seasonal and American Indian/Alaskan Native communities—facilitate partnerships and encourage cooperation between Head Start and state early learning entities.

State Resources

Early Head Start State Policy Agendas

Maryland, New Jersey, and New York Head Start Associations developed Early Head Start state policy agendas specific to their unique needs and contexts.


2022 State Fact Sheets

Head Start’s Model: Nationwide, Comprehensive, Multi-Generational Click on your state to download your state’s Head Start Fact Sheet or explore Head Start locations in detail. In the six decades since Head Start’s founding, we have reached a new milestone: 37 million children have been served. From early math and reading skills, to confidence and resilience, Head…


Data Playbook for States

The purpose of this data guide is simple: to teach the skills of using data to make the case for investing in Head Start and Early Head Start to address the rising tide of need in your state. Used wisely, data can provide policymakers and community leaders the insight and information they need to make…


Policy Brief: State Efforts to Expand Early Head Start

Early Head Start (EHS) combines full-day care, home visiting, health services, and family support, helping states meet important goals for pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and their families. There is a 500,000 slot gap between funded EHS slots and Head Start slots. Closing this gap will require more federal investment and targeted state efforts to accelerate…


12 State Policies that Promote Head Start

States can support children. This brief explores six polices that promote Head Start access and six polices that promote Head Start quality.


Head Start Helps

As the coronavirus pandemic evolves, Head Start’s priorities are to: Respond immediately to ensure children and families from at-risk backgrounds continue to get the critical stabilizing support they need. Innovate our service delivery to provide school readiness, health, and family support services in new ways during this crisis and as communities recover. Advocate for child…


Playbook: Engaging Governors to Support Head Start and Early Head Start

This NHSA playbook focuses on engaging governors in early childhood education and using effective messages that resonate.


State Investments in Head Start Support At-Risk Children and Families

This brief explores how state investments for Head Start can improving equity and opportunity for at-risk children and families.