Fall Leadership Institute

September 23 - 26, 2024 | Washington, D.C.


Early learning programs—including Head Start, Early Head Start, child care, and universal preschool—are a part of the national conversation like never before. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to hear from national political figures, thought leaders, and early childhood experts on what all this change means for Head Start.

Right now, key decision-makers in our nation’s capital are in the process of considering difficult spending trade-offs, with competing priorities facing a limited pool of money. Decisions made this fall stand to have a profound impact on Head Start’s work. It is critical that members of Congress and their staff hear firsthand how important Head Start is to the communities they serve.

Highlights Include:

  • Meetings with members of Congress
  • Advocacy trainings
  • Engaging discussions on how Head Start programs are leading in their communities
  • Professional development opportunities include media training, leadership development, and family advocacy efforts!
  • Rally for Head Start on Capitol Hill

An Unforgettable Experience

Network and Share

By convening leaders from across the country, our Leadership Institutes drive the Head Start community forward. Meet with your colleagues from across the country, share in conversations about niche Head Start happenings, and make connections that last.

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Advocate and Educate

NHSA's government affairs team will make sure that you have all the resources you need to schedule meetings with your members of Congress. These meetings connect your work to Congress' agenda, so you can have a hand in shaping a strong future for Head Start. Together, we can make sure that this dialogue leads to results.

Learn and Grow

Leadership Institutes offer deep-dive insights into the policies that affect Head Start nationally and explore how these can be implemented locally. What's the latest, and what can we expect in the months ahead?

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Explore the Nation's Capital

Tommy Speaking

A Word from NHSA

"The Leadership Institutes are essential, not only because they offer informative sessions and invaluable networking events, but because they provide the opportunity to meet with members of Congress and their staff to build strong, impactful relationships."

- Tommy Sheridan, Deputy Director

You won't want to miss this! 

But don't just take our word for it. Read the words from the Head Start community:

"Out of all the conferences we attend, the NHSA Fall Leadership Conference is my favorite. Where else can you get high-quality professional development, have time to interact with your peers, and have dedicated time to advocate for Head Start with the support of the NHSA team. I have made so many meaningful connections at the NHSA Fall Leadership events. If you are a Head Start leader that has never attended the event you are truly missing out!"

- 2020 Fall Leadership Institute (virtual) attendee

"My favorite part was being able to rally at the Capitol and hearing the senators advocate for Head Start. I will cherish that moment.”

- 2022 Fall Leadership Institute attendee

"Everything was perfect... As a parent, I never thought I’d ever be here speaking for my kids." 

- 2019 Fall Leadership Institute attendee

“Good info, great speakers, new innovative information!”

- 2022 Fall Leadership Institute attendee

"My favorite part was hearing the OHS updates and information from Yasmina and Tommy. I loved hearing the stories of impact, too. They were so powerful and helped me remember why we do what we do." 

- 2021 Fall Leadership Institute (virtual) attendee

“It's always good to hear from the NHSA leadership team. I trust that they have the best interest of Head Start and Early Head Start on their agenda. It's also energizing to be in a room full of like-minded friends. Head Start is Heart Work.❤️” 

- 2022 Fall Leadership Institute attendee

"Great conference!!! All speakers I heard were on point and high energy! Great job, NHSA. Can’t wait to be in person again and bring parents to the conference."

- 2021 Fall Leadership Institute (virtual) attendee

Frequently Asked Questions