National Head Start Conference

April 15 - 18, 2024 | Portland, OR

As the largest national conference devoted to all things Head Start, the annual National Head Start Conference brings the Head Start community together for a week of sharing knowledge, networking with peers, and celebrating achievements.

NHSA’s 51st annual National Head Start Conference will be held in Portland, Oregon. With more than 130 interesting, compelling, and challenging sessions, you will also find:

  • Plenty of special events, celebrations, and entertainment
  • Networking opportunities with hundreds of Head Start colleagues from across the country
  • The largest collection of exhibitors offering products and services (and even some free stuff!) for Head Start and Early Head Start programs
  • And keynote speakers who will make you cry, laugh, and cheer!

📣 Exhibitors

Register for a booth!

Interested in advertising or sponsorship opportunities? Please reach out to Kenna Pruitt, NHSA's partnership director, at

Registration Rates

All discounts are available to those who are a staff or parent in a Head Start/Early Head Start program which has an active NHSA program membership.

NHSA Member Rate:


Available from 2/24/2024 - 4/14/2024

On-Site Member Rate:


Available from 4/15/2024 - 4/18/2024

Non-Member Rate:


Not a member? Sign up to save.

Schedule at a Glance

Monday, April 15

8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Registration Desk Open

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Pre-Conference Sessions (Separate Registration & Fee Required)

5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Welcome Reception & Exhibit Hall Grand Opening

Tuesday, April 16

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Registration Desk Open

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
General Opening Session

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Lunch on your own

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open

1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

2:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

Wednesday, April 17

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Registration Desk Open

8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall Open

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

12:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Lunch on your own

1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions

7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
After Glow

Thursday, April 18

8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Registration Desk Open

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
General Closing Session

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Why is this such an important event?

The Head Start community is driven like none other to provide opportunities for success in the lives of our nation's systemically underserved children and families. It’s important that our community comes together every year to refresh our commitment to Head Start’s vital mission, and discuss the latest developments, innovations, and obstacles in early childhood. Only by stepping away from our day-to-day work can we look at the big picture and help propel Head Start to even greater heights.

Celebrate After-Hours

Opportunities to reconnect with all your colleagues you have not seen for more than a year!

  • The Scholarships and Awards - Free!
    Celebrate talented and innovative Head Start and Early Head Start staff, parents, and programs.
  • The Exhibit Hall Grand Opening Reception - Free!
  • Explore the largest gathering of vendors and service providers for Head Start.
  • AfterGlow Lounge - Free!
    Step out and dance with friends and colleagues.
  • Alumni After Happy Hour - Ticketed Event
    Did you attend Head Start as a child? Join fellow Head Start alumni for a meet-up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Policies & Resources

Exhibiting and Sponsorship