NHSA Touchpoint
Published in

NHSA Touchpoint

Touchpoint: The Child Tax Credit

September 2021

Transcribed below:

Hello, NHSA community. Welcome to another edition of this Touchpoint. By now, you’re probably back in your buildings with new program years up and running. I hope things are going well for you.

Love Note

Let’s get started with our love note. This love note is a really easy one. On August 27, the Office of Head Start deputy director Ann Linehan will be retiring, or retired depending on when you see this. It will either have just happened or going to happen. And so this Touchpoint’s love note has to go out to Ann Linehan for all of her years of dedicated service, to Head Start and Early Head Start, bringing the Office of Head Start so upfront and close to all of the programs. So thank you to Ann Linehan for her dedication, and we wish her the best in her retirement. We know at Head Start you never really leave, so it isn’t really goodbye — just until we meet again.

The Child Tax Credit

All right. Now the topic today may not be, I don’t know, the most exciting topic to talk about, but it is a very important topic. The Child Tax Credit, you’ve probably heard a lot of buzz around this. And as we get back to school and to the program year and thinking about enrollment,

I want you to broaden your enrollment thought beyond just enrolling a child and a family and your program and including enrollment with the Child Tax Credit.

This is something that is so important to our children and our families. And we think that a lot of our folks are being missed. And we think that Head Start and Early Head Start programs are the key conduit to bring the application to them, to support them in filling it out in whatever way they need.

Right now, do you know that 4 million children in low-income families are at risk of not getting the Child Tax Credit? And guess how many Head Start and Early Head Start children and their families qualify. All of them.

So here’s what’s important: as programs with tight relationships with your families, programs that can do outreach as you’re going through an enrollment process, it’s something to just layer in there and make it part of that process organically. And we think that could really make a difference in how many children and families benefit from the Child Tax Credit. You know, there are experts that predict that it could actually potentially help lift one half of all children out of poverty, if all eligible families sign up to receive monthly payments. And if Head Start and Early Head Start programs enroll all of their children and families, that takes care of a big chunk of those children in their fields.

So we need your help. As you welcome families back to the classroom, and you’re backing your buildings, we have tools for you at go.nhsa.org/CTC. You can use these tools to help promote and to inform. We’ve got posters in varied languages, you can download them, post them, and help to train your staff. It has tips on assisting how to fill out the application and helpful links for your staff and for your families. So we invite you to check that out.

And we know many of you are already doing really hard work in this area. We are grateful to you for that. But if you need support, we’re here to support you. And of course we want to thank you for all you’ve been doing to support families and our children through what continues to be really trying times, but you know, Head Start and Early Head Start, we’re built for this. We’ve got a great program year ahead of us. We know, and the Child Tax Credit is one way that we can bring some relief to our families.

In Case You Didn’t Know

All right, as we close up, In Case You Didn’t Knows. I actually have a lot of In Case You Didn’t Knows, so get ready.

All right. Do you know that you can sign up to be an advocate with Head Start? Visit the link I’m going to provide you here at nhsa.org and subscribe for future alerts. And then you’ll always be our advocate on the ground. You know, one united voice is really important.

The other thing I want to remind you is that Fall Leadership Institute is coming. We’re so excited.

And I also want you to know, in case you didn’t know that September is Baby Safety Month. So Early Head Start programs, you might use baby safety month to promote safety.

It is also Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, all Early Head Start, Head Start programs should take this opportunity to educate about healthy eating and, you know, we’re partners with one of our new partners is Dr. Yum, you might check them out.

They’ve got some great tools online to help promote healthy eating at home, and even in your program, some fun things you can do.

From Parent Gauge, we did a short Share the Love campaign. And I want to shout out Suzanne Prescott from Butler County. She deserves a love note from me, and you know why Suzanne.

And I want to just encourage everybody to check out Parent Gauge. It is such a great way to connect with families, collect the data you need, and then be able to use those data to really support families. So if you haven’t checked out Parent Gauge, give us an email, and we’ll connect with you and show you how it works. We’ve got programs using it and they just love it.

And then also, a new thing that we’re bringing to our parents is a parent book discussion. I read the book, When You Wonder You’re Learning. I had it over here, I don’t know where it is. But I just love the book and I want to read it with some parents. So if you’ve got some parent leaders in your program who might like to do a book club with NHSA, that’s with me and some of my friends here in NHSA, we’re going to get together, meet once a week for six weeks. And then, get this, the authors are coming to the Parent Conference in December, and they’re going to meet with this group, sign their books. It’s going to be a lot of fun. So check out our parents book club link. I will provide that here.

And of course there’s lots of Academy news there. So if you need some professional development, if you’re hiring new staff, we’ve got a great onboarding series that you can sign them up for, making it really easy to onboard folks into Head Start. Lots of new stuff is coming. Keep your eye on the Academy, new classes all year long.

Okay, that’s it for now. Remember,

Head Start is access to the American dream. Go make dreams happen.

Dr. Deborah Bergeron has spent over thirty years working to support the growth and development of children. She led the Office of Head Start and the Office of Early Childhood Development at the Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services from 2018–2020. As the Deputy Director of Community Engagement and Innovation at the National Head Start Association, she aims to bring the Head Start and Early Head Start community together, provide the necessary support to ensure high-quality programming, and be a constant reminder to the folks on the ground that they are the backbone of Head Start and Early Head Start.

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What type of professional development opportunities is NHSA offering this month? How can I connect with the Head Start and Early Head Start community? Are there new resources my program can take advantage of?

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