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Greetings from the New England Head Start Association (NEHSA)! The purpose of this letter is to share an update with you about the Association, and to request your continued support for the Association in 2022-2023.

As you know, NEHSA was negatively impacted by the pandemic and the loss of in-person events. The organization was without an Executive Director for 1.5 years due to loss of revenue. In spring 2022, Kristen Hayes accepted a part-time (10-15 hours a month) contract to support the implementation of the strategic framework which was developed by the Board of Directors in the fall of 2021.

The Board of Directors and Kristen have strengthened organizational governance and operations by meeting monthly and developing ad hoc committees to support both routine and longer term planning work. We have onboarded four new Board members, and provided training to the entire Board on governance practices. We have re-engaged with the Regional Office and the Training and Technical Assistance team. Through it all, the needs of the grantee community have remained at the center of our work.

Our commitment to supporting the professional development needs of the Head Start community has never been stronger. We recognize that Head Start professionals need our regional association to serve as a forum to exchange ideas and to access exceptional professional development. We are finally looking ahead and forward to 2023. With this letter, we are requesting your support by paying dues for the period of September 1, 2022 - August 31, 2023. Your dues will ensure we can:


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  • Offer a virtual professional development event (“Let’s Connect”) on March 14, 2023 for NEHSA members-only. Dues must be paid prior to March 14, 2023 to attend.

  • Offer a second virtual session in the late spring for members-only.

  • Release a member-only newsletter.

  • Select and onboard a conference planner to support the execution of an in-person NEHSA conference the week of December 4, 2023 in Nashua, New Hampshire. Registration will open in the fall of 2023. Jump to Event page

  • Support NEHSA Board members with representing New England on the NHSA Board of Directors

  • Continue to pay for our operational expenses.

Once a Head Start grantee pays the annual dues, all staff and families associated with the program are considered members and may access NEHSA members-only services. Dues for program members are set according to your Office of Head Start funding level (base + training and technical assistance funds). Dues remain unchanged from 2020.

Help NEHSA plan the December 2023 NEHSA Conference! As we look ahead to the December 2023 Nashua event, our Professional Development (PD) Committee has begun meeting to plan the content and format of the event. We are recruiting volunteers to sit on the Committee to support these and broader planning efforts. If you or a staff person is interested in learning more about the PD Committee, please reach out to Kristen Hayes (

We hope you will continue to support NEHSA and join us this year as we bring our regional community together.

Kristen Hayes, Interim Executive Director and our entire Board of Directors:

(C) Catherine Green, Director, Rhode Island Head Start Collaboration Office
(D) Tanisha Johnson, Child and Family Services Director, Strafford CAP; NEHSA Board Chair
(D) Pam Wildnauer, Director, Citizens for Citizens, Inc.; NEHSA Vice Chair
(D) Tracye Fortin, COO - Child and Family Services, Kennebec Valley Community Action Program
(D) Sandra Graves, Director, Champlain Valley Head Start
(D) Mary Varr, Executive Director, Woonsocket Head Start Child Development Association, Inc.
(F) Paul Behrman, Principal, Walnut Leadership
(F) Nicole Taxiltaridis, NEHSA Secretary
(F) Michelle Fleagle, CPO, York Community Action; NEHSA Treasurer
(P) Katya Nanson

(S) Marianne Bouthilette, Director of Child & Family Support Services, CAPV Head Start & Early Learning Programs


(C) - Collaboration Office representative
(D) - Director representative
(F) - Friend representative
(P) - Parent representative
(S) - Staff representative

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