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About MN Head Start Assoc Inc.

In 1987 Minnesota Head Start grantees established the Minnesota Head Start Association (MHSA) with the mission to empower themselves as a united voice in speaking and acting on issues affecting low-income children and families. The Association's second mission is to improve Head Start programs and policies by conducting itself as an informed, respectful, and representative organization.

Parent PowerMinnesota's Head Start grantees rely on the Association to gather information about gaps and trends in local service delivery, targeting families with young children. Identifying common concerns for local programs and families affords the Association opportunities to help grantees develop statewide strategies to improve Head Start programs and policies. Grantees also rely on the Association to communicate trends issues and information on local program response and outcomes,, and challenges to the broader community including regional, state and national audiences. In this way, the Association is also an advocate for low-income children and families and the Head Start programs that serve them.

The Minnesota Head Start Association aggressively pursues donations, grants and financial support for its activities. Through financial support from the State Head Start Collaboration Office, the Association's Special Focus Minnesota projects are currently to:

MHSA is also funded through membership dues from grantee agencies. The association's organizational diagram illustrates the relationship between member grantee agencies and the Association's membership structure and governance. A Board of Directors governs the Association and its twelve members represent each affiliate member group (directors, staff, parents and friends). The Association employs a full-time executive director and contracts with member agencies for technical and support functions.

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Most activities of MHSA are carried out by a core group of 90 volunteers from the various affiliates who serve on standing committees and ad hoc advisory boards assembled at the discretion of the Board. The Minnesota Valley Action Council, Inc. is under contract to provide fiscal management services for the Association.

MHSA works in close partnership with the Minnesota Community Action Association, advocating jointly on behalf of disenfranchised families in Minnesota. The Association's Executive Director represents the Head Start community on statewide early childhood consortiums and health planning initiatives such as Ready 4K, MN Early Childhood Comprehensive Screening Systems Advisory Council, Great Start MN (ABCDII) and the Citizen's League MN Mental Health Action Group. The Association works closely with the State Head Start Collaboration Director in the Minnesota Department of Education and the various state agencies whose responsibilities it is to address the challenges of improving services for low-income families.

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