Hello, Head Start and Early Learning community! Summertime is here—and not only that but also the start of a new five-year project period! In this time of transition, I encourage you to find space to reflect on lessons learned over the past five years. Certainly, we learned about our resilience—as programs and as individuals—and how to move forward from times of deep uncertainty. What other lessons did you gain that will help sustain you in the five years ahead?

Clearly, our work lives have shifted, but our responsibility to children and families and our accountability as stewards of public funds remain the same. As we move forward into the new project period, all flexibilities afforded during the pandemic have expired, so all requirements must be implemented, including both full staffing and full enrollment.

I’m pleased to report that we’re making great strides toward both goals, though much work still remains before us. In May, I was pleased to celebrate more than 90 early educators who completed a Career Development Initiative Pathway! Our enrollment also continued to rise throughout 2023-24, and active recruitment efforts are underway across the county. As long as we keep focused on solving these challenges together, I am confident we can return to full staffing and full enrollment to serve the children and families of LA County.