Lady Byrd Johnson, wife of President Lyndon Johnson, said “Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” As Head Start parents, teachers, and administrators, we believe a positive head start in education can lead to success in life.

And it works. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, and Ford Foundation President Darren Walker are just a few of the many examples of Head Start children who have gone on to impact the world.

All the babies in our care deserve a chance to do the same. So let’s inspire them to become the best they can be. Let’s inspire their parents to be excellent first teachers to guide them along the way. Let’s inspire their teachers to connect with them in every interaction. And let’s inspire each other to strive for the best. Together, we can reach higher performance outcomes for every child.

Several initiatives will help us Inspire to Reach Higher for our babies this year. For kids to be learning and getting inspired in our classrooms, we need to ensure they’re in our classrooms—Every Child Every Day. Then, we’ll continue Serving Kids with CLASS. I also want us to be training, supporting, and empowering our Parents as Leaders, not only leaders in their families, but also in their schools and communities.

As we fully embrace Head Start’s new performance standards, let’s remember that they remain compliance-oriented, but are no longer compliance-driven. Let’s pair Compliance with Quality, Efforts, and Learning to achieve demonstrated performance outcomes. And let’s focus on Staff Wellness to ensure everyone can give their best. Let’s continue promoting Male Engagement, because children benefit from having both male and female role models in their lives. And let’s keep improving classroom environments through Quality Start LA.

As this new school year dawns, LET’S GET INSPIRED! And let’s continually inspire one another to reach higher performance outcomes for every child every day. Our babies deserve nothing less.