As we get ready to close the book on 2023, we’re also rapidly approaching a brand-new chapter in the journey of the Head Start and Early Learning community. July 1 marks the beginning of our next five-year project period, which is filled with exciting opportunities to stabilize the workforce and ensure equity and inclusion are central to all of our work. 

A refreshed vision statement guides us toward this exciting milestone—Cultivating relationships to foster communities of excellence. This human-centered vision recognizes that all our work is rooted in strong relationships—relationships between parents and children, educators and children, educators and families, staff and supervisors, staff and peers, grantee and delegates, each of us with one another. These relationships, built on trust, respect, and empathy, guide us toward our common goals. 

 Please take this vision to heart while developing our funding application for year one. This human-centered approach is at the core of our five-year strategic plan—through which we will blaze new trails in the ever-evolving early learning landscape—and it should also lead us to shared accountability. As we continue working to overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, let us each hold ourselves and each other accountable for becoming fully staffed, fully enrolled, and consistently providing high-quality services that empower children and families to thrive.