Currently the IL Head Start Association (IHSA) works to support the NATIONAL HEAD START ASSOCIATION NHSA Dollar Per Child Campaign. In the near future IHSA will begin a 2 Dollar Per Child Campaign. The $2 Per Child Campaign will raise the funds needed to support advocacy by the Illinois and National Head Start Associations, on behalf of at risk children and families. For every $2 collected, one dollar will go to IHSA advocacy and one dollar will go to NHSA advocacy efforts. Federal restrictions limit what funds can support this work. Not a single dollar of federal funds is spent on our advocacy work. Voluntary contributions are a critical source of our advocacy support.
Millions of American children are living in poverty and are in desperate need of the opportunity for success that Head Start and Early Head Start offer. IHSA and NHSA’s advocacy efforts raise awareness of their need and help to keep the window open to more and more children.
Currently, every dollar raised by Illinois Head Start/Early Head Start programs go directly to NHSA. Below are details on the importance of the Dollar Per Child Campaign.
The goal of Dollar per Child is securing Head Start’s future by ensuring that NHSA is able to be that unified voice on behalf of all Head Start children – in order to do so, we need to raise one dollar for each of the one million children enrolled in Head Start and Early Head Start programs across the nation.
» Organization of field-wield advocacy activities – like 2013’s hugely successful Empty Seats campaign, which demonstrated on a national scale the harmful effects of sequestration.
» Representation on Capitol Hill (aka lobbyists) to ensure Head Start is able to meet with key Congressional offices on behalf of the unique needs of Head Start children.
» Professional public relations support to bolster NHSA’s media efforts – news pieces, letters to the editor and op-eds.
» Convenings of discussions with Head Start practitioners, academics, think tanks, and policy makers to inform future Head Start authorizations.
» Many programs reach out to local high schools and universities for additional volunteers or to sponsor fundraising events.
» A noted exception to the no Head Start resources “rule” is the de minimis use of office equipment to tabulate, record and track the donations by staff during nonworking hours.
» Programs should keep track of the funds acquired by their Dollar per Child activities in an unrestricted budget account and ensured they are sent to NHSA as contributions for advocacy. They may not be co-mingled with restricted federal funds.