Policy Principles


Download the Head Start California Policy Platform

Guiding Principles

Alignment – Balance eligibility, compensation and reimbursement.

We must align poverty eligibility guidelines, staffing requirements and wages, and reimbursement rates that will attract qualified staff to the field and allow families in or near poverty to qualify for services.

Simplicity – Less is more.

We must reduce and simplify regulations that remove unnecessary administrative burdens and free agencies to focus on serving children.

Flexibility – Encourage adaptability and innovation.

We must give service providers the flexibility to adapt services and leverage funding to fit local need and to innovate in designing new services.

Advancing systemic change

that recognizes and dismantles differences in educational outcomes as a result of who children are, where they live, and what resources their families have. All children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Legislative Priorities


  • Funding to dramatically increase wages for Head Start staff.
  • Expanding categorical eligibility to qualify families for Head Start.
  • Adjusting income-eligibility guidelines to account for state, regional or local costs of living.
  • Ongoing funding for Head Start in the state budget.
  • Accelerate the implementation of a single 0-5 license (e.g. Assembly Bill 605) for all providers as soon as possible.
  • Complete the ‘universal eligibility portal’ called for in the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care.
  • Build the ECE data system with all stakeholders including Head Start.



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