South Dakota Head Start Association
The South Dakota Head Start Association is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in 1989 to coordinate and conduct activities designed to build awareness of Head Start and Head Start services in South Dakota. As the primary support link between local, regional and national Head Start programs, we advocate for low-income families in South Dakota with pre-birth to age five children. We work in collaboration with our other stakeholders to meet the needs of low income families in South Dakota while achieving outcomes for children in preparation for future success in learning. Our Association is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of four representatives from each Head Start Grantee—a Parent, a Staff member, a Director, and a Friend of Head Start.
The South Dakota Head Start Association collaborates and partners with various groups to provide services and information to aid South Dakota children and families. The Association’s Dental Initiative distributed 8,784 children’s dental kits to 16 Tribal and nonTribal programs throughout South Dakota through grants from the SD Dental Foundation and Delta Dental Foundation. In addition to children’s dental kits, SDHSA received a donation of 11,520 adult toothbrushes which were sent home with Head Start children across the state. The SDHSA Executive Director is a member of the SD Oral Health Coalition as well as the Tri-State DentaQuest Coalition. SDHSA conducted Community Resource Assessments for the Bright Start Home Visiting program, through the SD State Department of Health, and continues to work with Bright Start in promoting and developing an Early Childhood Comprehensive System for South Dakota. Surveys and work with Community Advisory Boards for Bright Start will continue in the Bright Start service areas of Spearfish, Belle Fourche, Pine Ridge, Pierre, Lower Brule, Huron, and Sisseton.
SDHSA works closely with the SD Association for the Education of Young Children in organizing South Dakota’s only Early Childhood Education Conference to provide high-quality professional development and training for educators, daycare providers, preschool professionals and parents. The conference is held annually in April. Regular supporters of the SDECE conference are Sanford Health , SD State Department of Education, Delta Dental, Lakeshore and Kaplan Early Learning. SDHSA participates with or promotes SD Voices for Children, Feeding SD, SD Partners Against Hunger, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, National Head Start Association, and other organizations with interests in Early Childhood issues.