OUR HOPES |OUR STAFF NEWSLETTER| ISSUE 4
New Jersey Head Start Association Affiliates
By Bonnie Eggenburg
Resolve to Make a Healthier You
By: Mary Caldwell
Thanksgiving has passed and some of us are
probably feeling guilty about the food coma we
brought upon ourselves and yet, we’re eagerly
waiting for the next office pot luck and holiday
dinner with the family. Now is the best time to
consider participating in the HOPES CAP,
Inc. Employee Wellness Initiative beginning
January 4, 2016.
In general, wellness programs carry many
benefits for the employee and employer such as
improved health status which can lower
healthcare costs, improved job satisfaction that
in turn increases morale and productivity, and
increased social support.
Many of you may not be aware of this, but if
you are under the agency’s insurance plan, you
already have access to quite a few perks. If you
enroll on HorizonbFit.com, you can get a $20
monthly reimbursement on your gym
membership. On Blue365Deals.com you have
access to various discounts on all kinds of
health-related products and services such as
weight control vendors (Nutrisystem, Weight
Watchers, & Jenny Craig), hearing and vision care
(Lasik and hearing aides), fitness apparel (Skechers
& Reebok), etc.
Now, some may be wondering, “How will our
progress be tracked?” At the start of this
program, we will be using a handy web based
fitness tracker called, Daily Endorphin.
Through this website I will be creating and
sending these challenges out agency wide via email. If you’re interested, all you have to do is
click on the attached link, set up your profile,
and join the challenge. Through Daily
Endorphin you’ll be able to track fitness,
nutrition activities, accumulate points, and
create teams. For more information visit
On November 12, 2015 Veronica Ray, NJHSA President,
welcomed affiliate members to the meeting. Sixteen
programs were represented including: Gateway CAP, Ocean
Inc, Newark Public School, Greater Bergan CAP, Bayonne Head
Start, Pathstone, Norwest CAP, Center for Family Resources, CDI
Newark Head Start, HOPES, Union Twp CAO, East Orange
Child Development Corp, Acelero (Middlesex, Monmouth), Morris
County Headstart, North Hudson Headstart, Leaguers, Inc.
Suzanne Burnette, the NJ Head Start Collaboration Director
(DOE), provided information regarding Grow NJ Kids,
Quality Information and Resources System (QRIS). The
system is being promoted by the Federal government to
assist parents in being an educated consumer. The system
gives access to scholarships (includes CDAs and P-3
certification) and small grants for supplies. Call Suzanne if
your program needs assistance with enrolling.
Directors shared concerns about how districts are
partnering or not partnering with Head Start programs,
particularly with the new four year old program and
ELLI/ECPA. Questions were asked about the districts
involvement in enrollment. Burnette shared that the push is
to move away from central enrollment and have programs
initiate enrollment when working with districts. Head Starts
need to ensure that they are following Head Start ERSEA
regulations and assert themselves with districts. Eventually
all Head Starts will have identifier code and child identifiers
to do enrollment electronically. The need for Head Starts to
review and modify contracts with districts as needed to
ensure compliance with Head Start regulations was
An overview of the New Jersey Head Start Association
(NJHSA) was shared. The association is made up of four
affiliates: directors, staff, parents, and friends. Each
affiliate sends three representatives to the board. The board
members communicate back with their affiliates. However,
in the last few years, there have been some inconsistencies.
The focus is to strengthen the association. Members are
encouraged to consider serving as leaders, representing the
majority of the programs in the state of New Jersey.
Commitment is being asked of everyone to attend meetings
and to be part of various committees. NJHSA has been
successful in ensuring that state programs, such as Grow
NJ Kids, reflect the Head Start philosophy and regulations.
Members make a difference.
If you have an interest in shaping the future of the New
Jersey Head Start Association by participating as a
member of the Staff Affiliate, please sign up with me prior
to the next meeting in January.