Policy Fellowship, National Head Start Association

Position Announcement:

Policy Fellowship


The National Head Start Association (NHSA) is a private not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to coalesce, inspire, and support the Head Start field as a leader in early childhood education. The opportunity to succeed in school and in life, regardless of circumstances at birth, is a core American value, and for the past fifty years the Head Start movement has embraced the challenge of delivering on that value and developing our nation’s most vulnerable children and their families. A strong and sustainable future for Head Start will mean the success of generations of children who may otherwise struggle throughout their lives. Their future success rests on the knowledge, commitment and collaboration of families, programs, researchers and policymakers.


The NHSA Center for Policy, Data, and Research works to curate knowledge about Head Start to support Head Start programs as leaders and to share their wisdom and experience widely, to generate new analyses and reflections on program and policy priorities, and to strengthen dialogue and collaboration between Head Start practitioners and researchers. To further this work, CPDR is seeking a fellow with insight, skills, and commitment to Head Start.


JOB SUMMARY:  The Policy Fellowship is a year-long, paid position as part of a dynamic team working on policy and advocacy on behalf of Head Start. The Fellow will have the opportunity to develop skills using data and research to educate policymakers, support practitioners, and engage in a national conversation about the value of early learning. The Fellow will work with oversight and guidance from the Executive Director, Senior Director for External Affairs, and Director of Policy, Data, and Research.



1. Analyze federal and state early learning policies and systems and the involvement of Head Start programs in their development and implementation.

2. Collaborate with the External Affairs team to create resources to support state and local Head Start organizations in their policy and advocacy work.

3. Prepare fact sheets and synopses of recent and relevant research on Head Start to support Head Start programs in their advocacy and daily practice.

4. Maintain efforts to gather, organize, and communicate the work of innovative and exceptional Head Start programs.

5. Collaborate with CPDR and communications staff to prepare and post website and blog content related to the work of the Center.

6. Support working groups of Head Start leaders crafting policy and practice recommendations.



- Familiarity with and commitment to Head Start and the diverse communities Head Start programs serve.

- Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to adapt communication style and strategy based on audience.

- Strong academic success, including a bachelor’s degree at a minimum and coursework in public policy and research methodology.

- Demonstrated analytical abilities for synthesis of information and identifying themes and relationships.

- Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to be comfortable and assertive working with large and small groups.

- Strong attention to detail, superior organizational skills, and computer literacy.

- A high level of energy, ability to multi-task, and sense of humor.

- One to three years relevant work experience.



Compensation for the fellowship is in the $30,000 range with some flexibility based on education and experience, as well as full benefits.



Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter detailing how the applicant’s experience provides a match for the requirements of the position along with a short writing sample (1-3 pages).  Information should be submitted to Emmalie Dropkin at jobs@nhsa.org.  Applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. The ideal candidate should be able to begin work June 1st, 2015.