We are the National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Association (NMSHSA). We are a 501 3 (c) located in Washington, DC. We have a small staff and a dedicated volunteer board of directors. We are the voice of migrant and seasonal farmworker children.
By advocating for resources, creating partnerships, and affecting public policy, the National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Associations works to ensure that quality comprehensive services are available to all eligible farmworker children and their families.
The National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Association (NMSHSA) is a membership organization that includes Head Start Directors, Staff, Parents, Growers and friends working together to support and strengthen migrant and seasonal Head Start programs.
Migrant & Seasonal Head Start programs:
• Serve nearly 30,000 migrant children and nearly 2,500 seasonal children annually
• Operate in 38 states in every region of the country
• Provide coordinated services to mobile families and children as they migrate from state to state
• Are seasonal in nature providing services in some areas for 2 months and other area for 10 months
• Provide extended hours service, 12 hours a day, and often 6 days a week
• Have served migrant children and families since 1969
• Have served seasonal children and families since 1999
Migrant and seasonal farm workers work in various sectors of our nation’s agriculture industry – from harvesting to sorting to processing and everything in between. It is hard work and requires special skills. Most farm worker families earn less than $10,000/year and have no health benefits according to a study submitted to Congress in 2000 by the United States Department of Labor.
Migrant & Seasonal Head Start was a response to the needs of migrant farm worker families. In most states, local childcare resources are not available when migrants come into a community, especially for infants and toddlers. When resources are not available, parents have no choice but to take their children to the fields where they are exposed to pesticides, hazardous equipment, extreme heat and other health dangers.