Our Mission


To serve as an early childhood education think and action tank that explores, facilitates, and accelerates practitioner-based innovation.



The HeadStarter Network is a nonprofit organization created to provide a nimble, interdisciplinary, and forward-looking engine for driving innovation in early childhood development and education. We constantly seek to apply best practices and innovations from technology, business, and academia to shape new models of early childhood education.

The story of Head Start starts with innovation. A group of experts from across the many disciplines that touched the lives of vulnerable children consciously designed Head Start as an intervention to disrupt poverty and pursue social and racial justice in communities across the country.  It is in this very spirit of cross- or interdisciplinary collaboration that the HeadStarter Network is being built - as a platform to support, incubate, and accelerate innovation in early learning.

The HeadStarter Network is the first practitioner-focused think and action tank.  While governed by Head Start alumni and powered by the National Head Start Association, it is an innovation network for all of early childhood development and education.


Our Beliefs

  1. Innovation is inclusive and always for and with "those in the arena."
  2. Innovation means a creative solution to a problem, not a solution in search of a problem.
  3. Innovation is messy, and messiness is its very source.
  4. Innovation means permission to fail.
  5. Innovation needs networks, especially their edges.
  6. Innovation benefits from a global view, even when it's local.
  7. Innovation is a team sport.