Q.I. Network

Where Head Start Leaders Develop Mastery

Your Data Journey Starts Here

Lorem ipsum dolor etes amet a simple paragraph here explaining a overall intro.

Good Leadership depends on good data

In the old days, data was an afterthought – something that got collected, went into reports and was forgotten. Those days are over.

With the advent of nimble data tools and new federal requirements, Head Start leaders are tapping their program data for insights that enable higher quality services and stronger child outcomes.
The Head Start Q.I. Network is a community of programs strengthening their data tools and practices. When a program joins, they receive analytics for their data, access to online training with leading national experts, and coaches to support their implementation. As part of a peer community, they also learn from one another, in regular exemplar sessions highlighting best practice.

To be successful, Head Start managers need to understand the difference between a data story and an anecdote. They need to think critically about what is working and how they can improve services. There are tools, processes and systems to help them, but it requires attention and support.

Data mastery enables better decision making, wiser leadership and better outcomes. The Head Start Q.I. Network is about helping advance early childhood managers on their leadership journey. 

Join the largest, most successful network of Head Start programs tackling these challenges today and access our talented group of experts to reach your program’s potential.

Data ROI

In the past, the federal standard for quality was compliance. Now the expectation is continuous quality improvement (CQI).

CQI demands better data analysis and a more agile management style. CQI can be rewarding, but it requires learning new methods. Coaches can be invaluable and so can supportive peers, in mastering this new approach.

Federal data requirements are demanding.

Join the largest, most successful network of Head Start programs tackling these challenges today and access our talented group of experts to reach your program’s potential.

Combining several powerful resources

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur. Ut nisi risus ipsum urna leo. Etiam enim varius dictum amet hac imperdiet facilisis malesuada. Sit hendrerit habitant commodo viverra ullamcorper blandit nibh sem.

Data Analytics

New, affordable dashboards with visualizations that enable Head Start programs to more easily absorb and use data. A data warehouse cuts across silos and supports robust analysis.


Anonymous benchmarks enable comparisons across programs that have never previously been available, to identify bright spots and support learning.

Training & Coaching

Improvement science trainers advise participants on CQI tools and strategies, complemented by subject matter experts. Program teams receive regular coaching to support local implementation.

Learning Community

Participants enjoy the support of colleagues going through the quality journey together. Learning groups are organized around key topics and program demographics, to compare and learn from what works.

What Our Members Say


” The Q.I. Network design is truly remarkable. It’s the most exciting thing I’ve seen in Head Start in a while and I can’t wait until our team gets really steeped in this work and starts to see the impacts on our child and family outcomes.”

Coaches and Teams Share

Check out a recent webinar where improvement coaches, program director and team members describe their experience in the Q.I. Network.

Benefits of Participation

Four key benefits described by our members

Federal Standards

Better prepared staff are able to confidently lead data tours and ace FA2 visits, addressing key issues like school readiness and family engagement. Quality is not simply avoiding DRS, but driving quality beyond federal standards.


Our tools help programs to quickly identify the children and families needing more attention and inform interventions that address disparities. Measurement and analysis are invaluable resources in closing the achievement gap.

New Efficiencies

Our analytic tools and improvement coaching enable managers to work smarter, not harder. Intuitive data visualizations and strategies that address systems instead of one-off solutions combine to fuel more efficiency.

Workplace Culture

Effective quality improvement embodies a culture of exploration, inquiry, learning and collaboration. Data is shared and front line workers are involved in developing and testing solutions. The benefit in workplace culture spills over into all areas of the program.

View our pricing page for more details about our Q.I. Network memberships.

Next Steps – Exploring Membership

A subscription to the Head Start Q.I. Network connects you with the smartest programs in the country. Subscriptions run July 1 through June 30. Most programs explore and decide to join in the Winter or early Spring, as they plan for the coming year.

The first step is a call to better understand your needs. We’ll then forward you details about what to expect and arrange a session for your team with an Advisor to field questions and map out a plan to address your needs.

Head Start Q.I. Network Members

  • ECAP Sonoma
  • EChild Start, Inc.
  • EDavis School District Head Start
  • EDelta Health Alliance
  • EDouglass Community Services Head Start
  • EFirst Start Partnerships for Children and Families
  • EIzzi Early Education
  • EKitsap Community Resources
  • ELong Beach Unified School District Head Start
  • EMatrix Human Services
  • EMerced County Office of Education
  • EMercer County Head Start/Early Head Start
  • EMission Neighborhood Centers, Inc.
  • ENeighborhood House (Seattle)
  • ENorthcoast Children's Services
  • EPacific Clinics Head Start
  • EPlacer Community Action Council, Inc.
  • ERegion 10 Education Service Center
  • ESETA Head Start
  • ESouthwest HRA Head Start
  • EThe Unity Council
  • ETotal Community Action, Inc
  • EWu Yee Children's Services
  • EYMCA of Central Ohio Head Start
  • EYMCA of the East Bay

Case Studies Member Success

Read real life CQI examples from our members.

Increasing Child Health through Better Screening:
Data analysis and CQI helped Izzi Early Education significantly increase completed health screenings.


Many children missed health screenings during the pandemic. Even as lockdown orders lifted and medical offices resumed routine screenings, some children were still missing dental exams, physicals, TB testing, and other health events required by the Office of Head Start.

This was true at many Head Start programs, and Izzi Early Education undertook it as a CQI project. As of July 30, 2021, ChildPlus showed that only 58% of Izzi’s enrolled Head Start students were up-to-date on their health screenings. Since Early Head Start has more health requirements, only 22% of those students were up-to-date.

“The problem statement was very clear: to increase our percentage of children held up to date in our agency,” says Liz Dawdy, Izzi’s Health and Nutrition Services Manager.


Dawdy was new to the agency, but she jumped right in. The CQI team met with QI Network coach Shannon Calderone every three weeks, discussing what the agency had been working on and what they wanted to look at next.

They created a Fishbone diagram to see what areas needed further work to help improve health knowledge for the staff and families. That diagram inspired the team to host a Health Fair and update the paperwork for new families. They added an informational letter indicating that a Physical Exam and TB test is needed within the child’s first 30 days of enrollment. Family Services Specialists were also trained in how to talk to families during the completion of their Health Packet.

Dawdy looked at the health screening data and discovered that dental exams were the most commonly missing item making a child’s health screenings show up as incomplete. That finding created an opportunity. Although Izzi has a program called Virtual Dental Home (VDH) where a dentist comes on-site to centers and provides free dental screenings and exams, many of the children missing dental exams were not enrolled in VDH.

Through input from families, they discovered that the one-page form to decline VDH was more appealing to families than the nine-page application to enroll. Working with the dental provider, they shortened the application and promoted the program more to families, resulting in a 45% uptick in enrollment.

Another issue with VDH was that the team wasn’t entering VDH as the provider type in ChildPlus. “Like my Quality Assurance Manager Ofelia Alfaro told us, if we’re not putting in the data a certain way, then we can’t pull it the way we want to,” Dawdy says. After retraining staff, the data displayed more consistently.

Results & Benefits

  • More students are completing dental exams. Year over year, the percentage of Head Start children with completed dental exams increased from 67% to 71%, while the number of Early Head Start children increased from 28% to 38%.
  • More children up-to-date on overall health screenings. As of June 7, 2022, 90% of Head Start students and 40% of EHS students were up-to-date. Overall, 71% of students in the agency were up-to-date.
  • Increased staff confidence using data. Greater comfort with data means that the Izzi team will be able to carry these learnings into future work . “I continue to apply that in my work,” Dawdy says. “It was a great experience to go through.

The process took over a year from start to finish, but Brenner says it was worth it. “You need to take the time to do those tests in between and make sure you’re getting to the right solution,” she explains. KCR staff is now freed up to work on future improvement projects, too.

“[Our coach Shannon] really does an amazing job of facilitating and guiding but really getting our agency to do this deep dive.”

Liz Dawdy, health and nutrition services manager at izzi early education.

Kitsap Community Resources Streamlining Enrollment

Rethinking processes helped Kitsap Community Resources half their enrollment time.


When a parent told a family advocate at Kitsap Community Resources (KCR) that it was easier to apply for a car than enroll a kid in Head Start, staff knew they needed to rethink their enrollment processes.

At the time, parents had to handwrite numerous paper forms, many of them requesting duplicate information. Intake appointments took over an hour–or twice as long if a family had multiple children. If a child had allergies or other medical needs, it could take longer than 60 days for the child to start. Some families simply found alternative care, as they could not wait that long.

“We started asking ourselves, why is it taking so long? And how can we do it faster?” says John Hurley. (Hurley was then Family Services Manager at KCR, but he’s since been promoted to Deputy Director of Operations.)

The answer? KCR’s internal systems, including creating physical files for every child. The required paperwork was almost an inch thick.


Streamlining enrollment became KCR’s first improvement project with their QI Network coach.
Through empathy interviews with parents and staff about the current enrollment process, they learned that enrollment forms were cumbersome and repetitive.

Hurley and the family services team used process mapping to look at all of their systems and processes to find areas that could be combined. “I coded every question [from the intake forms] into an Excel spreadsheet,” he says. “I wrote down how many times we asked for date of birth, how many times do we ask for the doctor, how many times for the dentist, how many times for allergies…”

Adds Jill Brenner, KCR’s Director of Early Learning and Family Services, “John did this huge, beautiful flowchart of the process for a file from application to actual enrollment start.”

KCR also researched options for electronic forms. Based on cost and functionality, they eventually chose PandaDoc. Now, instead of parents writing the same information on multiple forms, much of the information is now autofilled. “You don’t have to write the kid’s name on every single piece of paper,” says Hurley.

To further simplify the process, they combined the health and eligibility interviews. “Now when our enrollment coordinator initially meets with families, they ask all those health questions about allergies or health concerns,” Hurley explains. If those questions spark any issues, the parent gets paperwork they can take to their doctor to create a plan. This avoids bottlenecks later in the process. The health manager Darcy Hermoso works on clearing children medically while enrollment coordinators work on income verification.

Results & Benefits

  • Faster enrollment: Families can now enroll in KCR’s Head Start in as few as two days but rarely more than 30 days.
  • Positive relationships with families: Under the prior enrollment process, parents knew when they heard from a KCR staff member, it meant more paperwork. “We didn’t want that to be the relationship that they’re forming,” Hurley says. “Now it’s about building relationships and having different conversations.”
  • Expanded access: Initially, they rolled out the new enrollment process to English-speaking Head Start families. The rollout went so well in the first year that they’re now expanding it to Early Head Start and dual-language families.

The process took over a year from start to finish, but Brenner says it was worth it. “You need to take the time to do those tests in between and make sure you’re getting to the right solution,” she explains. KCR staff is now freed up to work on future improvement projects, too.

“[Our coaches] were our thinking partners. They helped us dive into the data we were trying to collect and they gave us ideas on what kind of improvement tools to use.”

-Jill Brenner, Director of Early Learning and Family Services, Kitsap Community Resources.  

“We were reminded that the parents are the experts. They’re the ones that have gone through the enrollment process.”

-John Hurley, Deputy Director of Operations, Kitsap Community Resources.