The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) established the Designation Renewal System through regulation that became effective on Dec. 9, 2011. This regulation specifies seven conditions that HHS will consider when determining whether a grantee is delivering a high-quality and comprehensive program and, thus, whether the grantee may be renewed without having to compete for continued funding. In particular, if a grantee is found to meet any of those seven conditions during the time periods specified in the regulation, then that grantee will be required to compete for continued funding. For more detailed information, see Section 641(c)(1) of the Head Start Act and the regulation, which is codified at 45 CFR 1307.
Grant Awards Resulting from Pilot Birth to Five Pilot FOA
This summer, grants were awarded to the agencies that were successful in applying to the Birth to Five pilot funding opportunity announcement (FOA).
Selected Awardees Resulting from Designation Renewal System (DRS) Cohort 2 Competitions
At the beginning of July, 123 agencies received grants through HHS’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to provide Head Start and Early Head Start services in their communities for the next five years. Most of these awards were made available for competitive application as a result of the DRS. A full list of the newly-awarded grantees is available at http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/grants/dr/cohort-2-awardee-results.html.
Head Start Birth-to-Five Pilot Shows strong Push for Earlier Care and Education
Negotiations have begun for 15 organizations to receive federal funding as part of a new Birth-to-Five pilot for Head Start and Early Head Start services. The pilot aims to give communities greater flexibility in designing programs to better serve the needs of young children and communities from birth until they enter pre-k or kindergarten.
Head Start Continues Drive to Raise Standard of Its Providers
The press release announces that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified an additional 103 Head Start grantees that they have been designated to compete for continued Head Start funding.
American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Re-evaluation Protocol [PDF, 222KB]
The AIAN Re-evaluation Protocol is the instrument used to gather data during re-evaluation of AIAN Head Start grantees for the purpose of the Designation Renewal System. The Re-evaluation Protocol contains a core set of key indicators and compliance measures from the FY 2014 On-site Monitoring Protocol.
FY 2014 AIAN Re-evaluation Process Webcast Slides [PDF, 541KB]
Head Start Grant Opportunities Expand Successful Birth-to-Five Pilot Initiatives
The Department of Health and Human Sevices (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has released 123 funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for organizations interested in providing Head Start and Early Head Start services. About half of the opportunities will replicate a successful "birth-to-five" pilot initiative that encourages applicants to develop innovative plans to deliver services to children from birth through kindergarten entry in a single application.
FOAs are posted on ACF's Funding Opportunities site. Applicants have 90 days to submit their grant proposals online through www.grants.gov. An applicant support website is available to help organizations with the application process.
Head Start and Early Head Start Standards Raised to Increase Quality, Accountability
This press release announces that HHS has awarded funds to more than 150 agencies to provide Head Start services, as a result of the first cohort of competition.
Selected Awardees Resulting from Designation Renewal System (DRS) Cohort 1 Competitions
These agencies have been selected to provide Head Start services in their communities, having successfully completed negotiations for funding with the Office of Head Start.
Head Start to Improve Quality Through New Competitions, Greater Accountability
This press release announces that HHS is in negotiation with approximately 160 agencies to provide Head Start services, as a result of the first cohort of competition.
Head Start Launches Pilot Project to Encourage Innovation in Birth-to-5 Education
The Office of Head Start is launching a pilot funding opportunity in five communities [PDF, 164KB] to provide a comprehensive birth-to-5 Head Start and Early Head Start program, including services for expectant families.
Office of Head Start (OHS) Releases Birth-to-Five Funding Opportunities [PDF, 164KB]
OHS is offering applicants the opportunity to apply for funding to serve children from birth to age 5 and pregnant women, in the following service areas: Baltimore, MD; Detroit, MI; Jersey City, NJ; Sunflower County, MS; and Washington, DC.
Head Start Continues Program Quality Reforms with Second Group of Competitions
The press release announces that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified an additional 122 Head Start grantees that they have been designated to compete for continued Head Start funding.
Use of Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASSTM) in Head Start
This resource offers guidance on how CLASS can be used for professional development and explains how it is used within OHS for program monitoring purposes.
Using CLASSTM to Improve Head Start Quality
The blog post from Director Yvette Sanchez Fuentes describes how OHS is using CLASSTM to ensure that children enrolled in Head Start receive high-quality teaching and learning experiences.
Reform Continues: Head Start Grant Applicants Under Review
In the first Office of Head Start blog post, Director Yvette Sanchez Fuentes provides detailed information on the Head Start competition process.
PI 12-03 Non-Competitive 5-Year Grant Awards
This Program Instruction advises grantees of the process to request consideration from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) for a non-competitive 5-year grant award as specified in 45 CFR § 1307.7(a)(1) and outlines ACF's process for determining eligibility for a non-competitive 5-year grant.
Birth-to-Five Funding Opportunity Announcement Pilot
The Office of Head Start will be piloting a Birth-to-Five Funding Opportunity Announcement in five service areas where Head Start and Early Head Start funds are slated to be awarded through a competitive process. Potential applicants may submit a single application for a comprehensive birth-to-five program, or may apply for a Head Start-only or Early Head Start-only grant, based on the needs in the community.
Head Start Funding Opportunities Now Available
Today, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the availability of Head Start funding in 97 Head Start service areas across the country. The funding opportunities announced today are open to all eligible organizations, and applicants have 90 days to submit their grant proposals online through www.Grants.gov.
Director Sanchez Fuentes Explains Competitive Process for the Designation Renewal System
Designation Renewal System Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
These Frequently Asked Questions provide information about the implementation phase of the Designation Renewal System.
Grant Reviewers Application Information
The Office of Head Start is seeking qualified, non-federal reviewers to evaluate applications for Head Start and Early Head Start programs, with experience in early childhood or related fields, as well as reviewers with expertise in fiscal and organizational operations.
HHS Grants Forecast
The Department of Health and Human Services' Grants Forecast website is a database of planned grant opportunities proposed by its agencies. Enter "Head Start" in the search box to find the upcoming Head Start-related opportunities.
Grantees Required to Compete for Continued Funding
The list of grantees [PDF, 107KB] that have met a condition in Head Start Performance Standard 1307, and have been notified that they will be subject to an open competition within the next year for continued Federal funding.
HHS continues Head Start quality push, notifies grantees selected to compete for continued funding
The press release announcing that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified 132 Head Start grantees that they have been designated to compete for continued Head Start funding.
Federal Register: Final Rule for Designation Renewal of Head Start Grantees
The official notice and text of the final rule amending the Head Start Program regulations to implement statutory provisions of the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007. This regulation establishes a system of designation renewal to determine if grantees are delivering high-quality and comprehensive Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The new regulation is added to 45 CFR Chapter XIII PART 1307 - Policies and Procedures for Designation Renewal of Head Start and Early Head Start Grantees or [PDF, 224KB].
We Can't Wait: President Obama Takes Action to Improve Quality and Promote Accountability in Head Start Programs
The White House press release, in which the President announces new rules that will – for the first time – require all low-performing Head Start grantees that fail to meet a new set of rigorous benchmarks to compete for continued federal funding.
Federal Register: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) Designation Renewal of Head Start Grantees
The official notice of the proposed rule amending the Head Start Program regulations to implement statutory provisions of the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 to create a system of designation renewal to determine if grantees are delivering high-quality and comprehensive Head Start and Early Head Start programs and invite public comment on the proposal. OHS also issued a report to Congress on the NPRM as required in the Head Start Act.
HHS Announces National Effort to Reshape and Raise Quality in Head Start Programs
The press release announcing the proposed regulations for implementing a system of designation renewal, to implement statutory provisions of the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007.
Enhancing Program Integrity
The webcast by OHS Director Yvette Sanchez Fuentes describes Head Start reform efforts, including new proposed regulations for "recompetition," and support structures to bolster program effectiveness and program integrity.
A System of Designation Renewal of Head Start Grantees: Report of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Re-designation of Head Start Grantees
The findings and recommendations of the expert panel, required by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 to make recommendations to the Secretary on a system of designation renewal.
Designation Renewal. HHS/ACF/OHS. 2014. English.
Last Reviewed: August 2014
Last Updated: August 11, 2014