(1) Grantee and delegate agencies must establish and maintain an organizational structure that supports the accomplishment of program objectives. This structure must address the major functions and responsibilities assigned to each staff position and must provide evidence of adequate mechanisms for staff supervision and support.
(2) At a minimum, grantee and delegate agencies must ensure that the following program management functions are formally assigned to and adopted by staff within the program:
(i) Program management (the Early Head Start or Head Start director);
(ii) Management of early childhood development and health services, including child development and education; child medical, dental, and mental health; child nutrition; and, services for children with disabilities; and
(iii) Management of family and community
partnerships, including parent activities.
(b) Staff qualifications--general.
(1) Grantee and delegate agencies must ensure that staff and consultants have the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to perform their assigned functions responsibly.
(2) In addition, grantee and delegate agencies must ensure that only candidates with the qualifications specified in this part and in 45 CFR 1306.21 are hired.
(3) Current and former Early Head Start and Head Start parents must receive preference for employment vacancies for which they are qualified.
(4) Staff and program consultants must be familiar
with the ethnic background and heritage of families in the program and must
be able to serve and effectively communicate, to the extent feasible, with
children and families with no or limited English proficiency.
(c) Early Head Start or Head Start director qualifications.
The Early Head Start or Head Start director must have demonstrated skills and abilities in a management capacity relevant to human services program management.
(d) Qualifications of content area experts.
Grantee and delegate agencies must hire staff or consultants who meet the qualifications listed below to provide content area expertise and oversight on an ongoing or regularly scheduled basis. Agencies must determine the appropriate staffing pattern necessary to provide these functions.
(1) Education and child development services must be supported by staff or consultants with training and experience in areas that include: The theories and principles of child growth and development, early childhood education, and family support. In addition, staff or consultants must meet the qualifications for classroom teachers, as specified in section 648A of the Head Start Act and any subsequent amendments regarding the qualifications of teachers.
(2) Health services must be supported by staff or consultants with training and experience in public health, nursing, health education, maternal and child health, or health administration. In addition, when a health procedure must be performed only by a licensed/certified health professional, the agency must assure that the requirement is followed.
(3) Nutrition services must be supported by staff or consultants who are registered dietitians or nutritionists.
(4) Mental health services must be supported by staff or consultants who are licensed or certified mental health professionals with experience and expertise in serving young children and their families.
(5) Family and community partnership services must be supported by staff or consultants with training and experience in field(s) related to social, human, or family services.
(6) Parent involvement services must be supported by staff or consultants with training, experience, and skills in assisting the parents of young children in advocating and decision-making for their families.
(7) Disabilities services must be supported by staff or consultants with training and experience in securing and individualizing needed services for children with disabilities.
(8) Grantee and delegate agencies must secure the
regularly scheduled or ongoing services of a qualified fiscal
(e) Home visitor qualifications.
Home visitors must have knowledge and experience in child development and early childhood education; the principles of child health, safety, and nutrition; adult learning principles; and family dynamics. They must be skilled in communicating with and motivating people. In addition, they must have knowledge of community resources and the skills to link families with appropriate agencies and services.
(f) Infant and toddler staff qualifications.
Early Head Start and Head Start staff working as teachers with infants and toddlers must obtain a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential for Infant and Toddler Caregivers or an equivalent credential that addresses comparable competencies within one year of the effective date of the final rule or, thereafter, within one year of hire as a teacher of infants and toddlers. In addition, infants and toddler teachers must have the training and experience necessary to develop consistent, stable, and supportive relationships with very young children. The training must develop knowledge of infant and toddler development, safety issues in infant and toddler care (e.g., reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and methods for communicating effectively with infants and toddlers, their parents, and other staff members.
(g) Classroom staffing and home visitors.
(1) Grantee and delegate agencies must meet the requirements of 45 CFR 1306.20 regarding classroom staffing.
(2) When a majority of children speak the same language, at least one classroom staff member or home visitor interacting regularly with the children must speak their language.
(3) For center-based programs, the class size requirements specified in 45 CFR 1306.32 must be maintained through the provision of substitutes when regular classroom staff are absent.
(4) Grantee and delegate agencies must ensure that each teacher working exclusively with infants and toddlers has responsibility for no more than four infants and toddlers and that no more than eight infants and toddlers are placed in any one group. However, if State, Tribal or local regulations specify staff:child ratios and group sizes more stringent than this requirement, the State, Tribal or local regulations must apply.
(5) Staff must supervise the outdoor and indoor play
areas in such a way that children's safety can be easily monitored and
(h) Family child care providers.
(1) Head Start and Early Head Start grantee and delegate agencies must
ensure that family child care providers have previous early child care
experience and, at a minimum, enroll in a Child Development Associate (CDA)
program or an Associates or Bachelor's degree program in child development
or early childhood education within six months of beginning service
provision. In addition, such grantee and delegate agencies must ensure that
family child care providers acquire the CDA credential or Associate's or
Bachelor's degree within two years of February 7, 2008 or, thereafter,
within two years of beginning service provision.
2) Family child care providers who enroll Head Start children must have
the knowledge and skill necessary to develop consistent, stable, and
supportive relationships with young children and their families, and
sufficient knowledge to implement the Head Start Performance Standards and
other applicable regulations.
(3) Grantee and delegate agencies offering the family child care option
must ensure that closures of the family child care setting for reasons of
emergency are minimized and that providers work with parents to establish
alternate plans when emergencies do occur. Grantees and delegates must also
ensure that the family child care home advises parents of planned closures
due to vacation, routine maintenance, or other reason well in advance.
(4) Substitute staff and assistant providers used in family child care
must have necessary training and experience to ensure the continuous
provision of quality services to children.
(5) At the time of hire, the child development specialist must have, at a minimum, an Associate degree in child development or early childhood education.
(6) Child development specialists must have knowledge and
experience in areas that include the theories and principles of child
growth and development, early childhood education (birth to age five),
and family support. Child development specialists must have previous
early childhood experience, familiarity with the Child Development
Associate (CDA) competency standards and knowledge and understanding of
the Head Start Program Performance Standards and other applicable
(i) Standards of conduct.
(1) Grantee and delegate agencies must ensure that all staff,
consultants, and volunteers abide by the program's standards of conduct.
These standards must specify that:
(i) They will respect and promote the unique identity of each child and
family and refrain from stereotyping on the basis of gender, race,
ethnicity, culture, religion, or disability;
(ii) They will follow program confidentiality policies concerning
information about children, families, and other staff members;
(iii) No child will be left alone or unsupervised while under their care;
(iv) They will use positive methods of child guidance and will not engage
in corporal punishment, emotional or physical abuse, or humiliation. In
addition, they will not employ methods of discipline that involve isolation,
the use of food as punishment or reward, or the denial of basic needs.
(2) Grantee and delegate agencies must ensure that all employees engaged
in the award and administration of contracts or other financial awards sign
statements that they will not solicit or accept personal gratuities, favors,
or anything of significant monetary value from contractors or potential
(3) Personnel policies and procedures must include provision for
appropriatepenalties for violating the standards of conduct.
(j) Staff performance appraisals. Grantee and delegate agencies must, at
a minimum, perform annual performance reviews of each Early Head Start and
Head Start staff member and use the results of these reviews to identify
staff training and professional development needs, modify staff performance
agreements, as necessary, and assist each staff member in improving his or
her skills and professional competencies.
(k) Staff and volunteer health.
(1) Grantee and delegate agencies must assure that each staff member has
an initial health examination (that includes screening for tuberculosis) and
a periodic re-examination (as recommended by their health care provider or
as mandated by State, Tribal, or local laws) so as to assure that they do
not, because of communicable diseases, pose a significant risk to the health
or safety of others in the Early Head Start or Head Start program that
cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation. This
requirement must be implemented consistent with the requirements of the
Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
(2) Regular volunteers must be screened for tuberculosis in accordance
with State, Tribal or local laws. In the absence of State, Tribal or local
law, the Health Services Advisory Committee must be consulted regarding the
need for such screenings (see 45 CFR 1304.3(20) for a definition of
(3) Grantee and delegate agencies must make mental health and wellness
information available to staff with concerns that may affect their job
(l) Training and development.
(1) Grantee and delegate agencies must provide an orientation to all new
staff, consultants, and volunteers that includes, at a minimum, the goals
and underlying philosophy of Early Head Start and/or Head Start and the ways
in which they are implemented by the program.
(2) Grantee and delegate agencies must establish and implement a
structured approach to staff training and development, attaching academic
credit whenever possible. This system should be designed to help build
relationships among staff and to assist staff in acquiring or increasing the
knowledge and skills needed to fulfill their job responsibilities, in
accordance with the requirements of 45 CFR 1306.23.
(3) At a minimum, this system must include ongoing opportunities for
staff to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the content
of the Head Start Program Performance Standards. This program must also
(i) Methods for identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect that
comply with applicable State and local laws using, so far as possible, a
helpful rather than a punitive attitude toward abusing or neglecting parents
and other caretakers; and
(ii) Methods for planning for successful child and family transitions to
and from the Early Head Start or Head Start program.
(4) Grantee and delegate agencies must provide training or orientation to
Early Head Start and Head Start governing body members. Agencies must also
provide orientation and ongoing training to Early Head Start and Head Start
Policy Council and Policy Committee members to enable them to carry out
their program governance responsibilities effectively.
(5) In addition, grantee and delegate agencies offering the family child
care program option must make available to family child care providers
(i) Infant, toddler, and preschool age child development;
(ii) Implementation of curriculum (see Sec. 1304.3(a)(5) for the
definition of curriculum);
(iii) Skill development for working with children with disabilities;
(iv) Effective communication with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and with their families;
(v) Safety, sanitation, hygiene, health practices and certification in,
at minimum, infant and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR);
(vi) Identifying and reporting suspected child abuse or neglect;
(vii) United States Department of Agriculture's Child
and Adult Care Food Program; and (viii) Other areas necessary to increase
the knowledge and skills of the family child care providers.