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G - Human Resources Management
NOTE: Exempt, in the above question, refers to whether or not an employee is covered by the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Programs wishing to get a better understanding of the FLSA are encouraged to read the Program Instruction that discusses FLSA and its attachments (ACYF-PI-HS-01-01). Programs are also encouraged to look at the Department of Labor’s web site which has a more detailed discussion of FLSA.
Head Start programs should be aware that a job title alone is not enough to qualify an employee as exempt from the overtime and minimum wage provisions of the FLSA. Determinations of exempt status are subject to a combination of factors: the amount of pay received by the employee (salary level), how an employee is paid, e.g., hourly, salaried, commission, etc. (salary basis), and the specific nature of the work performed (primary duty). In addition, for a position like teacher, there are other factors which may be considered, such as whether the employer is a school district or another type of organization.
OHS recommends that Head Start grantees concerned about this issue contact one of the district offices of the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. See the following web sites for information on the Department of Labor and on State Labor Offices.
April 23, 2007
Revised May 4, 2007
There is no requirement that Head Start parents be part of a grantee’s interview process. The requirement is that parents, through the Policy Council (or Committee), must approve the hiring of any new staff. However, many grantees have found it beneficial to involve the Policy Council in all steps of the hiring process, as a well informed Policy Council will enhance shared governance in the grantee and help avoid any misunderstandings between the Board and the Policy Council. Including Policy Council members during the interview process is one effective way to do this; the number of Policy Council members is a matter to be decided between the grantee and the Policy Council.
April 23, 2007
If State, Tribal or local law does not include a definition for "regular volunteers", the Head Start program is expected to establish policy or procedures covering "regular volunteer" requirements locally. 45 CFR 1304.52(j)(2) requires that "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". 45 CFR 1304.3(a)(20) defines a volunteer as "an unpaid person who is trained to assist in implementing ongoing program activities on a regular basis under the supervision of a staff person…"
45 CFR 1304.52(j)(2); 45 CFR 1304.3(a)(20)
June 19, 2007
It would be sufficient to simply categorize the parent’s activity as ‘Teacher’s Assistant’, assuming there is a ‘Teacher Assistant’s’ job description maintained by the Head Start program. Grantees should use the same procedure for any of the jobs for which there are paid employees and, therefore, job descriptions. For volunteer activities for which there is not a job description, grantees that anticipate using those volunteer services on an ongoing basis should establish a position description for that volunteer activity and in the description explain the basis for arriving at the hourly compensation level that will be used for claiming non-federal share. For example, if a grantee twice a year has a volunteer Saturday Center Clean-up Day that grantee might create a position description for a maintenance worker (assuming it does not already have one) and describe the duties and basis for valuing the service. Then on the individual timesheets for all the volunteers the grantee would only have to put Activity: Maintenance Worker (Volunteer). When a grantee does not have a valid position description it will have to create individual documentation for a particular volunteer activity, including a description of the work, the basis for valuation etc. As an alternative to developing job descriptions for all of the volunteer donated activity, programs may choose to identify and describe the activity on the volunteer time sheet.
Grantees are reminded that irrespective of how they determine the type of work performed by the volunteer (and, therefore, its value to the program), the use of volunteer time as match must include the establishment of a wage scale based upon the grantee agency’s internal scale or prevailing wages in the area. All volunteer time needs to be carefully documented by time sheets with the hours recorded and be verifiable from the grantee’s records; i.e. the date, times and location of the volunteer service and corroborated by the signature of both the volunteer and the volunteer’s supervisor. Programs may choose to use a monthly time sheet for regular volunteers or daily time sheets for occasional volunteers.
2 CFR 215.23(d); 45 CFR 92.24(c)(1)
July 3, 2007
No. CFR 1304.52(d)(2) requires that health services in a Head Start program be supported by staff or consultants with training and experience in public health, nursing, health education, or health administration. Members of the Health Services Advisory Committee are not considered to be Head Start staff or consultants.
45 CFR 1304.52(d)(2)
July 3, 2007
Rescue medications do not need to be locked up, however, they must be kept out of children’s reach and be accessible to staff at all times, including when children are on the bus, playground or on a field trip. Any staff person administering rescue medications, whether in the classroom, on the bus, on the playground, or on field trips, must be trained in the administration of such medications.
July 3, 2007
The mental health professional should help programs address the Head Start Program Performance Standards requiring collaborative work with parents to access, either directly or through referrals, services and resources responsive to the family’s goals (1304.40(b)(1)). This includes providing parents with information or services addressing mental health issues (1304.40(b)(1)(ii)). Early Head Start programs enrolling pregnant women must help them access, as part of comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care, any needed mental health intervention and follow-up (1304.40(c)(iii)).
The mental health professional’s work with program staff focuses on supporting the staff’s performance of professional duties in serving children and families (e.g., consulting with teachers to promote positive social behaviors among children, or providing information for home visitors on common parenting issues raised by families). Regarding the personal mental health needs of the staff, programs must “make mental health and wellness information available to staff with concerns that may affect their job performance” (1304.52(j)(3)).
Please also refer to OHS – PC – B – 050.
45 CFR 1304.40(b)(1); 1304.40(b)(1)(ii); 1304.40(c)(iii); 1304.52(j)(3)
July 3, 2007
Revised May 11, 2009
No. To value a volunteer’s time at the rate of a professional position would require that individual meet the minimum requirements of that position; in this case to have at least a CDA.
July 13, 2007
In accordance with 45 CFR 1350(b)(6), an individual may not serve on the Policy Council and also be hired as a temporary or regular employee of the Head Start agency.
However, there is one exception permitted. A parent member of the Policy Council may "occasionally substitute for regular Early Head Start or Head Start staff."
45 CFR 1350(b)(6)
July 13, 2007
Please refer to ACF-IM-HS-08-12.
Section 648A of the Head Start Act
July 19, 2007
Revised September 24, 2008
Child abuse and neglect training for Head Start staff is particularly important due to the serious consequences for Head Start children when it occurs, and also when it goes undetected or unaddressed by the adults who are involved with those children directly impacted. The individual(s) who trains Head Start staff must be qualified to train on the local, state, and federal requirements concerning child abuse and neglect. The knowledge, skills and experience in the field of child abuse and neglect generally resides in the local child protective services agency. Head Start programs should collaborate with child protective services agencies to determine the appropriate training content and qualifications of trainers. The child protection agency may directly provide the training to Head Start staff, or they may co-train with appropriate Head Start staff trainers. If a particular child protection agency is over-burdened, the Head Start program should request referral to another qualified training resource(s) available in the community. For example, in some areas the local school district has qualified social workers to train school personnel on child abuse and neglect identification and reporting. These trainers may be made available to Head Start through partnership agreements. There may be other qualified trainers available as well. The Head Start program must document agreements and decisions concerning training content, and trainer qualifications. Programs should maintain an ongoing record of training conducted, names and qualifications of trainers, and names and positions of trainees.
At a minimum, the content of training should include identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect, State statute requirements concerning child abuse and neglect, the Head Start program’s plan, including procedures for responding to suspected or known child abuse and neglect, and any collaborative agreements between Head Start and the child protective services agency. Training should also include policies and procedures for the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect allegedly committed by Head Start agency personnel.
Since all Head Start staff come in contact with Head Start children and their families in the course of performing their various responsibilities, the training should be provided to all Head Start staff. The governing body and Policy Council should also be provided appropriate training on child abuse and neglect to ensure that they have the necessary knowledge to provide oversight to Head Start management on the implementation of local, State and federal requirements.
45 CFR 1304.52(k)(3)(i)
July 31, 2007
Time-out procedures can be effective and appropriate for use in a Head Start classroom. The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) has produced for the Office of Head Start and the Child Care Bureau a "What Works Brief" specifically addressing this topic. As described in that brief, there are benefits of, and limits to, the use of the time out procedure:
"Time-out is only effective when used in the context of a comprehensive approach to behavior support that is designed to teach, nurture, and encourage positive social behaviors. Time-out should be used only by well-trained teachers and caregivers when less intrusive discipline procedures have been tried and deemed unsuccessful and only in combination with positive procedures designed to teach new skills and prevent challenging behaviors from occurring."
"Although time-out has been demonstrated to be effective in some situations, it should not be overused and should be reserved for high-intensity behaviors such as aggression toward peers and adults and destructive behavior. Because of a lack of evidence to support its use with very young children as well as the research on the social-emotional development of very young children, the use of time-out with infants and young toddlers is not recommended."
Programs utilizing time-out procedures are reminded that children can never be left unsupervised.
The complete "What Works Brief: The Role of Time-Out in a Comprehensive Approach for Addressing Challenging Behaviors of Preschool Children" can be found here:
August 8, 2007
The Head Start Program Performance Standards (45 CFR 1304.52(d)(4)) require that mental health services 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. The standards do not address specific educational degrees required of these professionals. Your program must ensure that mental health professionals are licensed or certified to provide the mental health services you are asking them to deliver in your program. Each state has licensure/certification systems that review a professional’s training and experience and describe the scope of services a professional is qualified to provide to children and families in that state.
August 21, 2007
Each Head Start grantee should develop its own policies and procedures that reflect that grantee’s particular needs. However, grantees must assure any such policies and procedures conform to all relevant local, state and federal statutes such as, for example, compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
45 CFR 1301.31
September 26, 2007
No, the Head Start Program Performance Standards (45 CFR 1304.52(d)(4)) require that mental health services 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. These professionals can help your program address the mental health needs of children by working with a wide range of program staff, including those involved in parent education or classroom observation/teacher consultation. Your mental health professional can help you determine which services should be provided directly by a licensed or certified mental health professional. (Also see: OHS – PC – B – 001 and OHS – PC – B – 034.)
45 CFR 1304.52(d)(4)
December 13, 2007
45 CFR 1304.52(e); Section 645A(i)(1)
May 8, 2008
45 CFR 1304.52(f); Section 645A(h)
May 8, 2008
All Head Start staff should be actively engaged in a process of professional development. 45 CFR 1304.52 (j) requires that grantee and delegate agencies must, at a minimum, conduct 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. The professional development needs identified in the annual performance review may inform future plans and decisions about staff professional development.
Section 648A(a)(5) of the Head Start Act requires that each teacher attend not less than 15 clock hours of professional development per year, and that the professional development is high-quality, sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused to ensure it has a positive, lasting impact on classroom instruction and the teacher's performance in the classroom. The Act requires that grantees evaluate the effectiveness of the teacher’s training on their performance. The annual performance review is one mechanism for evaluating the effectiveness of a teacher’s performance.
In addition, Section 648A(f) of the Act requires that professional development plans be created for all full-time Head Start employees who provide direct services to children. These plans must be regularly evaluated for their impact on teacher and staff effectiveness. The annual performance review may serve as a forum for evaluating individual professional development plans.
45 CFR 1304.52(j); Section 648A(a)(5) and (f) of the Head Start Act
July 15, 2008
45 CFR 1301.31 requires that grantees and delegate agencies establish and implement written personnel policies for staff.
The personnel policies should indicate the procedures for conducting annual performance reviews and take into account any collective bargaining agreement requirements. Managers and supervisors should, on an annual basis, review staff performance for the purpose of identifying ongoing training and professional development needs. However, such a review does not have to include a formal appraisal or rating. The agency’s personnel policies should clearly explain annual performance review expectations for collective bargaining unit employees and non collective bargaining unit employees.
July 15, 2008
This is a Historical Document.