See PDF Version: EHS Tip Sheet No. 11: Does the 85% Monthly Average Daily Attendance Rate Rule Apply to EHS Programs? [PDF, 25KB]
Yes, if the monthly average daily attendance rate falls below 85 percent, an EHS program operating a center-based option must assess the cause of the absenteeism. If the absenteeism is due to illness or other well-documented reasons, then the program does not need to take any special action. When children are receiving part-time center-based services through a combination model, the average daily attendance rate applies to the time that those children are scheduled to be in the center.
Unexplained excessive absenteeism for an individual child still requires assessment even if the program's daily attendance rate remains above 85%. If a child is inexplicably and chronically absent nor does attendance improve when family support is offered, the slot must be considered an enrollment vacancy as cited in 45CFR 1305.8 (c).
It must be remembered that infants and toddlers in group settings are more frequently exposed to mild illnesses such as colds, ear infections, and stomach viruses than children who are not in this type of setting. Therefore, absenteeism may be higher in infant and toddler centers than in preschool Head Start centers.
How is the program tracking the average daily attendance records?
Does the gathered information include such data as the pattern of absences for each child, the reasons for absences, and the number of absences that occur on consecutive days?
What does the program do with the collected information? How is it used?
When attendance for an individual child, classroom, or program falls below 85%, does the program learn and understand the underlying cause(s) and address them?
How is the program's Health Services Advisory Committee involved?
Program Performance Standards:
1305.8(a) When the monthly average daily attendance rate in a center-based program falls below 85 percent, a Head Start program must analyze the causes of absenteeism. The analysis must include a study of the pattern of absences for each child, including the reasons for absences as well as the number of absences that occur on consecutive days
1305.8(b) If the absences are a result of illness or if they are well-documented absences for other reasons, no special action is required.
1305.8(c) In circumstances where chronic absenteeism persists and it does not seem feasible to include the child in either the same or a different program option, the child's slot must be considered an enrollment vacancy.
Laying a Foundation in Health and Wellness. Accessible via www.headstartinfo.org (HSIPC Catalog No. 804)
Caring for Children with Chronic Conditions. Accessible via www.headstartinfo.org (HSIPC Catalog No. 831)
Enhancing Health in the Head Start Workplace. Accessible via www.headstartinfo.org (HSIPC Catalog No. 813)
Preventing and Managing Communicable Diseases. Accessible via www.headstartinfo.org (HSIPC Catalog No. 806)
Sustaining a Healthy Environment. Accessible via www.headstartinfo.org (HSPIC Catalog No. 827)
American Academy of Pediatrics (2002) Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Standards: Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care Programs, 2nd Edition. Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Local EHS/Head Start Health Services Advisory Committees
The Tip Sheet is not a regulatory document. Its intent is to provide a basis for dialogue, clarification, and problem solving among the Head Start Bureau, Regional Offices, T & TA consultants, and grantees.
Early Head Start (EHS) Tip Sheets