This legislation must be followed when advertised specifications for every contract in excess of $2,000, to which the United States or the District of Columbia is a party, for construction, alteration, and/or repair.
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The location of a Head Start center is critical to a child’s safety and quality of care. Find information on the recommended criteria for planning space and location.
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Children and the outdoors just go together – naturally!
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Incorporating sustainable design principles throughout the building process reflects a commitment to the environment.
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About Facilities

The Facilities domain assists program directors and facilities managers with planning and designing Head Start and Early Head Start centers. Find information about:

  • U.S. Department of Labor wage/ hour provisions in conformance with the Davis Bacon Act
  • Head Start Program Performance Standards as it relates to the use of space (1309) [PDF, 72KB]
  • Tip sheets about contracts, playgrounds, safety, methods of financing, and construction professionals

Design & Planning


Designing a high quality facility to accommodate the needs of children, parents, and staff requires comprehensive design planning. This section provides resources and tips on the design phase and the role of an architect.

Equipment & Materials

This section contains resrouces that detail the technical safety guidelines for designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining playgrounds.


Find resources in this section on the planning process of designing a facility.

Site Design

Find information on design criteria for constructing Head Start approved facilities.



Find information on how to prepare documents for bidding, advertise bids, and solicit contractors to bid on a construction project.


There is specific legislation that must be followed when advertising and or submitting bid proposals for new construction and renovation. This section provides an overview of meeting compliance issues related to the Davis-Bacon Act.


When planning, developing, and designing a construction or renovation project, Head Start and Early Head Start programs will hire a variety of professionals, such as architects, engineers, and general contractors. This section is designed to help Head Start and Early Head Start programs decide the best method for identifying construction professionals.

Close Out

Once a facility is built and the grantee has labored over the budget; watched expenditures; attended construction meetings; investigated change orders and celebrated completion, the project most be closed out. The Certificate of Occupancy and license will be issued, bills will be paid in full, and paper work will be completed.

Finance & Accounting


It is critical to set up accounts and sub-accounts for each specific activity related to the construction or renovation project. Find information in this section that explains the systems needed to track cash flow to determine the costs being spent on a construction project.

Evaluating Costs

Cost evaluation occurs primarily during the planning process for renovating, purchasing a facility, or planning a new construction project. Resources in this section can provide tips on what is required when evaluating costs.

Methods of Financing

Head Start and Early Head Start programs are responsible for putting together a financial package using a variety of funding sources to ensure renovation or pay for the new construction of facilities. This section provides a resource for identifying methods of financing.

Last Reviewed: February 2010

Last Updated: April 17, 2014