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Benefits of the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships

The EHS-CC Partnerships program enhances and supports early learning settings to provide comprehensive and continuous services. It increases access to high-quality, full-day, full-year child care, including family child care, for low-income working families. The program also supports the development of infants and toddlers through strong relationship-based experiences and prepares them for the transition into Head Start and preschool.

EHS-CC Partnerships brings together the best of EHS and child care through layering of funding. All infants and toddlers attending an EHS-CC Partnerships program benefit from facilities and homes that are licensed and meet safety requirements. Children in classrooms with EHS-CC Partnerships-enrolled children also benefit from qualified teachers receiving ongoing supervision and coaching to support implementation of curriculum and responsive caregiving. Only enrolled EHS-CC Partnerships children are eligible for direct family-specific benefits such as home visits, health tracking and follow-up, and individualized family support services. However, EHS-CC Partnerships programs operationalize services to ensure there is no segregation or stigmatization of EHS-CC Partnerships children due to the additional requirements or services.

The EHS-CC Partnerships program brings together the strengths of child care and EHS programs. Child care centers and family child care providers respond to the needs of working families by offering flexible and convenient full-day/full-year services. In addition, child care providers have experience providing care that is strongly grounded in the cultural, linguistic, and social needs of the families and their local communities. Through the EHS-CC Partnerships program, child care centers and family child care providers have access to resources to provide the comprehensive services needed to support better outcomes for the nation's most vulnerable children. EHS is a research-based program that emphasizes the importance of responsive and caring relationships to support the optimal development of infants and toddlers. EHS provides comprehensive family-centered services that adhere to the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) to support high-quality learning environments. Integrating EHS comprehensive services and resources into the array of traditional child care and family child care settings creates new opportunities to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, and their families.