On March 31, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas vacated the Vaccine and Mask Requirements to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 in Head Start Programs, 86 Fed. Reg. 68052 (Nov. 30, 2021) (the “Interim Final Rule” or “IFC”). That decision will take effect on April 7, 2023. Because of this ruling, as of April 7, there will not be a Head Start requirement for vaccination and testing for Head Start, Early Head Start, and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grant recipients in all states, tribes, and territories.
About COVID-19 Vaccination
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They are very effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death from the COVID-19 virus and its current variants, including the Delta variant. The vaccines are free and currently approved for children age 5 and older. The majority of Head Start children are not yet eligible for the vaccine. This means it is critically important that our Head Start teachers and staff be fully vaccinated.
If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or local health officials. Learn more about the vaccines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Find a COVID-19 vaccination center near you at www.vaccines.gov.
Get Vaccine Answers
Explore FAQs related the COVID-19 vaccine, including around vaccines for pregnant people and children. The answers on this site were developed with and vetted by the CDC, through the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative.
Staff Vaccination Strategies from Program Leaders
Explore video recordings from program leaders sharing how to promote vaccination and support staff to comply with requirements.
Watch program leaders highlight the strategies, processes, and best practices they have used to promote staff vaccination.
In this video series, program leaders highlight the strategies, processes, and best practices they have used to support staff with the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.
Talking to Staff
#SleeveUp4HeadStart Staff Social Media Toolkit
Use social media to encourage staff to #SleeveUp4HeadStart and get vaccinated against COVID-19. This resource includes images to download and post, plus bonus materials to promote vaccination.
Tips for Talking to Head Start Families and Staff About the COVID-19 Vaccines
The COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19. Most people are planning to be vaccinated. Others may feel nervous about vaccine safety and side effects and want to know more before committing. By taking time to listen to their concerns and answer their questions, you can help staff become confident in receiving the vaccine. This resource includes strategies for talking with Head Start staff and families about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Contact the Office of Head Start (OHS)
Reach out to OHS with your questions about the vaccination requirement.
Last Updated: April 6, 2023