Find resources to help early childhood programs serve pregnant women and expectant families.
Head Start agencies that provide services to children and families must meet the Head Start Program Performance Standards and the requirements set forth in the Head Start Act of 2007. The Office of Head Start (OHS) also offers direction through Program Instructions (PIs) and Information Memorandums (IMs). More guidance is available to grantees through their federal program specialist.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as required by Congress, established the Designation Renewal System (DRS) to determine whether Head Start and Early Head Start agencies deliver high-quality and comprehensive services to the families they serve.
Use this tool when working through the process of applying for a grant from the Office of Head Start. Find tips, standards, and a locator map that shows you the available funding around the country.
Thoughtful planning is critical to programming. Explore these resources for guidance through the five-year grant. Learn how to establish continuous cycles of improvement that involve key stakeholders in data-based decision-making.
Good nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods helps pregnant women and children get the nutrients their bodies need to stay healthy, active, and strong. Health managers and program staff can explore resources to support healthy eating habits and find nutrition assistance information to share with families.
New and experienced staff will find professional development tools to help keep children safe, healthy, and ready to learn.
Effective, nurturing, and responsive teaching practices and interactions are key for all learning in early childhood settings. They foster trust and emotional security; are communication and language rich; and promote critical thinking and problem-solving.
Excellence in early childhood education (ECE) programs is built on a workforce that promotes continuous program improvement.
Health is the foundation of school readiness. To help children thrive, Head Start staff ensure that children are up to date on immunizations and their state’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) schedule, learn healthy habits, and can access the care they need. Head Start also promotes the physical and social and emotional well-being of families and staff.