Pregnancy

Find resources to help early childhood programs serve pregnant women and expectant families.

Exploring the Head Start Program Performance Standards

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.

Children with Disabilities

Young children vary in their skills, knowledge, backgrounds, and abilities. Effective teaching requires individualized teaching and chances to learn for all children to access, participate, and thrive in early learning settings. Individualizing for children who need more support helps ensure effective teaching for children with disabilities and other special needs across all the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework domains.

Fiscal Management

Strong fiscal systems are key to a healthy program. The materials in this topic guide programs in making the most of their financial resources. Explore tools to help grantees account for their federal assets, comply with regulations, avoid waste, manage risk, and strengthen internal controls. Find information to support grantees in generating in-kind contributions and meeting matching requirements. Learn how to develop sound reporting systems, and execute budgets that reflect program goals and priorities.

Safety Practices

Early childhood programs keep children safe when their facilities, materials, and equipment are hazard-free and all staff use safety practices such as active supervision. Find resources to help staff and families reduce the number and severity of childhood injuries everywhere that children learn and grow. Discover tips for use at home, in cars and buses, on the playground, and in all early childhood settings.

Teaching Practices

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.

Program Planning

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.

Data & Ongoing Monitoring

The Head Start Program Performance Standards prescribe the management of program data and support its availability, usability, integrity, and security. A program must establish procedures on data management, and through ongoing assessment, use data to effectively oversee progress toward addressing program needs, evaluate compliance, and successfully achieve program goals.

Federal Monitoring

The Head Start Act requires periodic federal review of all Head Start programs. Learn about federal monitoring and understand all the necessary requirements to prepare for the federal review of your program’s systems and services.

Community Engagement

The collaboration between early childhood staff, families, and community agencies builds positive relationships. These relationships support parents’ progress toward their goals for themselves and their children.