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. DRS established five-year grant periods for all Head Start service awards, with many agencies receiving further five-year grants without competing for funding. Any agency which meets a specified condition during the course of the grant period is not eligible for funding without competition. Instead, interested agencies are given the opportunity to compete to provide Head Start and Early Head Start services in that area through a funding opportunity announcement (FOA).
What Is the Designation Renewal System?
Head Start Program Performance Standards at 45 CFR § 1304 Subpart B describe DRS as the process for determining whether a Head Start agency will be subject to an open competition.Learn More
New Data on Improving Quality in Head Start
Four reports provide evidence that, since the last reauthorization, quality in Head Start has increased across the country.Learn More
Last Updated: April 6, 2020