Federal Monitoring

Monitoring Review Reports

The following reports summarize the results of different types of monitoring reviews. They provide grant recipients with information regarding their performance and compliance with requirements governing Head Start and Early Head Start programs. This includes those regulations specified in the Head Start Act and all applicable Head Start Program Performance Standards.

The Office of Head Start (OHS) also delivers reports to Congress that highlight enhancements made to the monitoring review system and summarizes grant recipient review outcomes, as well as findings at a national level.

Explore the type of reviews that result in a formal report to the grant recipient:

CLASS Review

The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) is an observation tool that assesses the quality of teacher-child interactions in center-based preschool classrooms. It is used as part of the monitoring review process. Read more about the use of CLASS in Head Start programs.

National CLASS statistics are also available.

For FY24, OHS will use an updated process to conduct CLASS reviews. Grant recipients scheduled for a review will have the option to self-record and submit their own videos for monitoring review or opt for an on-site CLASS review. CLASS scores will be used to make competitive determinations under the Designation Renewal System.

Focus Area One Review

Focus Area One (FA1), which is conducted off-site, offers grant recipients a chance to share the information they used to inform their program design. Through FA1, OHS hopes to learn about the following topics:

  • Strengths and needs of children and families in the community
  • Staffing structure and program design that meets the needs of children and families
  • Approaches to education and child development, health, and family and community engagement services
  • Fiscal infrastructure and capacity
  • Program governance and accountability
  • Eligibility, recruitment, selection, enrollment, and attendance (ERSEA) processes

Focus Area Two Review

In Focus Area Two (FA2), OHS is looking for grant recipients to demonstrate their ability to track and assess their program's progress and performance, use data to drive results, and make adjustments and corrections as needed. The review team will be looking systematically and holistically across program services and functions to include:

  • Management systems
  • Education and child development services
  • Health services
  • Parent, family, and community engagement services
  • Financial and administrative services
  • ERSEA processes

The FA2 review is conducted by a review team on- and off-site with the grant recipient. The length of the review and the number of members on the review team will depend on the size of the grant recipient. Typically, OHS anticipates three reviewers on-site and one virtual fiscal consultant reviewer for five days. Members of the review team will have significant expertise in their assigned areas, including early childhood education, Head Start matters, finances, and program administration.

Follow-up Review

A follow-up review is conducted to ensure programs with findings have corrected non-compliances or deficiencies.

Other Reviews

Additional reviews may be initiated if issues with a grant recipient's performance are brought to the attention of OHS. They are conducted on an as-needed basis and focus on the issue identified as a concern.

The Agency Service Profile provides national and grant recipient-level information on reported demographics, services, and federal monitoring of Head Start and Early Head Start programs.