Office of Head Start Priorities & T/TA

Head Start and Early Head Start grantees may review the tabs below to learn more about the goals and priorities of the Office of Head Start (OHS) and the Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) System.

OHS Priorities

The Office of Head Start operational priorities describe the work of the Office of Head Start:

  1. Implement policy to promote Head Start and Early Head Start quality. Finalize and implement new Head Start Program Performance Standards and Fiscal Uniform Guidance requirements.
  2. Ensure Head Start and Early Head Start learning environments and services provide safe, secure, and healthy places for all children to learn and develop. Prioritize active supervision in all settings to increase focused attention and intentional observation of children at all times; promote positive child health outcomes; increase emphasis on preventive services; promote access to continuous, accessible health services; and promote mental wellness of staff, children, pregnant women, and families.
  3. Promote comprehensive, culturally and linguistically responsive services as the foundation of school readiness. Implement Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five. Support effective systems for using child assessment and other program data to track child, family, and program progress over time and for continuous improvement of high quality comprehensive services. Prioritize professional development of all staff, emphasizing high-quality teaching and caregiving practices and effective teacher-child interactions.
  4. Systematically embed outcomes-based family well-being and family engagement strategies in Head Start and Early Head Start. Using the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework as a guide, integrate family engagement and family economic mobility strategies across all aspects of Head Start and Early Head Start to effectively build relationships; engage and support Head Start and Early Head Start families; and boost family well-being and children’s school readiness.
  5. Leverage partnerships to enhance quality systems and services. Promote partnerships between Head Start and Early Head Start, child care, early care and education systems, State Head Start Collaboration Offices, schools, and communities to improve continuity for children and families across learning, health, and other community settings.
  6. Improve the leadership and management of Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Use the five year grant oversight process and the Designation Renewal System to yield effective leadership, data-driven practice for continuous improvement, effective use of program funds and assets to support identified program outcomes, and implementation of regulatory guidance/program requirements.
  7. Fully implement the aligned monitoring review system. Use the aligned monitoring system as part of the five year grant oversight process to assure grantees effectively implement quality programs.
  8. Implement the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) T/TA system transformation. Through effective T/TA delivery, promote high quality evidence-based technical assistance for Head Start and Early Head Start programs and the early childhood field. Strengthen the organizational policies and practices at the regional, state, and local level, and improve staff practices with children and families across early childhood education settings.

OHS T/TA System Goals

The T/TA System will: 

  1. Promote the effective use of the OHS T/TA system by Head Start and Early Head Start grantees.
  2. Support the effective use of materials and services developed by the OHS T/TA system with state T/TA managers and early childhood education, infant/toddler, and grantee specialists.
  3. Enhance the capacity of OHS staff, state T/TA staff, and grantees to improve or further strengthen service delivery quality in local programs.
  4. Carry out an effective internal information and communication system.
  5. Foster the use of data for continuous program improvement.
  6. Encourage collaboration with other early childhood agencies to maximize T/TA support to programs serving young children, families, and communities.

OHS T/TA System Outcomes


  1. Receive intensive T/TA (to the extent practicable) to maintain and improve the quality of systems and services.
  2. Have access to high-quality, evidenced based culturally and linguistically appropriate resources from National Centers.
  3. Use data to make continuous program improvements.
  4. Purchase quality T/TA to support local program needs.

OHS Outcomes

Head Start and Early Head Start programs:

  1. Set targets and track the progress of children.
  2. Scaffold family progress across parent, family, and community engagement (PFCE) outcomes.
  3. Strengthen the workforce.
  4. Support children and families to stay healthy, safe, and ready to learn.
  5. Use data to drive continuous improvement.
  6. Use evidenced-based practices.
  7. Partner for continuity for children and families.
  8. Maintain high-quality programming, including effective teacher-child interactions.
  9. Prepare children and families for success in kindergarten and beyond.

OHS Comprehensive Foundations for Child and Family Success

  • Begin during pregnancy and continue through the first years of life.
  • Ensure children are healthy and safe.
  • Provide opportunities for children to have secure, nurturing relationships with parents, family members, and other caring adults.
  • Create environments where family and community cultures and home languages are respected and supported through responsive practices.
  • Understand that families are equal partners in supporting children’s learning, development, and transitions.
  • Implement quality care, teaching, and learning that is individualized to achieve school readiness for all children birth to 5.
  • Build community engagement and collaborations to support improved outcomes for children and families.
  • Enable programs to provide strong leadership and governance and implement effective fiscal and management systems supporting high quality services.

Last Reviewed: September 2015

Last Updated: September 24, 2015