3.2 Elements of the Home-Based Option

What Is It?

In addition to ensuring that your program meets the Head Start Act requirements, you also ensure that all relevant HSPPS are implemented. Note that within the home-based option, home visitors provide comprehensive services to children and families that cover all elements of HS programming in 45 CFR 1304.

The following HSPPS requirements for the home-based option are also found in the Home Visitor’s Handbook; see Chapter 5, “Elements of the Home-Based Option.”

  • Providing one home visit per week to each enrolled child/family, for a minimum of 90 minutes

  • In EHS (a 12-month program), ensuring 48 home visits and 22 group socialization experiences (Child Development Services During Home Visits and Socializations in the Early Head Start Home-Based Program Option, ACYF-IM-HS-00-22); in HS (a part-year preschool program), a minimum of 32 home visits and 16 group socialization experiences [45 CFR 1306.33]

  • Rescheduling planned home visits or scheduled group socialization experiences that were canceled by the grantee or by program staff. Medical or social service appointments may not replace home visits or scheduled group socialization experiences.

  • Allowing adequate time for staff to participate in training, maintain records, and keep child development and comprehensive services plans relevant and current

  • Ensuring an average caseload of 10 to 12 families per home visitor, with a maximum of 12 families for any individual home visitor

  • Employing trained home visitors, who plan the content of visits jointly with the parents. Home visitors must conduct the home visit with the parents’ participation. The home visitor may not conduct the visit with only babysitters or other temporary caregivers in attendance.

  • Supporting parents in strengthening their parenting skills and assisting them in using their home as the child’s primary learning environment. The home visitor must work with parents to support them in providing learning opportunities that enhance their child’s growth and development.

  • Including elements of all HS program comprehensive services over the course of a month. The home visitor is the person responsible for introducing, arranging, and/or providing HS services.

  • Providing socialization experiences for infants and toddlers to support child development by strengthening the parent–child relationship. The content includes helping parents to better understand child development and encouraging parents to share with one another. The socialization experiences in HS place more emphasis on parents observing and children participating in peer experiences.

  • Including the child’s parents in all socialization experiences. Socialization experiences may not be conducted with babysitters or other temporary caregivers.

  • Through socialization experiences, providing opportunities for children to engage with other children, while being supported by their parents and the home visitor. Families have the time to be together to learn from each other and engage socially with other families.

  • Following the nutrition requirements specified in 45 CFR 1304.23(b)(2) and providing appropriate snacks and meals to the children during group socialization experiences