3.2 Elements of the Home-Based Option

What Is It?

It’s important to refer to the Head Start Program Performance Standards to ensure that all required program components of the home-based option are being implemented. Standards that are specific to the home-based option include 1302.22 and 1302.35. Note that within the home-based option, home visitors provide comprehensive services to children and families that cover all elements of HSPPS subparts D,E, F, and G to the extent possible.

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 for each family for a minimum of 90 minutes and with sufficient time to meet the needs of each enrolled child.(HSPPS 1302.35(b)(3). In EHS, ensuring 46 home visits and 22 group socialization experiences each year; in HS ensuring a minimum of 32 home visits and 16 socializations §1302.22.

  • Rescheduling planned home visits or scheduled group socialization experiences that were canceled by the grantee or by program staff. And, to the extent possible, making up planned home visits that are cancelled by the family. 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.

  • The content of the visits support the parent in their role as the child’s teacher and how to support their child(ren) in achieving the progression of skills and knowledge in the domains of the Head Start Early Learning Outcome Framework. The interactions, experiences, and learning opportunities are drawn from the curriculum and the home visitor’s and family’s observation and ideas for using materials and routines in the home.

  • 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.

  • Providing socialization experiences for infants and toddlers to support child learning and 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 for parents of HS preschoolers must provide opportunities for parents to participate in activities that support parenting skill development or family partnerships goals identified in 1302.52(c).

  • 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 1302.44(2)(vii) and providing appropriate snacks and meals to the children during group socialization experiences

  • Ensuring the learning, playing, sleeping, toileting, preparation of food, and eating in facilities used for group socializations meet the safety standards described in 1302.47(1)(ii) through(viii).