(a) Promoting regular attendance. A program must track attendance for each child.
(1) A program must implement a process to ensure children are safe when they do not arrive at school. If a child is unexpectedly absent and a parent has not contacted the program within one hour of program start time, the program must attempt to contact the parent to ensure the child’s well-being.
(2) A program must implement strategies to promote attendance. At a minimum, a program must:
(i) Provide information about the benefits of regular attendance;
(ii) Support families to promote the child’s regular attendance;
(iii) Conduct a home visit or make other direct contact with a child’s parents if a child has multiple unexplained absences (such as two consecutive unexplained absences); and,
(iv) Within the first 60 days of program operation, and on an ongoing basis thereafter, use individual child attendance data to identify children with patterns of absence that put them at risk of missing ten percent of program days per year and develop appropriate strategies to improve individual attendance among identified children, such as direct contact with parents or intensive case management, as necessary.
(3) If a child ceases to attend, the program must make appropriate efforts to reengage the family to resume attendance, including as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. If the child’s attendance does not resume, then the program must consider that slot vacant. This action is not considered expulsion as described in §1302.17.
(b) Managing systematic program attendance issues. If a program’s monthly average daily attendance rate falls below 85 percent, the program must analyze the causes of absenteeism to identify any systematic issues that contribute to the program’s absentee rate. The program must use this data to make necessary changes in a timely manner as part of ongoing oversight and correction as described in §1302.102(b) and inform its continuous improvement efforts as described in §1302.102(c).
(c) Supporting attendance of homeless children. (1) If a program determines a child is eligible under §1302.12(c)(1)(iii), it must allow the child to attend for up to 90 days or as long as allowed under state licensing requirements, without immunization and other records, to give the family reasonable time to present these documents. A program must work with families to get children immunized as soon as possible in order to comply with state licensing requirements.
(2) If a child experiencing homelessness is unable to attend classes regularly because the family does not have transportation to and from the program facility, the program must utilize community resources, where possible, to provide transportation for the child.