Head Start Policy and Regulations

1302.20 Determining program structure.

(a) Choose a program option. (1) A program must choose to operate one or more of the following program options: center-based, home-based, family child care, or an approved locally-designed variation as described in §1302.24. The program option(s) chosen must meet the needs of children and families based on the community assessment described in §1302.11(b). A Head Start program serving preschool-aged children may not provide only the option described in §1302.22(a) and (c)(2).

(2) To choose a program option and develop a program calendar, a program must consider in conjunction with the annual review of the community assessment described in §1302.11(b)(2), whether it would better meet child and family needs through conversion of existing slots to full school day or full working day slots, extending the program year, conversion of existing Head Start slots to Early Head Start slots as described in paragraph (c) of this section, and ways to promote continuity of care and services. A program must work to identify alternate sources to support full working day services. If no additional funding is available, program resources may be used.

(b) Comprehensive services. All program options must deliver the full range of services, as described in subparts C, D, E, F, and G of this part, except that §§1302.30 through 1302.32 and §1302.34 do not apply to home-based options.

(c) Conversion. (1) Consistent with section 645(a)(5) of the Head Start Act, grantees may request to convert Head Start slots to Early Head Start slots through the re-funding application process or as a separate grant amendment.

(2) Any grantee proposing a conversion of Head Start services to Early Head Start services must obtain policy council and governing body approval and submit the request to their regional office.

(3) With the exception of American Indian and Alaska Native grantees as described in paragraph (4) of this section, the request to the regional office must include:

(i) A grant application budget and a budget narrative that clearly identifies the funding amount for the Head Start and Early Head Start programs before and after the proposed conversion;

(ii) The results of the community assessment demonstrating how the proposed use of funds would best meet the needs of the community, including a description of how the needs of eligible Head Start children will be met in the community when the conversion takes places;

(iii) A revised program schedule that describes the program option(s) and the number of funded enrollment slots for Head Start and Early Head Start programs before and after the proposed conversion;

(iv) A description of how the needs of pregnant women, infants, and toddlers will be addressed;

(v) A discussion of the agency’s capacity to carry out an effective Early Head Start program in accordance with the requirements of section 645A(b) of the Head Start Act and all applicable regulations;

(vi) Assurances that the agency will participate in training and technical assistance activities required of all Early Head Start grantees;

(vii) A discussion of the qualifications and competencies of the child development staff proposed for the Early Head Start program, as well as a description of the facilities and program infrastructure that will be used to support the new or expanded Early Head Start program;

(viii) A discussion of any one-time funding necessary to implement the proposed conversion and how the agency intends to secure such funding; and,

(ix) The proposed timetable for implementing this conversion, including updating school readiness goals as described in subpart J of this part.

(4) Consistent with section 645(d)(3) of the Act, any American Indian and Alaska Native grantee that operates both an Early Head Start program and a Head Start program may reallocate funds between the programs at its discretion and at any time during the grant period involved, in order to address fluctuations in client populations. An American Indian and Alaska Native program that exercises this discretion must notify the regional office.

(d) Source of funding. A program may consider hours of service that meet the Head Start Program Performance Standards, regardless of the source of funding, as hours of planned class operations for the purposes of meeting the Head Start and Early Head Start service duration requirements in this subpart.

Historical Document