Sec. 648 Technical Assistance and Training

Sec. 648. [42 U.S.C. 9843]

(a) Secretarial Training and Technical Assistance-

(1) AUTHORITY- From the funds provided under section 640(a)(2)(C)(i), the Secretary shall provide, directly or through grants, contracts, or other agreements or arrangements as the Secretary considers appropriate, technical assistance and training for Head Start programs for the purposes of improving program quality and helping prepare children to succeed in school.

(2) PROCESS- The process for determining the technical assistance and training activities to be carried out under this section shall--

(A) ensure that the needs of local Head Start agencies and programs relating to improving program quality and to program expansion are addressed to the maximum extent practicable; and

(B) incorporate mechanisms to ensure responsiveness to local needs, including an ongoing procedure for obtaining input from the individuals and agencies carrying out Head Start programs.

(3) ACTIVITIES- In providing training and technical assistance and for allocating resources for such assistance under this section, the Secretary shall--

(A) give priority consideration to--

(i) activities to correct program and management deficiencies identified through reviews carried out pursuant to section 641A(c) (including the provision of assistance to local programs in the development of quality improvement plans under section 641A(d)(2));

(ii) assisting Head Start agencies in ensuring the school readiness of children; and

(iii) activities that supplement those funded with amounts provided under section 640(a)(5)(B) to address the training and career development needs of classroom staff (including instruction for providing services to children with disabilities, and for activities described in section 1222(d) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965), and non-classroom staff, including home visitors and other staff working directly with families, including training relating to increasing parent involvement and services designed to increase family literacy and improve parenting skills; and

(B) to the maximum extent practicable--

(i) assist Head Start agencies in the development of collaborative initiatives with States and other entities within the States, to foster effective professional development systems for early childhood education and development services;

(ii) provide technical assistance and training, either directly or through a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement with an entity that has experience in the development and operation of successful family literacy services programs, for the purpose of--

(I) assisting Head Start agencies providing family literacy services, in order to improve the quality of such family literacy services; and

(II) enabling those Head Start agencies that demonstrate effective provision of family literacy services, based on improved outcomes for children and their parents, to provide technical assistance and training to other Head Start agencies and to service providers that work in collaboration with such agencies to provide family literacy services;

(iii) assist Head Start agencies and programs in conducting and participating in communitywide strategic planning and needs assessments, including the needs of homeless children and their families, and in conducting self-assessments;

(iv) assist Head Start agencies and programs in developing and implementing full-working-day and full calendar year programs where community need is clearly identified and making the transition to such programs, with particular attention to involving parents and programming for children throughout the day, and assist the agencies and programs in expediting the sharing of information about innovative models for providing full-working-day, full calendar year services for children;

(v) assist Head Start agencies in better serving the needs of families with very young children, including providing support and program planning and implementation assistance for Head Start agencies that apply to serve or are serving additional infants and toddlers, in accordance with section 645(a)(5);

(vi) assist Head Start agencies and programs in the development of sound management practices, including financial management procedures;

(vii) assist in efforts to secure and maintain adequate facilities for Head Start programs;

(viii) assist Head Start agencies in developing innovative program models, including mobile and home-based programs;

(ix) provide support for Head Start agencies (including policy councils and policy committees) that meet the standards described in section 641A(a) but that have, as documented by the Secretary through reviews conducted pursuant to section 641A(c), programmatic, quality, and fiscal issues to address;

(x) assist Head Start agencies and programs in improving outreach to, increasing program participation of, and improving the quality of services available to meet the unique needs of--

(I) homeless children;

(II) limited English proficient children and their families, particularly in communities that have experienced a large percentage increase in the population of limited English proficient individuals, as measured by the Bureau of the Census; and

(III) children with disabilities, particularly if such program's enrollment opportunities or funded enrollment for children with disabilities is less than 10 percent;

(xi) assist Head Start agencies and programs to increase the capacity of classroom staff to meet the needs of eligible children in Head Start classrooms that are serving both children with disabilities and children without disabilities;

(xii) assist Head Start agencies and programs to address the unique needs of programs located in rural communities, including--

(I) removing barriers related to the recruitment and retention of Head Start teachers in rural communities;

(II) developing innovative and effective models of professional development for improving staff qualifications and skills for staff living in rural communities;

(III) removing barriers related to outreach efforts to eligible families in rural communities;

(IV) removing barriers to parent involvement in Head Start programs in rural communities;

(V) removing barriers to providing home visiting services in rural communities; and

(VI) removing barriers to obtaining health screenings for Head Start participants in rural communities;

(xiii) provide training and technical assistance to members of governing bodies, policy councils, and, as appropriate, policy committees, to ensure that the members can fulfill their functions;

(xiv) provide activities that help ensure that Head Start programs have qualified staff who can promote prevention of childhood obesity by integrating developmentally appropriate research-based initiatives that stress the importance of physical activity and healthy, nutritional choices in daily classroom and family routines;

(xv) assist Indian Head Start agencies to provide on-site and off-site training to staff, using approaches that identify and enhance the positive resources and strengths of Indian children and families, to improve parent and family engagement and staff development, particularly with regard to child and family development; and

(xvi) assisting Head Start agencies in selecting and using the measures described in section 641A(b).

(b) Additional Support- The Secretary shall provide, either directly or through grants, contracts or other arrangements, funds from section 640(a)(2)(C)(i)(II)(cc) to—

(1) support an organization to administer a centralized child development and national assessment program leading to recognized credentials for personnel working in early childhood education and development programs; and

(2) support training for personnel—

(A) providing services to limited English proficient children and their families (including services to promote the acquisition of the English language);

(B) providing services to children determined to be abused or neglected or children referred by or receiving child welfare services;

(C) in helping children cope with community violence;

(D) to recognize common health, including mental health, problems in children for appropriate referral;

(E) to address the needs of children with disabilities and their families;

(F) to address the needs of migrant and seasonal farmworker families; and

(G) to address the needs of homeless families.

(c) Outreach- The Secretary shall develop and implement a program of outreach to recruit and train professionals from diverse backgrounds to become Head Start teachers in order to reflect the communities in which Head Start children live and to increase the provision of quality services and instruction to children with diverse backgrounds.

(d) Funds to Agencies- Funds made available under section 640(a)(2)(C)(i)(II)(aa) shall be used by a Head Start agency to provide high-quality, sustained, and intensive training and technical assistance as follows:

(1) For 1 or more of the following:

(A) Activities that ensure that Head Start programs meet or exceed the standards described in section 641A(a)(1).

(B) Activities that ensure that Head Start programs have adequate numbers of trained, qualified staff who have skills in working with children and families, including children and families who are limited English proficient and children with disabilities and their families.

(C) Activities to improve the management and implementation of Head Start services and systems, including direct training for expert consultants working with staff.

(D) Activities that help ensure that Head Start programs have qualified staff who can promote language skills and literacy growth of children and who can provide children with a variety of skills that have been identified as predictive of later reading achievement, school success, and the skills, knowledge, abilities, development, and progress described in section 641A(a)(1)(B)(ii).

(E) Activities to improve staff qualifications and to assist with the implementation of career development programs and to encourage the staff to continually improve their skills and expertise, including developing partnerships with programs that recruit, train, place, and support college students in Head Start centers to deliver an innovative early learning program to preschool children.

(F) Activities that help local programs ensure that the arrangement, condition, and implementation of the learning environments in Head Start programs are conducive to providing effective program services to children and families.

(G) Activities to provide training necessary to improve the qualifications of Head Start staff and to support staff training, child counseling, health services, and other services necessary to address the needs of children enrolled in Head Start programs, including children from families in crises, children who experience chronic violence or homelessness, children who experience substance abuse in their families, and children under 3 years of age, where applicable.

(H) Activities to provide classes or in-service-type programs to improve or enhance parenting skills, job skills, and adult and family literacy, including financial literacy, or training to become a classroom aide or bus driver in a Head Start program.

(I) Additional activities deemed appropriate to the improvement of Head Start programs, as determined by the technical assistance and training plans of the Head Start agencies.

(2) To support enhanced early language and literacy development of children in Head Start programs, and to provide the children with high-quality oral language skills and with environments that are rich in literature in which to acquire language and early literacy skills. Each Head Start agency, in consultation with the State-based training and technical assistance system, as appropriate, shall ensure that--

(A) all of the agency's Head Start teachers receive ongoing training in language and emergent literacy (referred to in this subsection as literacy training'), including appropriate curricula and assessment to improve instruction and learning;

(B) such literacy training shall include training in methods to promote vocabulary development and phonological awareness (including phonemic awareness) in a developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate manner and support children's development in their native language;

(C) the literacy training shall include training in how to work with parents to enhance positive language and early literacy development at home;

(D) the literacy training shall include specific methods to best address the needs of children who are limited English proficient;

(E) the literacy training shall include training on how to best address the language and literacy needs of children with disabilities, including training on how to work with specialists in language development; and

(F) the literacy training shall be tailored to the early childhood literacy background and experience of the teachers involved;

except that funds made available under section 640(a)(2)(C)(i) shall not be used for long-distance travel expenses for training activities available locally or regionally or for training activities substantially similar to locally or regionally available training activities.

(e) State-Based Training and Technical Assistance System- For the purposes of delivering a State-based training and technical assistance system (which may include a consortium of 2 or more States within a region) or a national system in the case of migrant or seasonal Head Start and Indian Head Start programs, as described in section 640(a)(2)(C)(i)(II)(bb), that will meet the needs of local grantees, as determined by such grantees, and provide high-quality, sustained, and intensive training and technical assistance to Head Start agencies and programs in order to improve their capacity to deliver services that meet or exceed the standards described in section 641A(a)(1), the Secretary shall--

(1) enter into contracts in each State with 1 or more entities that have a demonstrated expertise in supporting the delivery of high-quality early childhood education and development programs, except that contracts for a consortium of 2 or more States within a geographic region may be entered into if such a system is more appropriate to better meet the needs of local grantees within a region, as determined by such grantees;

(2) ensure that the entities described in subparagraph (1) determine the types of services to be provided through consultation with--

(A) local Head Start agencies (including Indian Head Start agencies and migrant or seasonal Head Start agencies, as appropriate);

(B) the State Head Start collaboration office; and

(C) the State Head Start Association;

(3) encourage States to supplement the funds authorized in section 640(a)(2)(C)(i)(II)(bb) with Federal, State, or local funds other than funds made available under this subchapter, to expand training and technical assistance activities beyond Head Start agencies to include other providers of other early childhood education and development programs within a State;

(4) provide a report to the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, not later than 90 days after the end of the fiscal year, summarizing the funding for such contracts and the activities carried out thereunder;

(5) periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the delivery of services in each State in promoting program quality; and

(6) ensure that in entering into such contracts as described in paragraph (1), such entities will address the needs of grantees in both urban and rural communities.

(f) Indoor Air Quality- The Secretary shall consult with appropriate Federal agencies and other experts, as appropriate, on issues of air quality related to children's health and inform Head Start agencies of existing programs or combination of programs that provide methods for improving indoor air quality.

(g) Career Advancement Partnership Program-

(1) AUTHORITY- From amounts allocated under section 640(a)(2)(C) the Secretary is authorized to award demonstration grants, for a period of not less than 5 years, to historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities--

(A) to implement education programs that increase the number of associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees in early childhood education and related fields that are earned by Head Start agency staff members, parents of children served by such agencies, and members of the communities involved;

(B) to provide assistance for stipends and costs related to tuition, fees, and books for enrolling Head Start agency staff members, parents of children served by such an agency, and members of the communities involved in courses required to complete the degree and certification requirement to become teachers in early childhood education and related fields;

(C) to develop program curricula to promote high-quality services and instruction to children with diverse backgrounds, including--

(i) in the case of historically Black colleges and universities, to help Head Start Agency staff members develop skills and expertise needed to teach in programs serving large numbers of African American children;

(ii) in the case of Hispanic-serving institutions, programs to help Head Start Agency staff members develop skills and expertise needed to teach in programs serving large numbers of Hispanic children, including programs to develop the linguistic skills and expertise needed to teach in programs serving a large number of children with limited English proficiency; and

(iii) in the case of Tribal Colleges and Universities, to help Head Start Agency staff members develop skills and expertise needed to teach in programs serving large numbers of Indian children, including programs concerning tribal culture and language;

(D) to provide other activities to upgrade the skills and qualifications of educational personnel to meet the professional standards in subsection (a) to better promote high-quality services and instruction to children and parents from populations served by historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, or Tribal Colleges and Universities;

(E) to provide technology literacy programs for Indian Head Start agency staff members and families of children served by such agency; and

(F) to develop and implement the programs described under subparagraph (A) in technology-mediated formats, including through such means as distance learning and use of advanced technology, as appropriate.

(2) OTHER ASSISTANCE- The Secretary shall, using resources within the Department of Health and Human Services--

(A) provide appropriate technical assistance to historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities receiving grants under this section, including coordinating with the White House Initiative on historically Black colleges and universities; and

(B) ensure that the American Indian Programs Branch of the Office of Head Start of the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services can effectively administer the programs under this section and provide appropriate technical assistance to Tribal Colleges and Universities under this section.

(3) APPLICATION- Each historically Black college or university, Hispanic-serving institution, or Tribal College or University desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application, in partnership with at least 1 Head Start agency enrolling large numbers of students from the populations served by historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, or Tribal Colleges and Universities, to the Secretary, at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require, including a certification that the institution of higher education has established a formal partnership with 1 or more Head Start agencies for the purposes of conducting the activities described in paragraph (1).

(4) DEFINITIONS- In this subsection:

(A) The term Hispanic-serving institution' has the meaning given such term in section 502 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1101a).

(B) The term historically Black college or university' has the meaning given the term part B institution' in section 322(2) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1061(2)).

(C) The term Tribal College or University' has the meaning given such term in section 316(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1059c(b)).

(5) TEACHING REQUIREMENT- A student at an institution receiving a grant under this subsection who receives assistance under a program funded under this subsection shall teach in a center-based Head Start program for a period of time equivalent to the period for which they received assistance or shall repay such assistance.