Head Start Policy and Regulations

Conversion of Enrollment Slots from Head Start Children to Early Head Start Children

U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services

Administration for Children and Families

1. Log Number: ACF-PI-HS-14-02
2. Issuance Date: 06/18/2014
3. Originating Office: Office of Head Start
4. Key Words: Early Head Start Slot Conversions; Funding Reallocation

Program Instruction

To: All Head Start and Early Head Start Grantees, Including Delegate Agencies, Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Grantees, and State Collaboration Grantees

Subject: Conversion of Enrollment Slots from Head Start Children to Early Head Start Children


The Head Start Act of 2007 provided the authority for Head Start grantees to shift funding from services for Head Start preschool age children to Early Head Start services for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers, whether or not they currently operate an Early Head Start program.

Many states and localities have increased their funding of public pre-K and are now able to serve children currently or previously served by Head Start. In conducting their community assessment, Head Start grantees may find that the needs of the communities they serve have changed. Under the Head Start Act of 2007 Section 640(f)(2)(B) and 645(a)(5), Head Start grantees may request conversion of funded enrollment slots and a proportionate reallocation of funds from Head Start to Early Head Start.

Any grantee proposing a conversion of Head Start services to Early Head Start services must obtain governing body approval and submit the request to their Regional Office.

The Act offers special provisions for American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) grantees. An AIAN grantee that operates both an Early Head Start program and a Head Start program may reallocate funds between the Early Head Start program and the Head Start program at its discretion and at any time during the grant period involved, in order to address fluctuations in client populations (Section 645(d)(3)). Any AIAN grantee that exercises its discretion to reallocate funds is asked to notify its OHS Regional Office prior to the effective date of such reallocation.

The request for conversion of enrollment slots, whether included in your refunding application or a separate grant amendment, must include:

  • 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.
  • The results of your 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 place.
  • A revised program schedule that describes the proposed program option(s) and the number of funded enrollment slots for the Head Start and Early Head Start programs before and after the proposed conversion.
  • A description of how the needs of pregnant women, infants, and toddlers will be addressed. A discussion of your 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 Program Performance Standards. Assurances that the agency will participate in training and technical assistance activities required of all Early Head Start grantees.
  • 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.
  • The proposed timetable for implementing this conversion. Also, please discuss any one-time funding necessary to implement the proposed conversion and how the agency intends to secure such funding.

Please direct any questions on this Program Instruction to your OHS Regional Office. Thank you for the work you do on behalf of children and families.


/ Ann Linehan /

Ann Linehan
Acting Director
Office of Head Start


Historical Document