Program Planning

Head Start Tip Sheets for Grantee Planning

Program leaders, technical assistance providers, and Regional Office staff can use these tip sheets to support grantee planning. Explore what to consider when implementing systems, policies, and practices around topics from developmental screening to home-based programs and more . Each tip sheet includes an introduction, strategies, relevant Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), and resources. Use the tip sheets as a basis for discussion, clarification, problem solving, and planning.

Developmental Screening for Children Ages Birth to 5

Developmental screening is a process involving partnerships with parents to identify concerns about a child’s development. The earlier a possible delay is identified, the earlier a program can refer a child for further evaluation, and additional supports and services. Explore this tip sheet to learn about development screening, strategies for choosing appropriate screening tools, timing considerations, and examples of next steps based on the screening results. Find relevant HSPPS and resources.

Special Considerations: Developmental Screening of Children Ages Birth to 5 Who Are Dual Language Learners (DLLs)

Programs are required to complete or obtain developmental screenings for all children, including children who are dual language learners (DLLs). In this tip sheet, find information, strategies, and considerations specific to children who are acquiring two or more languages at the same time or learning a second language while developing their first language. Use this information to plan and implement appropriate screening procedures and practices for children who are DLLs. Find relevant HSPPS and resources.

Ongoing Assessment for Children Ages Birth to 5

Ongoing assessment is a process used to measure and document how children grow, develop, and learn. Explore this tip sheet to learn about the purpose, features, and steps for implementing ongoing assessment as well as staff training considerations. Program leaders can use this information as they plan and implement ongoing assessment procedures and practices. Find relevant HSPPS and resources.

Including Grandparents in Home-Based Activities

Home visits and socializations build the relationship between parents and their children. Grandparents and extended family members may also participate in these activities. Learn more about how to include grandparents in home visits and socializations. Find strategies to consider for planning and programming, including special circumstances for including grandparents. The tip sheet also includes relevant HSPPS and resources. 

Serving Families with Multiple Children in the Home-Based Option

HSPPS require each child enrolled in the program to receive individualized services. In the home-based option, home visitors provide services during weekly home visits that are at least 90 minutes long. In this tip sheet, learn about the way services are provided to children and families, including families with more than one enrolled child (e.g., infant and toddler; infant and preschool child; infant, toddler; and preschool child). Use this tip sheet to plan for how to support home visitors working with families with more than one enrolled child. Find relevant HSPPS and resources.

Socialization Environments in Head Start and Early Head Start Home-Based Programs

Group socializations are a key part of delivering Head Start services in the home-based option. This tip sheet offers ideas for setting up socialization environments, including room arrangement, snacks and meals, age-specific considerations, and other ideas for meaningful socialization experiences. Learn ways to plan for and create appropriate and effective socialization environments. Explore relevant HSPPS and resources. 

Socializations and Field Trips in Head Start and Early Head Start Home-Based Programs

The home-based option delivers the full range of Head Start services through visits with the child’s parents, primarily in the child’s home, and through group socialization opportunities, including field trips. Find ideas for planning offsite socialization experiences. This tip sheet also includes relevant HSPPS. 

Using Materials Found in the Home in Head Start and Early Head Start Home-Based Programs

One of the main goals of the home-based program option is to support parents in using the home as a learning environment. Explore this tip sheet to find ways to choose and use materials found in the home to support children’s development and learning. Learn how to support home visitors as they work with parents to identify learning opportunities and materials with which their children can play and learn. 

Use of Feeding Chairs with Trays in Head Start Infant/Toddler Programs

Selecting a type of feeding chair depends on the program option and children's ages and stages. This tip sheet guides decisions about which feeding chairs to use and how to use them appropriately.

Outdoor Experiences for Infants and Toddlers

Outdoor play supports infant and toddler health, development, and learning. Explore strategies and standards for strengthening young children's connection to the outdoors while keeping them safe.

Understanding and Managing Children’s Behaviors

In this tip sheet, find strategies to support children's healthy social and emotional development and prevent or reduce behaviors that could negatively affect their development. Explore relevant standards and resources.

Understanding and Managing Children’s Behaviors: Individual Support Plans (ISP)

This tip sheet provides guidance for developing an Individual Support Plan (ISP) for children who may need more intensive help with their emotions and behavior. Explore relevant regulations and resources.

Last Updated: January 6, 2020