Home Visitor's Online Handbook

Comprehensive Services of All Head Start Programs

Teacher eating lunch with a studentAs stated in the Introduction, HSPPS Education in home-based programs, 45 CFR §1302.35(a), tells us home-based programs must provide home visits and group socialization activities that promote secure parent-child relationships. Programs are also required to help parents provide high-quality early learning experiences in language, literacy, mathematics, social and emotional functioning, approaches to learning, science, physical skills, and creative arts. A program must implement a research-based curriculum that delivers developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate home visits and group socialization activities that support children's cognitive, social, and emotional growth for later success in school.

In addition, home-based programs need to ensure the provision of comprehensive services as described in Section 645A of the Head Start Act. This applies to all Head Start and Early Head Start program options, whether they are center-based, home-based, or a family child care home. Programs are required to:

  1. Provide, either directly or through referral, early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services that will enhance the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of participating children
  2. Ensure that the level of services provided to families responds to their needs and circumstances
  3. Promote positive parent-child interactions
  4. Provide services to parents to support their role as parents (including parenting skills training and training in basic child development) and services to help the families move toward self-sufficiency (including educational and employment services, as appropriate)
  5. Coordinate Head Start services with services provided by other programs in the state (including home-based services) and programs in the community (including programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities and programs for homeless infants and toddlers) to ensure a comprehensive array of services (e.g., health and mental health services, family support services)
  6. Ensure children with documented behavioral problems, including problems involving behavior related to prior or existing trauma, receive appropriate screening and referral
  7. Ensure formal linkages with local Head Start programs to provide for continuity of services for children and families
  8. Develop and implement a systematic procedure for transitioning children and parents from an Early Head Start program to a Head Start or other local early childhood education and development program
  9. Establish channels of communication between staff of the Early Head Start program and staff of a Head Start program or other local providers of early childhood education and development programs to facilitate the coordination of program services
  10. In the case of an Early Head Start agency that operates a program and that also provides Head Start services through the age of mandatory school attendance, ensure that children and families participating in the program receive such services through such age
  11. Ensure formal linkages with providers of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.), with the state interagency coordinating council as established in Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.), and with the agency responsible for administering section 106 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5106a)
  12. Meet such other requirements concerning design and operation of the program described in subsection (a) as the Secretary may establish