This training provides guidance on the community assessment, a planning and evaluation activity required by the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS). Requirements for conducting a community assessment are outlined in 45 CFR §1302 Subpart A—Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, and Attendance. These standards lay out the purpose and conditions for conducting a community assessment. They also outline the data that must be collected regarding community strengths, needs, and resources.
The community assessment is referred to in the HSPPS as the "community-wide strategic planning and needs assessment." It is an essential first step in designing a program that meets the needs of children and families. In this training, participants learn about recommended processes for conducting a community assessment. They also identify additional resources to support these important activities.
To get started, open the session description and script below. It provides an overview of the entire session, a chart to customize training, detailed presenter notes, and suggestions for using the handouts and activities.
Session Description and Script
- Community Assessment: Building Responsive Programs
- Community Assessment: Building Responsive Programs (PDF version)
Activities and Handouts
- Head Start A to Z Guiding Principles
- Head Start Program Planning Cycle
- Community Assessment in the Head Start Act
- Community Assessment Requirements in the HSPPS
- Five Steps to Community Assessment
- Managing the Community Assessment Process
- National Resources for Community Assessment Data
- Methods of Data Collection
- Designing a Survey: Response Methods
- Conducting Focus Group and Large-Group Discussions
- Creating Questions for Stakeholders
- Community Assessment Analysis
- Community Assessment Report Sample Outline
- Which One Is It, Community Assessment or Self-Assessment?
- Reflective Practice Tool
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Program Management and Fiscal Operations
Audience: Directors and Managers
Last Updated: July 28, 2023