Head Start and Early Head Start Home-Based Curriculum Checklist: What Is Research-Based?

This checklist covers research-based Head Start and Early Head Start home-based curriculum. Research-based curricula for this option is based on solid research around parenting concepts, skills, and practices that promote healthy child development. Education staff can use this resource to help select a research-based, home-based curriculum that meets Head Start Program Performance Standards regulations.

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Research-based curriculum for the home-based program option is founded on solid research on parenting concepts, skills, and practices that promote healthy child development.
  • Does your curriculum, or the curriculum you are considering, meet Head Start Program Performance Standard 45 CFR 1302.35 Education in home-based programs (d) Home-based curriculum?

A program that operates the home-based option must:

  • (1) Ensure home visiting and group socializations implement a developmentally appropriate research-based early childhood home-based curriculum that:
    • (i) Promotes the parent's role as the child's teacher through experiences focused on the parent- child relationship and, as appropriate, the family's traditions, culture, values, and beliefs;
    • (ii) Aligns with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five and, as appropriate, state early learning standards, and is sufficiently content-rich within the Framework to promote measurable progress toward goals outlined in the Framework; and,
    • (iii) Has an organized developmental scope and sequence that includes plans and materials for learning experiences based on developmental progressions and how children learn.

Developed for Home-Based or Home Visiting Programs

  • A home visitor reads a book with a familyIs the curriculum designed to be used in home-based or home visiting programs?
  • Does it focus on how home visitors support the parents' role as their child's teacher?
  • Does it provide content that supports the home visitor's ability to engage, connect, and establish relationships with families?
  • Are the home visiting experiences and activities rich in content? Are they culturally and linguistically responsive to the families served?
  • Does it promote parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices that research has shown to be effective in supporting children's learning and development?
  • Does it focus on practices that support parents in their ability to foster and guide their child's learning during everyday interactions and routines?
  • Does it support parents on how to use the home as the learning environment by using everyday activities and routines as opportunities for healthy growth and development?
  • Does it focus on how home visitors support the parent-child relationship?
  • Have you looked at Program Information Report (PIR)* data on curriculum developed for use in home-based or home visiting programs that are being used by other grantees?
    *In the 2016 PIR data, the majority, or 61 percent of grantees were using a curriculum that was designed to be used in home-based and/or home visiting programs. These grantees were implementing Parents as Teachers, Partners for a Healthy Baby, or Growing Great Kids.
  • Does it provide strategies for home visitors to engage parents in observing and assessing their child's development and progress toward reaching learning goals?
  • Does it allow for individualization based on children and parents' strengths, interests, learning style(s), and needs?
  • Have you joined the MyPeers Home Visiting Community to connect with peers and learn what they have to say about the curriculum they are using? You can join the MyPeers Home Visiting Community by going to http://www.123contactform.com/form-2230355/My-Peers.


Keywords:Home-based curriculum

Resource Type: Publication

Program Option: Home-Based

Last Updated: September 26, 2018