Teaching Practices

Supervising Socializations

Four young children standing side by side with arms on one anothers shoulders.Although home visits are the primary vehicle for delivering comprehensive Head Start services to young children and families in the home-based option, twice-monthly group socializations are an important and required service component. The Home Visitor’s Online Handbook (see Group Socializations) describes the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) related to socializations, the integration of comprehensive services, and roles for families in socializations.

The HSPPS (45 CFR §1302.22(c)) require that socializations be held at least 22 times per year for Early Head Start and 16 times per program year for Head Start. They (45 CFR §1302.35(e)) also tell us that group socializations must:

  • Promote the parent's role as the child's teacher through experiences focused on the parent–child relationship
  • Focus on the family's traditions, culture, values, and beliefs, as appropriate
  • Be planned jointly with families
  • Be conducted with both child and parent participation
  • Occur in a classroom, community facility, home, or field trip setting, as appropriate
  • Include peer interactions among children, as developmentally appropriate

In addition, group socializations must be structured to:

  • Provide age-appropriate activities that align with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF)  and the home-based curriculum
  • Encourage parents to share experiences related to their child's development with other parents to strengthen parent-child relationships and help promote parent understanding of child development

Areas for learning, playing, sleeping, toileting, preparing food, and eating in facilities used for group socializations in the home-based option must meet the safety standards described in 45 CFR §1302.47(b)(1)(ii) through (viii).

Your role as supervisor is to ensure that home visitors have the knowledge, skills, and resources to engage families; plan and conduct group socializations; and problem solve with them if socialization challenges, such as low parent attendance, arise.