OHS Head Start Program Performance Standards Talk

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016

2–3:30 p.m. EDT

Register Online Now!

Join the Office of Head Start (OHS) in this conversation for Head Start grantees’ management and staff members, T/TA System staff, and other stakeholders about the newly released Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS).

Join us this month to discuss supporting implementation of the HSPPS, as well as hot topics we are hearing from the field.

Learn more about:

  • Update on background checks
  • Using the Program Management and Fiscal Operations (PMFO) Management Systems Wheel as a guiding tool
  • Developing an HSPPS implementation process utilizing the four stages of the Implementation Science Framework
  • Suggested planning processes
  • The role of the governing body and Policy Council
  • Task Functional teams

Before the webcast, please read HSPPS Sections 1302.70, 1302.72, 1302.101(b), and 1302.103.

Who Should Participate?

The webcast will benefit an array of audience members, including Head Start and Early Head Start executive leadership, program directors, managers, and staff members. Please call in with other colleagues in your organization where possible.

How to Register

Select the link to register: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1125845

This registration is only valid for the webcast on Dec. 14.

Space is limited. Sign up today to attend the session from your office or conference room. You will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to join. The webcast will be accessible via computer, tablet, and other Internet-connected devices. Phone access is available for those requiring alternative accommodations. Send an email to webcasts@hsicc.org to receive telephone access.

Save the Date!

Register early for next month’s OHS Head Start Program Performance Standards Talk on Wednesday, Jan.18, 2016: https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1125886.

Questions?

Send your questions to webcasts@hsicc.org.

Webinar: Sesiones sobre el aprendizaje en dos idiomas

 

12/9/2016

11 a.m. y 5 p.m. EST 

¡Inscríbase en línea ahora!
El Centro Nacional de Desarrollo, Enseñanza y Aprendizaje en la Primera Infancia (NCECDTL, sigla en inglés) se complace en presentarles dos sesiones sobre el aprendizaje en dos idiomas. Estas sesiones se transmitirán en vivo desde la Conferencia Anual de ZERO TO THREE (CERO A TRES). La primera sesión explora la evaluación de los niños que aprenden en dos idiomas (DLL, sigla en inglés), y la segunda se enfoca en la implementación de la metodología planificada para el lenguaje (PLA, sigla en inglés) con el fin de apoyar el desarrollo del idioma de todos los niños.

Las sesiones:

  • 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. EST: Las evaluaciones funcionales y los niños que aprenden en dos idiomas
  • 5–6:30 p.m. EST: La construcción de los cimientos para las prácticas de lenguaje en aulas de niños que aprenden en dos idiomas. ¿En qué consiste y qué valor tiene la Metodología planificada para el lenguaje?

¿Quién debería participar?

Estas sesiones beneficiarán a gerentes de educación, directores y gerentes de centros de Head Start, Early Head Start, programas Head Start para migrantes y trabajadores de temporada y programas Head Start para indios estadounidenses y nativos de Alaska; proveedores de cuidado infantil; y todo el personal que trabaja directamente con niños que aprenden en dos idiomas.

Cómo inscribirse:

La participación en las sesiones en vivo son gratis. Seleccione este enlace para inscribirse: https://ztt.digitellinc.com/ztt/live/3

¿Preguntas?

Si tiene preguntas, contáctese con NCECDTL por correo electrónico al ecdtl@ecetta.info o llame gratis al 1-844-261-3752.

Webinar: Place and Race Matter: Head Start and CCDBG Access by Race, Ethnicity, and Location

12/14/2016

Time: 1 – 2pm EST

Join the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and diversitydatakids.org for a webinar discussing racial, ethnic, and native disparities in Head Start and child care access at the state and neighborhood levels. Featuring original analyses from CLASP and diversitydatakids.org, the webinar will highlight key data and provide a range of policy recommendations to ensure equitable access to federal early childhood programs. High-quality child care and early education can build a strong foundation for young children’s healthy development; however, many low-income children, cannot access to early childhood opportunities. While these gaps in access to child care and early education are widely recognized, less is understood the role of race and ethnicity. This webinar will present CLASP’s analysis of Head Start, Early Head Start (EHS), and the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) administrative data, as well as a diversitydatakids.org neighborhood-level analysis of Head Start, showing how access differs based on race, ethnicity, and nativity. Presenters will include: -Stephanie Schmit, Senior Policy Analyst, CLASP -Dr. Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Project Director, and Erin Hardy, Research Director, diversitydatakids.org -Additional speakers to be announced.

Source: CLASP and diversitydatakids.org

Register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/534786341756134657 

Compliance Date for Head Start Background Check

12/6/2016

The Office of Head Start will delay the compliance date for background checks procedures described in the Head Start Program Performance Standards final rule that was published in the Federal Register on September 6, 2016. We are taking this action to afford programs more time to implement systems that meet the background checks procedures and to align with deadlines for states complying with background check requirements found in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014.

Source: Federal Register

Available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/06/2016-29183/head-start-program

The National Research Conference on Early Childhood (formerly known as Head Start’s National Research Conference on Early Childhood) Save the Dates!

July 11–13, 2016
Washington, DC

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), in conjunction with the Office of Head Start (OHS), is pleased to announce the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) National Research Conference on Early Childhood. This announcement includes details about the conference, and a call for presentations.

This conference was formerly known as the Head Start National Research Conference. Since 1991, Head Start’s National Research Conference on Early Childhood has highlighted cutting edge research on low-income families with young children. In order to welcome participation from researchers, practitioners, and policymakers across early childhood fields, the conference is now called the Administration for Children and Families’ National Research Conference on Early Childhood.

About the Conference

Head Start is the nation’s leader in early childhood care and education and a center of innovation. OHS sponsors this conference to identify and disseminate research relevant to young children birth to age 8 and their families. There is particular focus on research that considers low-income families with young children. The conference encourages collaboration across the early childhood research field in order to build upon the evidence base for policy and practice.

This year’s theme is increasing access to high-quality early care and education experiences for low-income children from birth through early elementary school. Over the past decade, there has been substantial public investment at the national, state, and local levels. This support is aimed at improving the quality of early care and education. There also has been an effort to expand these services, including in Head Start, child care, home visiting, and pre-kindergarten.

It is clear that quality in early childhood has many components. It involves workforce training, practice improvement, and curriculum development. It requires accountability, measurement development and progress monitoring. Quality also includes parenting supports and parent engagement. The development of an evidence base to feed into continuous quality improvement is critical to the success of children, families, and programs.

Call for Presentations: Due Dec. 18 (extended from Dec. 9th)

The Conference Program Committee invites proposals for posters, symposia, and poster symposia. Presentations may discuss recent research (published or unpublished) or synthesized findings. The online submission system opens the week of Nov. 16, 2015. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015.

Research presented at the 2016 Conference will address knowledge gaps across service delivery systems. Sessions will be consistent with the theme. They will focus on improving understanding of the quality factors that impact programs and families and the evaluation of approaches for improving quality. The sessions also will address obstacles and solutions regarding families’ access to high-quality care and education. Methods and measurement development for examining quality and family decision-making regarding early childhood education also will be in line with this theme.

See the Call For Presentations for more details about the theme and guidance for submitting a proposal. Learn more about the conference and what is required to submit a proposal online at www.rcec2016.net.

For general submission questions or details on how to submit a paper application, contact Jennifer Pinder at 1-800-503-8442, ext. 7054, or by email at rcec2016@impaqint.com.

For More Information

Select the link to review materials from previous conferences: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/events/head-start-national-research-conferences

Check back often for more details about this event and the call for presentations. We look forward to seeing you in July!

Head Start Professionalized the Early Childhood Education Workforce

10/2015

By Sarah Merrill

Did you ever wonder why you need specific professional qualifications to work with young children? Head Start has always known the importance of having qualified, well-trained staff in working with young children. Back in the 60’s, our early Head Start leaders worried that “the goals of … the fullest social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of the child can be missed, sometimes hindered, because the teacher in charge is not qualified” (Project Head Start, 1967, The Staff for a child development center, pp. 8-9). In fact, in 1967 they advised that “ideally teachers in Head Start Programs should be graduates of a four-year college program with a major in Nursery Education, Nursery-Kindergarten Education, or Early Childhood Education” (p. 3) and have the “the personal qualities … [which] are fully as important as her training” (p. 4).

Source: Office of Head Start, Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/news/blog/education-workforce.html

Supervision and Transitions: ACF-IM-HS-15-05

09/18/2015

INFORMATION MEMORANDUM

TO: Head Start and Early Head Start Grantees and Delegate Agencies

SUBJECT: Supervision and Transitions

INFORMATION:
The Office of Head Start (OHS) asks all Head Start and Early Head Start program leaders to remind staff to prioritize children’s safety by providing continuous supervision. Governing bodies, Tribal Councils, Policy Councils, directors, and managers must create a culture of safety within their programs. Everyone shares responsibility for keeping children safe. Grantee staff must ensure that “no child will be left alone or unsupervised while under their care” (45 CFR1304.52 (i)(1)(iii)).

OHS has received reports about children being left unsupervised inside and outside of Head Start programs, as well as on playgrounds and buses. These incidents are a grave concern for programs, OHS, and the families who entrust their children to Head Start care. Leaving children unsupervised increases the risk of serious injuries and emotional distress. Children who leave the Head Start facility alone may be exposed to further danger.

At the regional level, OHS responds to these incidents by contacting the grantee to gather information regarding the context, circumstances, and follow-up actions, including whether the incident has been reported to the appropriate licensing entity. Regional Offices also request copies of relevant documentation, such as communication with the family of the child or children involved, licensing reports and investigations where applicable, written procedures and related training records, and actions taken by the program in response to the incident.

On the local level, OHS recommends that each grantee’s governing body (the Tribal Council in Region XI) and Policy Council work with program management to develop and communicate an agency-wide child supervision plan. The plan should build a culture of safety by ensuring that each person understands his or her role in keeping all enrolled children safe, and that child-to-staff ratios are maintained at all times.

Active supervision is a set of strategies for supervising infants, toddlers, and preschool children in the following areas: grantee, delegate, and partner classrooms; field trips and socializations; family child care homes; and on playgrounds and school buses. Grantees should include action steps to implement each active supervision strategy in their child supervision plans. These six strategies work together to create an effective approach to child supervision.

  • Set up the environment to supervise children at all times. This may include developing and posting a daily classroom schedule for children, teachers, substitutes, and volunteers to follow that helps to keep the day predictable. The height and arrangement of classroom furniture and outdoor equipment should be considered to allow effective monitoring and supervision of children at all times.
  • Position staff to see and reach children at all times. Plans can include staffing charts that identify the teacher responsible for each area or activity and his or her duties during transitions before and after an activity.
  • Scan the environment, including assigned areas of the classroom or outdoor area, and count the children. Staff need to communicate with each other so everyone knows where each child is and what each one is doing. This is especially important in play areas and on the playground when children are constantly moving.
  • Listen closely to children and the environment to identify signs of potential danger immediately. Listen to and talk with team members, especially when a staff person or a child has to leave the area, so that staff knows where other staff are located.
  • Anticipate children’s behavior to give children any needed additional support, especially at the start of the school year and during transitions. Children who wander off or lag behind are more likely to be left unsupervised.
  • Engage and redirect when children are unable to solve problems on their own. Offer different levels of assistance according to each individual child’s needs.

Transitions are often the most challenging times to supervise children. To prevent children from being left unsupervised, program plans should include specific strategies for managing transitions throughout the day, such as when children arrive, leave, or move from one location to another within a center. Some examples may include:

  • Develop specific plans for regular routines, such as drop-off and pick-up times, including staff assignments (who will monitor the door, etc.).
  • Ensure teachers, teachers’ aides, and volunteers know when transitions will take place and are in position to provide constant supervision.
  • Discuss how the team will adjust to maintain appropriate adult-to-child ratios at all times, including when a teacher needs to leave the room.
  • Ensure parents understand their responsibilities during drop-off and pick-up of their child, and be alert to and communicate potential child wanderings as needed.
  • Limit the amount of time children are waiting in line to transition.
  • Reaffirm to children what adults expect during transitions.
  • Include plans for irregular times, such as when a center closes early due to weather or an outside door is open to allow the delivery of supplies.

Programs should report incidents of unsupervised children to the Regional Office of Head Start within three days of the incident, including, where applicable, any reports made or information shared with child welfare agencies, state licensing bodies, and parents. Regional Offices will provide technical assistance, as appropriate.

Programs are busy, active places. Head Start grantees that develop and use child supervision plans include roles for everyone to create a culture of safety where children can learn and grow.

Please contact your Office of Head Start Regional Office for more information on child safety, active supervision, and transitions.

/ Blanca E. Enriquez /

Blanca E. Enriquez
Director
Office of Head Start

Source: Office of Head Start

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/standards/im/2015/resour_im_005_091815.html

Available in Spanish at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/Espanol/IMs%20en%20español/2015/resour_ime_005e_091815.html

One of the Best Gifts for a Baby: Head Start Health Services Newsletters

5/2015

One of the most important things women can do for their babies is eat healthy foods during pregnancy. Eating and drinking whole-grain products, fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk and milk products, lean meats, and other nutritious items during pregnancy gives babies a strong start in life. This issue provides information Early Head Start staff can share with pregnant women. The issue also includes descriptions of assistance programs that provide nutrition risk assessment, counseling, and education as well as access to supplemental nutritious foods.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, National Center on Health

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health/docs/health-services-newsletter-201505.pdf

Caring for Our Children Basics: Health and Safety Foundations for Early Care and Education 

8/2015

Evidence continues to mount that shows the profound influence children’s earliest experiences have on later success. Nurturing and stimulating care given in the early years builds brain structures that allow children to maximize their potential for learning. While high quality early care and education settings can have significant developmental benefits and other positive long term effects for children well into their adult years, poor quality settings can result in unsafe environments that disregard children’s basic physical and emotional needs.

Great progress has been made in States to safeguard children in out of home care, yet more work must be done to ensure children can learn, play, and grow in settings that are safe and secure. States vary widely in the number and content of health and safety standards as well as the means by which they monitor compliance. While there are differences in health and safety requirements by funding stream (e.g. Head Start, Child Care Development Fund, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and Title I), early childhood program type (e.g. center-based, home-based) and length of time in care, there are basic standards that must be in place to protect children no matter what type of variation in program. Until now, there has been no federal guidance that supports States in creating basic, consistent health and safety standards across early care and education settings.

ACF is pleased to announce Caring for Our Children Basics: Health and Safety Foundations for Early Care and Education. Caring for our Children Basics represents the minimum health and safety standards experts believe should be in place where children are cared for outside of their homes. Use of Caring for our Children Basics is not a federal requirement. Standards on the following topics are included:

  • Staffing
  • Programs Activities for Healthy Development
  • Health Promotion and Protection
  • Nutrition and Food Service
  • Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health
  • Play Areas/Playgrounds and Transportation
  • Infectious Disease
  • Policies

Caring for our Children Basics seeks to reduce conflicts and redundancies found in program standards linked to multiple funding streams. Caring for our Children Basics should not be construed to represent all standards that would need to be present to achieve the highest quality of care and early learning. For example, the caregiver training requirements outlined in these standards are designed only to prevent harm to children, not to ensure their optimal development and learning.

Caring for our Children Basics is the result of work from both federal and non-federal experts and is founded on Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs, Third Edition, created by the American Academy of Pediatrics; American Public Health Association; and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education with funding from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The Office of Child Care, Office of Head Start, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Interdepartmental Liaison for Early Childhood, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau were instrumental in this effort. Although Caring for our Children Basics is not required, the set of standards was posted for public comment in the Federal Register to provide ACF with practical guidance to aid in refinement and application.

Quality care can be achieved with consistent, basic health and safety practices in place. Though voluntary, ACF hopes Caring for Our Children Basics will be a helpful resource for states and other entities as they work to improve health and safety standards in licensing and quality rating improvement systems. ACF also hopes Caring for Our Children Basics will support efficiency of monitoring systems for early care and education settings. A common framework will assist child care licensing agencies in working towards and achieving a more consistent foundation for quality upon which families can rely.

Source: Early Childhood Development, Administration for Children and Families

Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/caring-for-our-children-basics

Culture of Safety

8/2015

In programs, all managers, staff, and families embrace the belief that children have the right to be safe by creating a culture of safety. They provide “an environment that encourages people to speak up about safety concerns, makes it safe to talk about mistakes and errors, and encourages learning from these events.” Children are safer when managers, staff, and families work together to improve the strategies they use in homes, centers, and the community so children don’t get hurt. Explore the resources below to learn more about creating a culture of safety.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center, National Center on Health

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health/safety-injury-prevention/culture-of-safety.html