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.


Send your questions to webcasts@hsicc.org.

Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements 2014 Regulations and Related Resources


The new federal fiscal regulations (also referred as Uniform Guidance or the “Supercircular”) took effect for awards and award increments received on or after Dec. 26, 2014. The Office of Head Start (OHS) recommends that grantees transition to the new fiscal regulation throughout 2015. This website will maintain information pertaining to the former regulations through the end of 2015. Thereafter, the former regulations will be archived, and this website will reflect only the new federal fiscal regulations.

Read more about transitioning grants to the new regulations

You are strongly encouraged to review the resources below. Use them to become familiar with the expectations and impact of the new Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements 2014 Regulations on your organization. If you are unsure about how to apply the new fiscal regulations and requirements within your organization, please contact your Regional Office for assistance.

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

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/operations/mang-sys/fiscal-mang/ug-resources

New Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards ACF-IM-HS-14-07


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued new uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements effective Dec. 26, 2014, which are applicable to all Head Start and Early Head Start agencies and sub-recipients, including delegate agencies. The Office of Head Start (OHS) is providing general guidance to assist grantees in planning for implementation of the new requirements.

Source: Office of Head Start Policy

PI 14-03 Electronic Grant Applications and Program Communications


This Program Instruction (PI) advises grantees of new policies and procedural requirements for the electronic submission of noncompetitive grant applications in the Head Start Enterprise System HSES and informs programs of the increased use of electronic communications systems for official purposes.

The Administration for Children and Families ACF, in 76 FR 66721 – New Policies and Procedural Requirements for the Electronic Submission of Discretionary Grant Applications, dated Oct. 27, 2011, acknowledged that electronically generated and/or stored documents are recognized equivalents of an official paper grant file. Electronic submission will eliminate duplicative effort and administrative burden for grantees and the Office of Head Start OHS.

HSES is recognized as the appropriate electronic system for grant application submission to GrantSolutions.gov, as discussed in the above-referenced Federal Register notice. Grantees, including State Collaboration Offices, are required to submit noncompetitive grant applications and grant amendments electronically in HSES.

ACF previously provided OHS grantees the option of submitting grant applications in both electronic and paper formats, and required hard copies of the physically signed signature pages be mailed to the Regional Grants Officer. Hard copies will no longer be accepted as the official application.

OHS is moving toward providing communications requiring official acceptance by authorizing officials and key staff through email, HSES, and/or other electronic means. Communications formerly delivered in hard copy and requiring receipt will be delivered by email notification with a return receipt acknowledgment request. Recipients are asked to select a link to receive the notice on behalf of the organization. The earliest date of acknowledgment will be recorded as the official date of receipt.

Please direct questions regarding this PI to your Regional Office.

Thank you for your work on behalf of children and families.

Ann Linehan

Ann Linehan
Acting Director
Office of Head Start

See PDF Version of Program Instruction:
Electronic Grant Applications and Program Communications [PDF, 87KB]

See Spanish Version of Program Instruction:
Solicitudes electrónicas de subvenciones y comunicaciones dirigidas a los programas

Source: Office of Head Start

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/standards/pi/2014/resour_pri_003_081814.html

PI 14-01 FY 2014 Head Start Funding Increase – Head Start


President Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 on January 17, 2014. This Act includes $8,598,095,000 for programs under the Head Start Act, representing an increase of approximately $1.025 billion over the fiscal year (FY) 2013 funding level.

The approximately $1.025 billion increase restores the 5.27 percent reduction from sequestration and provides all grantees with a 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The FY 2014 funding level also includes $500 million for expansion through the Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnership to support communities in expanding high-quality early learning and development opportunities for infants and toddlers.

This Program Instruction provides information about the additional funds that are available to Head Start and Early Head Start grantees in FY 2014 and describes the requirements for applying for the portion of these funds that are available for restoring operational funds reduced by sequestration and providing the COLA. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is developing a separate announcement about the EHS-CC Partnership funds and will be providing more information in the coming weeks about how to apply for these funds.

Grantees that already received partial funding for FY 2014 are eligible to receive a supplemental award to reflect the increased appropriation. Grantees that successfully competed for funds and received reduced awards due to sequestration are also eligible to receive these increases. All grantees are required to request these funds through a grant application.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/standards/PIs/2014/resour_pri_001_021014.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Content%20for%20February%20e-blast&utm_content=New%20Content%20for%20February%20e-blast+CID_d17b0f4dacbd9e1595ba7e8b4bf1a91a&utm_source=CM%20Eblast&utm_term=PI%2014-01%20FY%202014%20Head%20Start%20Funding%20Increase

Keeping Kids Safe – Head Start


Transportation is one of the most vital services Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide. The highest need families are typically the least likely to have access to transportation. They rarely own a vehicle and may have no access to public transportation, either because of location or lack of fare. Sometimes, even when public transportation is available and they have the fare, it is not a reasonable way to get to and from Head Start. Multiple young children, crowded routes, and unpredictable schedules can make it more difficult.

Transportation staff serve an incredibly important role. For many children, they are the first part of each Head Start day. Not only do they make sure the buses are safe and that routes run on time, staff also supervise and engage children on their bus. Positive interactions with transportation staff can set the course of a child’s day, making them feel safe and nurtured.

Source: Office of Head Start

Available at: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/director/blog/keeping-kids-safe.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Content%20e-blast%20for%20August&utm_content=New%20Content%20e-blast%20for%20August+CID_c338e8624166a79d4b527a9e1bec9751&utm_source=CM%20Eblast&utm_term=Keeping%20Kids%20Safe

Evaluation of the Head Start Designation Renewal System


In the fall of 2011, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) significantly expanded its accountability provisions with the implementation of the Head Start Designation Renewal System (DRS). The DRS is designed to identify which Head Start and Early Head Start grantees are providing high quality, comprehensive services to the children and families in their communities. Where they are not, grantees are denied automatic renewal of their grant and must apply for continuing funding through an open competition process. Determinations are based on seven conditions designed to measure service quality, program operational quality, and fiscal and internal integrity.

The ACF is proposing to conduct an evaluation of the DRS. The purpose of the evaluation is to understand if the DRS is working as intended, as a valid, reliable, and transparent method for identifying high-quality programs that can receive continuing five-year grants without competition and as a system that encourages overall program quality improvement. It also seeks to understand how the system is working, the circumstances in which it works more or less well, and the contextual, demographic, and program factors and program actions associated with how well the system is working. The study will employ a mixed-methods design that integrates and layers administrative and secondary data sources, observational measures, and interviews to develop a rich knowledge base about what the DRS accomplishes and how it does so.

Source: Federal Register Volume 78, Number 158

Available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-15/html/2013-19805.htm

IM 13-02 Five Year Head Start Project Periods – Head Start


The Office of Head Start (OHS) is moving from indefinite project periods to five year project periods for all Head Start grantees. This requires changes in OHS funding practices and oversight of Head Start programs. Changes in oversight will include improved communication between federal staff and grantees, as well as ongoing analysis of data to determine the type of support needed by grantees. The main purpose of improved oversight is to demonstrate the quality of program services, the effectiveness of management systems, and the achievement of outcomes for children, families, and communities.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/standards/IMs/2013/resour_im_002_070113.html?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Content%20E-blast%20for%20July&utm_content=New%20Content%20E-blast%20for%20July+CID_30ee5ad9937c9730611342af4be147d8&utm_source=CM%20Eblast&utm_term=IM%2013-02%20Five-Year%20Head%20Start%20Project%20Periods

Five Year Grant Periods – Head Start


The Office of Head Start (OHS) is moving from indefinite project periods to five year project periods for all Head Start grantees. This requires changes in OHS funding practices and oversight of Head Start programs. The main purpose of improved oversight is to demonstrate the quality of program services, the effectiveness of management systems, and the achievement of outcomes for children, families, and communities.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/grants/5-yr-cycle?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Content%20E-blast%20for%20July&utm_content=New%20Content%20E-blast%20for%20July+CID_30ee5ad9937c9730611342af4be147d8&utm_source=CM%20Eblast&utm_term=Five-Year%20Grant%20Periods

Head Start and Early Head Start standards raised to increase quality and accountability | Administration for Children and Families


More than 150 agencies will receive grants to provide Head Start or Early Head Start services in their communities for the next five years according to an announcement made today by Office of Head Start (OHS) Director Yvette Sanchez Fuentes. The awardees were selected through a competition that compared existing Head Start grantees to other potential providers to determine which organizations could provide the best early education services to their communities.

“This competition raises the quality of Head Start programs across America,” said Director Sanchez Fuentes.  “We are holding every provider accountable to deliver high-quality comprehensive services to children and families, so we can continue to deliver on the promise Head Start makes to communities.”

As part of the Head Start reforms President Obama announced in 2011, 125 Head Start grantees that failed to meet a new set of rigorous benchmarks were required to compete for continued federal funding with other potential early childhood services providers in their communities.  Grantees that chose to compete for funding were required to demonstrate that they had corrected all deficiencies in a sustainable manner in order to be considered for funding for the next five years.  As part of this sweeping reform to the Head Start program, all grantees will be evaluated under transparent, research-based standards to ensure that programs are providing the highest quality services to children and families.

In this first round of competition, all competitors had to submit proposals detailing how they would achieve Head Start’s goal of delivering high-quality early childhood services to the nation’s most vulnerable infants, toddlers and preschoolers.  These proposals were subjected to an extensive evaluation process, including review by a panel of independent early childhood professionals and assessment by Certified Public Accountants to determine a potential grantee’s ability to implement Head Start’s mission and standards in their community.  In a few cases, the panel determined that an existing grant would be more effective if it was split up amongst multiple agencies, bringing the total number of grants yielded from the first round of competition to 153. A full list of the selected grantees is available at http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/grants/dr/cohort-1-awards-result….

As a result of the 2011 reforms, all Head Start grants are now awarded in five-year increments.  Grantees will be subject to strengthened grant terms and conditions to ensure every Head Start child across the country receives consistent, high-quality education and services.  Grantees are expected to meet OHS’ high quality benchmarks in order to be renewed for an additional five years, or face their grants being opened for recompetition.

A second group of Head Start grantees was notified in January that the grants for their service areas would also be open to competition.  The competitive process for those service areas will open to the public later this summer.

For more information on Head Start, please visit www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ohs/.

Source: Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services