Information about implementing the Early Head Start Home-Based Option is included in the Head Start Program Performance Standards and in resources included on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center website.
Implementing Early Head Start Home-Based Option
Model implementation summary last updated: 2020
The information in this implementation report reflects feedback, if provided, from this model’s developer as of the above date. The description of the implementation of the model(s) here may differ from how the model(s) was implemented in the manuscripts reviewed to determine this model’s evidence of effectiveness. Inclusion in the implementation report does not mean the practices described meet the HHS criteria for evidence of effectiveness. Please see the Effectiveness button on the left for more information about any research on the effectiveness of the model, including any version(s) of the model with effectiveness research. Versions of the model that are described in the Adaptations and enhancements section of this implementation report may include: (1) versions that were identified by the model’s developer and that also have manuscripts that HomVEE rated high or moderate, (2) versions identified by the model’s developer for which HomVEE has not reviewed effectiveness research, and (3) versions that have been implemented by researchers and have manuscripts that HomVEE rated high or moderate, but that are not supported by the model’s developer.
Materials and forms to support implementation
Although Early Head Start does not require the use of specific screening or assessment tools, each Early Head Start program must implement a process for ongoing screenings and assessments using valid and reliable tools administered by qualified and trained personnel.
The Head Start Program Performance Standards require that programs perform or obtain screenings to identify concerns regarding a child’s developmental, sensory, behavioral, motor, language, social, cognitive, perceptual, and emotional skills. Early Head Start recommends that programs implement screening procedures sensitive to the child’s cultural and linguistic background, and that the screening be done in conjunction with the child’s parent.
Early Head Start programs must aggregate and analyze child assessment data at least three times per year and use these data, in combination with other program data, to (1) determine children’s progress toward school readiness goals; (2) inform parents and the community of assessment results; and (3) direct the program’s continuous improvement related to curriculum, instruction, professional development, and program structure.
In addition, Early Head Start programs regularly must analyze child-level data to determine, in combination with input from families, each child’s status and progress in at least the following areas:
- Language and literacy development;
- Cognition and general knowledge;
- Approaches to learning;
- Physical well-being and motor development; and
- Social and emotional development.
Programs also use these data to individualize the experiences, instructional strategies, and services to support each child.
Early Head Start Home-Based Option programs must implement a developmentally appropriate, research-based early childhood home visiting curriculum that does the following:
- 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;
- Supports individualization and growth in the areas of development described in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five and, as appropriate, state early learning standards;
- Supports measurable progress toward goals outlined in the framework; and
- Includes plans and materials for learning experiences based on developmental progressions and how children learn.
Programs must provide parents with an opportunity to review the selected curricula and instructional materials used in the program.
If a program chooses to modify a curriculum substantially to better meet the needs of one or more specific populations, it must (1) partner with an early childhood education curriculum or content area expert and (2) assess whether the adaptation adequately facilitates progress toward school readiness goals.
Because programs select their own research-based early childhood home visiting curricula, they can select materials in the languages appropriate for the families they serve. All Early Head Start programs are required by the Head Start Program Performance Standards to work with families in their primary or preferred language.
According to the Head Start Program Performance Standards, Early Head Start programs must establish and implement procedures for the ongoing monitoring of their own operations, as well as those of each of their delegate agencies. At least once every program year, Early Head Start programs must conduct a self-assessment of their effectiveness and progress in meeting program goals and objectives, and implementing federal regulations. Early Head Start programs are monitored for compliance with the performance standards by a team of external consultants according to a schedule based on a program’s five-year funding cycle. The federal review teams use a monitoring protocol developed by the Office of Head Start to review programs.
All Early Head Start Home-Based Option programs must follow relevant Head Start Program Performance Standards.
The information contained on this page was last updated in June 2020. Recommended further reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by the Office of Head Start in February 2020. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.