According to the Head Start Program Performance Standards, Early Head Start programs can include (1) entities operating Head Start programs; (2) entities operating American Indian, Alaska Native, or Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs; and (3) other public, nonprofit, or for-profit private entities, including community- and faith-based organizations.
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.
Prerequisites for implementation
Early Head Start Home-Based Option programs include several primary staff positions:
- Home visitors who conduct home visits with families and facilitate group socialization activities;
- Home visitor supervisors;
- Comprehensive services staff (such as disabilities and health specialists); and
- A director who oversees the program.
In addition, Early Head Start programs must have (1) family, health, and disabilities management staff, and (2) education management staff. These staff must have content expertise in the following areas:
- Early childhood development and health services, including child development and education;
- Child medical, dental, and mental health;
- Child nutrition;
- Services for children with disabilities; and
- Family and community partnerships, including family support and family engagement.
Staff education and experience
Home visitors providing home-based education services must have a minimum of a Home Visitor Child Development Associate (CDA), a comparable credential, or equivalent coursework as part of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Home visitors are also required to demonstrate competency in planning and delivering home-based learning experiences that (1) effectively implement the home visiting curriculum; (2) promote children’s progress across the standards described in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five, including children with disabilities and dual language learners, as appropriate; and (3) build respectful, culturally responsive, and trusting relationships with families.
Supervisors must have, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a bachelor’s degree in any field with equivalent coursework in early childhood education and teaching experience in early childhood settings.
The Early Head Start program director must have, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree and experience in staff supervision, fiscal management, and program administration.
Head Start Program Performance Standards require an organizational structure and staffing patterns to support full implementation of all requirements for the Early Head Start Home-Based Option.
At a minimum, the Head Start Program Performance Standards require that such programs conduct performance reviews, use the results to identify training and professional development needs, and assist in improving staff skills and professional competencies.
Programs must monitor curriculum implementation and fidelity, and they must provide support, feedback, and supervision for continuous improvement of implementation through a system of training and professional development.
Early Head Start recommends several supervision strategies to retain, develop, and support staff. They include consistent, formal, reflective supervision and opportunities for home visitors to meet together. The Early Head Start Home-Based Option does not require a specific frequency of supervision or ratio of home visitors to supervisors. Local programs determine supervision frequency and the home visitor-to-supervisor ratio.
Staff ratio requirements
The Head Start Program Performance Standards require that home visitors maintain an average caseload of 10 to 12 families, with a maximum of 12 families for any individual home visitor.
Data systems/technology requirements
Early Head Start programs must use a data management system with automated accounting and record-keeping processes. The system must be able to produce the nine reports that programs are required to submit to the Office of Head Start.
Programs must maintain child records in a manner that limits access to only the child’s parents and officials within the program or acting on behalf of the program. Programs must document to whom (individuals, agencies, or organizations, aside from program officials and the child’s parents) the program has disclosed personally identifiable information from child records and why they disclosed that information.
If a program uses a web-based data system to maintain child records, it must maintain and protect records according to current industry security standards. After these records are no longer needed, programs must destroy them within a reasonable time frame.
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.