Early Headstart / Headstart

Early Head Start/Head Start (EHS/HS):

Early Head Start and Head Start are federally funded programs serving low-income children from birth through preschool and their families. The programs babiesoffer children comprehensive health and developmental services and high quality early learning settings. The programs are administered according to an extensive set of program performance standards. EHS serves approximately 156,000 infants and toddlers, while HS serves just under 1 million preschool-aged children. Approximately 42 percent of eligible children receive services from HS, while EHS reaches 4 percent of the eligible population.

Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships:

The FY2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 113-76) provided $500 million for Early Head Start/Child Care Partnerships.  The concept behind these projects was to identify settings serving infants and toddlers receiving child care subsidies as well as other low income young children, strengthen the quality of those settings to match Early Head Start standards, and provide comprehensive services – including family engagement.  The projects are designed to promote a two-generation strategy and expand access to high quality community-based child care.  Projects funded in the initial round (awarded by March of 2015) are listed here.

In December of 2015, the FY2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 114-113) included an increase of $135 million for EHS-CCP grants. The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), a competition for the new EHS-CCP funds, was posted on June 23, 2016 with applications due on August 24, 2016.

Applications can be for Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, Early Head Start Expansion (an expansion of EHS center-based slots), or a combination.  Head Start organizations or other non-profit organizations, tax-paying organizations, faith-based organizations, communities, and states can apply for grants. HHS’ applicant toolkit is located here.

Currently, from first-round awarded grants, there are 275 EHS-CCP and Expansion grantees located in every state which involve more than 1,200 child care centers and 600 family child care programs. Programs will serve 32,000 infants and toddlers when they reach full enrollment over the next few months.  At least 3,600 classrooms at community-based child care sites have received new materials and supplies such as board books, toys, enhanced curriculum and other instructional materials to help strengthen the quality of programs to meet the robust experience required by Early Head Start. To date, more than  6,600 teachers and staff in child care centers and family child care homes have received professional development, coaching and enhanced training to meet Early Head Start requirements. The number of qualified infant-toddler teachers continues to increase as the duration of the programs continue.

Several ECEC Members are included among the awarded grants, including Brightside Academy, Child Care Business Coalition of Hawaii, Child Care Network, Easter Seals, New Horizon Academy, and YMCA. This new initiative provides ECEC members the opportunity to strengthen mixed delivery systems at the state and local level by partnering with other entities in the community. Awards related to the August grant submissions are expected to be announced before the end of the year.ABC blocks


HHS Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships Overview Page

HHS: Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships 1st Year Report (Lessons Learned)

HHS: EHS-CCP Toolkit for Applicants

Head Start and Early Head Start Performance Standards (newly revised regulations are expected soon)

Head Start Federal Statute (PL 110-134): Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007

State Staff:Child Licensing Ratios vs Early Head Start Ratios

RESEARCH TO PRACTICE: Early Head Start Benefits Children and Families Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project

RESEARCH TO PRACTICE: Program Models in Early Head Start Early Head Start Reserach and Evaluation Project

RESEARCH TO PRACTICE: Child Care, Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project

RESEARCH TO PRACTICE: How the Performance Standards Support New Early Head Start Programs: Lessons Learned from Research. Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project

ECEC Comments to the Department of Health and Human Services on the Partnerships, February 2014