Key Points from the Winter Leadership Institute

In case you weren’t able to attend the 2014 National Head Start Association Winter Leadership Institute in DC last week, below are the highlights. 

Update on the Sequester---

  • The sequester is being restored for Head Start and the expectation is that the 5.27% will be returned to Head Start programs.  It is most likely that Head Start will be flat funded for the next few years.

 Update on Early Head Start - Child Care Funding Opportunities---

  • $500 million dollars will be made available for Early Head Start – Child Care partnerships.  The priorities for these new monies are partnerships with child cares and plans to ensure a smooth transition as children leave Early Head Start.  A big part of the application will be how much the community needs Early Head Start - which will be driven by the Community Assessment.  The minimum number of Early Head Start children to be served is 72.  Webinars with more details to come shortly.  We’re expecting a short timeline between when the grant opportunities are posted and when the grant applications will be due (60 days).                                            

Update on Reauthorization---

  • The next Reauthorization is in the preparation stages.  It took about 5 years for the 2007 Reauthorization to be accomplished.  We are positioning ourselves to be in the driver’s seat because last time, others drove the process, and we had to fight to change important pieces of the legislation.

Update on the revised Performance Standards---

  • While several drafts of the revised Head Start Program Performance Standards have been written, the revised Standards are still “under construction” - working on best language.  The plan is for the revised version to be out for public comment in a year. 

Update on Monitoring---

  • A Head Start Key Indicator Screener Tool has been developed.  The tool is a subset of the compliance measures in the federal monitoring protocol – 15 core indicators & 41 additional indicators.  This mini-monitoring tool will show if there are issues with programs – if you fail any one item, you would most likely fail the entire Review.  This screener will be used between now and May for grantees who won their grant back in Recompetition. 

 Update on Recompetition---

  • NHSA has recommended to the President that some changes be made to the Designation Renewal System (DRS) system. These include: 1) to stop referring to programs in DRS as low quality, 2) to release competition details in order to improve transparency, and 3) to treat low CLASS score as a non-compliance instead of a deficiency.
  • 38% of deficiencies were non-compliances during Federal Monitoring Reviews that were not corrected. 
  • Will every program will be in Recompetition at some point? This question was answered at the Institute.  Programs will only be in Recompetition if 1 of the 7 triggers occurs in their program.  If no trigger occurs, then your program is automatically renewed for 5 years. 
  • The list of programs in Round 3 of Recompetition will be announced soon…….. and winners in Round 2 of Recompetition are expected to be announced in April.