While health and safety has always been emphasized in Head Start, it is more important than ever that you have systems in place to ensure that your program is in full compliance with all health and safety-related matters. Health and safety is a major focus of many of the newer parts of Head Start – 5 year grants, the newly aligned monitoring system and Recompetition.
- 5 year grants. As a part of the 5 year project periods, you must complete a screening of the health and safety environment of each of your centers. This must be completed within 60 days of the start of the project period. Additionally, your Board of Directors must sign a certification of compliance confirming that all centers have received a health and safety screening within 75 days of the start of the project period.
- Newly aligned monitoring system. An Environmental Health and Safety Review event is one of the Review events in the newly aligned monitoring system. This Review event focuses solely on health and safety across your program. A Health and Safety Reviewer will visit each classroom in every center of your program. The Review event includes safe and clean facilities, healthy learning environments, safe learning environments & supervision as well as safe transportation.
- Recompetition. One of the top reasons that programs are in Recompetition is due to health and safety issues. Deficiencies in the area of health and safety during federal monitoring reviews as well as self-reported health and safety issues are leading causes of programs that have to recompete.
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