Key Points from the 2014 NHSA Fall Leadership Institute

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

50th Anniversary of Head Start:

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Head Start, it’s important to remember that it was the Cooke memorandum that began Head Start. President Johnson appointed Sargent Shriver to lead the administration’s War on Poverty. Shriver recruited his pediatrician, Dr. Robert E. Cooke, to head a committee whose recommendations led to the beginning of Head Start in 1965.

Update on the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships grant applications:

560 Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships grant applications were received.  60% are partnerships, 20% are a combination, 15% are expansion only, and 5% couldn’t be identified from the Executive Summary. The applications are being read now. The plan is to begin negotiations in December and finish the announcements by the end of March.

Update on the revised Head Start Program Performance Standards:

The Head Start Program Performance Standards have been revised and they are now in “internal coordination.” It is expected that the Performance Standards will come out for public comment this winter.

Update on Reauthorization:

It does not look like Congress is ready to start a reauthorization in the near future. It is likely that the revised Head Start Program Performance Standards need to come out and see how they work before reauthorization is going to be discussed.

Update on Recompetition:

  • 25% of all grantees have competed in Recompetition. The highest percentage of programs that have competed has been Community Action Agencies, programs that serve 200-499 children, and programs that serve Head Start only.
  • 6.9% of regional Head Start and Early Head Start programs have been in Recompetition due to CLASS.  No program has ever fallen below CLASS thresholds for emotional support or classroom organization.
  • Programs that had CLASS scores that fell into the bottom 10% tended to have Teachers with lower degrees.
  • Supervision issues continue to be a leading cause of programs going into Recompetition.
  • Outcomes of Recompetition: 72% of programs have gotten part of all of their program back; 20% lost their grant; and 8% have had their grant reposted.

Update on transitioning to the 5 year grants:

As it pertains to 5 year grant oversight, regional staff will be spending more time on addressing and correcting programs’ non-compliances. They are looking toward monthly contacts with grantees driving the agenda.


  • 70% of Head Start Teachers now have a Bachelor’s degree.
  • A complete review of all Head Start facilities will be conducted. For the next 2 years, Head Start will be taking pictures of your facilities. This information will be included in a report to Congress in order to tackle the issue of the state of Head Start facilities in a more consistent and coordinated way.