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Program Expectations: Programming is offered with the same expectations as Early Head Start. Early Head Start provides comprehensive family centered services within high-quality early learning environments that adhere to the research-based Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS). Integrating Early Head Start with Child Care through services and resources builds upon existing quality to enhance programming to the benefit of staff, children and families which in turn empowers the Early Childhood community.
The long-term outcomes of the EHS-CCP are:
- Sustained, mutually respectful and collaborative EHS-CCP;
- A more highly educated and fully qualified workforce to provide high-quality infant/toddler care and education;
- Increased community supply of high-quality early learning environments and infant/toddler care and education;
- Well-aligned early childhood policies, regulations, resources and quality improvement support at national, state and local levels; and
- Improved family and child well-being and progress toward school readiness.
Families: Families are valued by Head Start as the first and most important teacher for their child. Programs build relationships with families that support positive parent-child relationships, family well-being, and connections to peers and community. Additionally, Head Start services are designed to be responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural and linguistic background. Parents can participate in leadership roles, including families having a say in program operations.
Accessibility: EHS-CCP is accessible to families partnering with an Early Head Start recipient in a child care system. Early Head Start programming is at no cost like Early Head Start/Head Start but will have Child Care Subsidy requirements determined by recipients. EHS-CCP is accessible to low-income families with children ages birth until the child turns 3 years old and ready to transition into Head Start or another pre-K Program. Families and children experiencing homelessness, and children in the foster care system are also eligible as well as children with disabilities and special needs. Specific eligibility criteria are determined by recipients.
Funding: Federally funded and locally operated programs like Head Start and Early Head Start, EHS-CCP support the development of the whole child through comprehensive services and parent involvement through services in such areas as Education, Health and Nutrition, Family and Social Services.
Layered Funding: Through layered funding, the EHS-CCP initiative brings together the best of Early Head Start and Child Care to provide comprehensive and continuous services to low-income infants, toddlers, and their families. EHS-CCP enhances developmental services and supports for low-income infants and toddlers, and their families, by providing strong relationship-based experiences and preparing them for the transition into Head Start and preschool.
History: EHS-CCP started in 2015 but Early Head Start/Head Start and Child Cares have been working together for years. This grant specifically offers a new cutting-edge way of building on strengths through leveled funding.
In Iowa, three organizations hold an EHS-CCP grant:
- Drake University Head Start, Des Moines
- HACAP Head Start, Cedar Rapids
- Tri-County Head Start, Waterloo
Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS)
Accountability: Head Start, Early Head Start and EHS-CCP recipients providing services to children and families must meet the HSPPS and the requirements set forth in the Head Start Act of 2007. The Office of Head Start also offers direction through Program Instructions and Information Memorandums. More guidance is available to recipients through their federal program specialist.
History: HSPPS were first published in 1975 and the most recent update was in 2016. The HSPPS reflect best practices and the latest research on early childhood development and brain science. They give recipients flexibility in achieving positive child and family outcomes, and encourage the use of data to track progress and reach goals in all program areas.
- Child Care Assistance (Iowa Department of Human Services)
- Early ACCESS/Early Head Start Collaboration Guide
- Head Start
- Zero to Three
More Head Start Programs