Just as the new school year was getting started, the Office of Head Start announced the new, and improved, Head Start Performance Standards. This is good news for organizations like Children’s Friend that administers Head Start and Early Head Start, but it’s even better news for the children and families who benefit from participating!
The new standards, which have been streamlined by 30%, help programs focus on what’s most important and go into effect in November. They are based on years of Head Start studies, brain development research, and early childhood best practices; and designed to provide strategies that will improve outcomes for children. Some of the improvements include:
- Increase of hours of the program day for pre-school aged children.
- More professional development and coaching for teachers.
- Higher educational standards for home visitors.
- Greater demand for us to use our local program data to make decisions in the best interest of our children and families.
While there have been modifications over the years, this is the first time there has been such a comprehensive revision of the Performance Standards since they were first published in 1975! These new Standards raise the bar significantly on the quality of Head Start services across the country; giving very young, vulnerable children the supports and skills they will need for a successful future. We here at Children’s Friend are excited about these new Standards and the opportunity they give us to continue to provide the highest and best service to our kids.