Implementing Early Head Start–Home-Based Option (EHS-HBO) Meets HHS Criteria

Last updated: April 2018

Prerequisites for Implementation

Type of Implementing Agency

According to the Head Start Program Performance Standards, Early Head Start-Home-Based Option agencies can include (1) entities operating Head Start programs; (2) entities operating American Indian, Alaska Native, or Migrant or Seasonal Head Start programs; and (3) other public entities, and nonprofit or for-profit private entities, including community-based and faith-based organizations.

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Staffing Requirements

Early Head Start-Home-Based Option programs have several primary staff positions:

  • Home visitors who conduct home visits with families and run group socialization meetings,
  • Home visitor supervisors,
  • Comprehensive services staff (such as disabilities and curriculum specialists), and
  • A director who oversees the program.

In addition, Early Head Start-Home-Based Option programs must have management staff with content expertise in the following areas:

  • Early childhood development and health services, including child development and education;
  • Child medical, dental, and mental health;
  • Child nutrition;
  • Services for children with disabilities; and
  • Family and community partnerships, including family support and family engagement.
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Staff Education and Experience

Home visitors providing home-based services must have a minimum of a Home Visitor Child Development Associate (CDA) or comparable credential, or equivalent coursework as part of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Home visitors are also required to demonstrate competency in planning and delivering home-based services that (1) effectively implement the home visiting curriculum; (2) promote children’s progress across the standards described in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five, including children with disabilities and dual language learners, as appropriate; and (3) build respectful, culturally responsive, and trusting relationships with families.

The Early Head Start-Home-Based Option director must have demonstrated skills and abilities in a management capacity relevant to human services program management.

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Supervision Requirements

Head Start Program Performance Standards require an organizational structure and staffing patterns to support full implementation of all requirements for the Early Head Start-Home-Based Option.

At a minimum, the Head Start Program Performance Standards require that Early Head Start-Home-Based Option programs conduct performance reviews and use the results to identify training and professional development needs, and assist in improving staff skills and professional competencies.

Programs must monitor curriculum implementation and fidelity, and provide support, feedback, and supervision for continuous improvement of implementation through the system of training and professional development.

Early Head Start recommends several supervision strategies to retain, develop, and support staff. These include consistent, formal, reflective supervision, and opportunities for home visitors to meet together.

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Staff Ratio Requirements

The Head Start Program Performance Standards require that home visitors maintain an average caseload of 10 to 12 families, with a maximum of 12 families for any individual home visitor.

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Data Systems/Technology Requirements

While there are no specific infrastructure or data system requirements, the Office of Head Start recommends that programs establish and maintain record-keeping systems that allow them to provide accurate, up-to-date information and generate timely financial and programmatic reports.

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Implementation Notes

The information contained on this page was last updated in April 2018. Recommended Further Reading lists the sources for this information. In addition, the information contained in this profile was reviewed for accuracy by the Office of Head Start on January 16, 2018. HomVEE reserves the right to edit the profile for clarity and consistency.

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