Countdown to Compliance With the New HSPPS

We’re about four months away from an important milestone on the journey for Head Start and Early Head Start programs to implement the new Head Start Program Performance Standards! August 1, 2017 is the compliance date for multiple standards, including:

  • Assessment
  • Coordinated coaching strategy and coaching staff qualifications
  • Curricula for center-based and family child care programs
  • Curriculum for home-based programs
  • Early Head Start home-based service duration
  • Management of program data
  • Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) and Data Systems

With August 1 just around the corner you might be on your way to implementation of these standards. If you’re beginning to turn your attention to these areas we want to remind you of resources that may be valuable to you. The Office of Head Start (OHS) has provided information to help ease the transition to the new standards. The Head Start Program Performance Standards Showcase and the OHS HSPPS Talk Webinar Series are particularly useful to ground yourself in the standards and hear from OHS first hand about why changes were made to the standards, what those changes mean and where they plan to offer additional guidance.

Here at Foundations for Families we also provided guidance on our blog to assist you as you work toward compliance. In our post, A New Year – New Performance Standards, by Julie Shuell, Senior Consultant, we laid out strategies for how to tackle meeting the new HSPPS. In particular, thinking about the standards in buckets – standards you are meeting now, standards you are close to meeting or could meet with minor tweaks, and standards you are not meeting.

Next, we took a closer look at how to address standards you are close to meeting. In the blog post, Step by Step to HSPPS Compliance, you will find a list of steps you can take to compile an implementation team, develop and implement action plans, and communicate with staff, parents, the Board and Policy Council about your progress.

Finally, earlier this month in the blog post, A Plan of Action to Achieve the New HSPPS, we ventured into how to organize your team to implement your program’s hardest-to-meet standards. We discussed how continuous improvement and reflecting on your progress toward implementation will help you on your journey. We also touched on an essential question to ask yourself as you plan – what can our program address in-house and what type of external support might we need?

Follow our blog during the next couple of months as we dig into the areas of the HSPPS that have upcoming compliance dates. If your program needs assistance developing a plan of action to address the new HSPPS, we are here to help. Foundations for Families’ consulting staff have significant experience and expertise advising Head Start and Early Head Start grantees. Please be in touch to explore ways we can assist your program.

Thank you.

Contact Us

We have successfully worked with agencies in every round of recompetition to write winning grants, design competitive programs, confirm prudent budgets, and plan for a manageable start-up period.  Contact Amy Augenblick, Executive Director, at (703) 599-4329 or augenblick@foundationsforfamilies.com to learn about how we can help.

“It was clear that we needed some significant expertise and help to put the organizational, fiscal, program and policy structure in place to run this program well and remain in compliance. Linda Dunphy from Foundations for Families was the lead consultant working with our local team. She helped us to make quick progress on the learning curve and brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise from working with programs around the county.”

Dave Kontur, Executive Director

Lucas County Family and Children First Council, Toledo, Ohio

A Plan of Action to Achieve the New HSPPS

Earlier this year, in a post by Julie Shuell, Senior Consultant, A New Year – New Performance Standards, we discussed how you might think about organizing your program to meet the new Head Start Program Performance Standards. We discussed putting HSPPS into three categories – Category 1: standards you are meeting now; Category 2: standards you are close to meeting or could meet with minor tweaks; and Category 3: standards you are not meeting. In February, we dove into Category 2 standards, and today we continue the conversation about Category 3 standards.

Category 3 standards – those you are not currently meeting – might seem like some of the harder standards to tackle. After your HSPPS leadership team has identified the Category 3 standards, work together to divide these standards into two buckets. First, identify standards where your team has the internal knowledge and skills to develop a plan and implement the standards. You will also want to make sure that even if your team has the knowledge and skills that they also have the time. Be mindful of compliance dates as you think about internal resources. Then, identify the standards for which you will need assistance to become compliant. If you need assistance with compliance, brainstorm the supports you will need. For example, content expertise, research support, or assistance with action planning and timeline development.

Once you have put your Category 3 standards into buckets – those that can be handled in-house and those for which you need external support – you can begin to think about how to address your standards. Consider clustering groups of standards together based on similarities. Similarities could include –

  • Content (what do each of the standards relate to?)
  • Staff (who will make decisions about the particular standard? who has the content expertise to create a plan of action?)
  • Timelines (what is the compliance date? how long will it take to implement the standard?)

To create efficiencies, identify where you see overlap and address those standards at the same time. For example, are there a number of standards related to family engagement that you are not yet meeting? It may be that the same group of people will have the content expertise and leadership to plan to implement those standards. Work on those standards at the same time, and create an action plan with aligned planning meetings, timelines, resources, and assignments.

Similar to our recommendations related to Category 2 standards, we strongly suggest reviewing your progress as you go along. Document your achievements and challenges. Ask yourself questions such as, where do we need more support? Are we on track to meet our goals? You might find that some of the standards you thought you could achieve with in-house resources might now be better suited for external support. Adapt your action plans and resources throughout the implementation process to ensure timely compliance with the new HSPPS. As with your Category 2 standards, you will want to ensure that staff, families, Policy Council and the Board are kept up to date, as appropriate, on progress. And, of course, don’t forget to celebrate your successes!

If your program needs assistance developing a plan of action to address the new HSPPS, we are here to help. Foundations for Families’ consulting staff have significant experience and expertise advising Head Start and Early Head Start grantees. Please be in touch to explore ways we can assist your program.

Thank you.

Contact Us

We have successfully worked with agencies in every round of recompetition to write winning grants, design competitive programs, confirm prudent budgets, and plan for a manageable start-up period.  Contact Amy Augenblick, Executive Director, at (703) 599-4329 or augenblick@foundationsforfamilies.com to learn about how we can help.

February OHS HSPPS Webcast Recap

The February Office of Head Start (OHS) Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) webcast focused on Family and Community Engagement. It included a review of family engagement embedded throughout the new HSPPS as well as provided helpful information about resources available to programs to help them meet the new HSPPS in this area. During the webcast OHS polled attendees and learned that some participants aren’t familiar with all of the resources available to them related to family engagement. Below, you will find a summary of few of the great resources highlighted on the webcast.

Head Start Father Engagement Birth to Five Programming Guide – On this week’s webcast OHS acknowledged that there has been a lot of activity in the area of father engagement in recent years, and the new HSPPS reflect that shift. The Father Engagement Guide links directly to the Parent, Family and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework, and is divided into three main sections – Program Foundations (leadership, continuous improvement, and professional development), Program Impact Areas, and Resources – to help programs engage fathers (and other men playing an important role in a child’s life). The Resources section provides a wealth of information ranging from assessment and action planning templates to guidance on planning father-focused groups.

Compendium of Parenting Interventions – Released in fall 2015, the Compendium describes a broad range of evidence-based parenting interventions that can be used with families of young children. It describes what parenting interventions are and how they work, and provides guidance about how to select a parenting intervention for your program. An “At-A-Glance” table provides a visual comparison of parenting interventions to help programs select those that are the best fit for use with the families they serve.

Family Engagement in Transitions: Transition to Kindergarten – This resource addresses the important transition to kindergarten, and provides strategies that can be used to support successful transitions for children, families and staff. It addresses key practices such as planning, information sharing, professional development and family and community partnerships.

In the February webcast we also heard from OHS about questions they’re receiving from the field. According to OHS, many questions have come up related to the parenting curriculum and they are working on responses. For example, what constitutes research-based, and how can a program determine if a particular curriculum meets this requirement? The other area where OHS is receiving questions is related to the Family Services Credential. Guidance will be coming about what certificates/credentials meet the requirement, what programs should do if they have their own certificate, and whether the credential must be through an institute of higher education. OHS also reminded participants that new videos would be coming soon to the Showcase.

The OHS HSPPS webcasts are available on ECLKC for those of you interested in viewing. The next webcast will take place on March 15, 2017 and the topic will be using data in your program. If your program needs assistance developing a plan of action to address the new HSPPS, we are here to help. Foundations for Families’ consulting staff have significant experience and expertise advising Head Start and Early Head Start grantees. Please be in touch to explore ways we can assist your program.

Thank you. 

Contact Us

We have successfully worked with agencies in every round of recompetition to write winning grants, design competitive programs, confirm prudent budgets, and plan for a manageable start-up period.  Contact Amy Augenblick, Executive Director, at (703) 599-4329 or augenblick@foundationsforfamilies.com to learn about how we can help.