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HHS extends comment period for proposed revisions to Head Start performance standards

HHS’ Administration for Children and Families announced today an extension to the public comment period for the proposed revisions to the Head Start performance standards.  The open comment period is being extended by 30 days past the original Aug. 18 deadline and will now close Sept. 17.

The reason to extend the comment period into September is to encourage more parental feedback when children are back in Head Start programs.

Improving these performance standards, which provide the foundation for practices and policies in every Head Start program, builds upon past efforts from the administration to improve and strengthen Head Start in order to deliver on the president’s call to provide children with access to high-quality early childhood experiences. The revised standards reflect a vision for how to raise the bar on quality for all Head Start programs and build on the programs’ history of success to help more children onto a path to school success.

Head Start performance standards are the foundation for Head Start’s mission to deliver comprehensive, high-quality individualized services to support the school readiness and healthy development of children from low-income families.  The proposed regulation will update standards to reflect best practices and the latest research on what works in early education to foster healthy child development and school readiness.

This change is expected to allow more focus on outcomes for children and families instead of spending time and resources on unnecessary requirements that do not improve or ensure the quality of the program.

The public is invited to submit comments on these proposed standards, which are due 90 days after publication, on Sept. 17, 2015. 

Quick Facts

  • The proposed standards are the first comprehensive revision of the Head Start performance standards since they were originally published in 1975.
  • The revisions also significantly reduce the current 1,400 Head Start regulatory standards by eliminating unnecessary and duplicative rules while setting high standards that will drive program performance.


"We feel that lengthening the window for public comments into the Head Start school year will spur parents who are actively engaged in the program to be more involved in the comment process.”
Dr. Blanca Enriquez, Director of the Office of Head Start
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