IM 15-03 Policy and Program Guidance for the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships (EHS-CCP)

8/6/2015

INFORMATION MEMORANDUM

TO: Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership Grantees and Partners

SUBJECT: Policy and Program Guidance for the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships (EHS-CCP)

INFORMATION:This Information Memorandum (IM) reinforces the purpose and vision of the Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships (EHS-CCP) and provides policy and program guidance for grantees and their partners.1 This IM specifically addresses various issues and questions raised by grantees during the EHS-CCP orientations and start-up phase of the grants.

The EHS-CCP program will enhance and support early learning settings to provide full-day/full-year, seamless, and comprehensive services that meet the needs of low-income working families and those in school; increase access to high-quality, full-day child care (including family child care); support the development of infants and toddlers through strong relationship-based experiences; and prepare them for the transition into Head Start and preschool. The EHS-CCP is a unique opportunity which brings together the best of Early Head Start and child care through layering of funding to provide comprehensive and continuous services to low-income infants, toddlers, and their families. The EHS-CCP grants will serve as a learning laboratory for the future of high-quality infant/toddler care.

All infants and toddlers attending an EHS-CCP site will benefit from facilities and homes that are licensed and meet safety requirements. All children in classrooms with EHS-CCP-enrolled children will benefit from low teacher-to-child ratios and class sizes, qualified teachers receiving ongoing supervision and coaching to support implementation of curriculum and responsive caregiving, and broad-scale parent engagement activities. While only enrolled EHS-CCP children will be eligible for direct family-specific benefits such as home visits, health tracking and follow-up, and individualized family support services, EHS-CCP programs must operationalize services to ensure there is no segregation or stigmatization of EHS-CCP children due to the additional requirements or services.

The long-term outcomes of the program are:

  1. Sustained, mutually respectful, and collaborative EHS-CCP
  2. A more highly educated and fully qualified workforce to provide high-quality infant/toddler care and education
  3. Increased community supply of high-quality early learning environments and infant/toddler care and education
  4. Well-aligned early childhood policies, regulations, resources, and quality improvement support at national, state, and local levels
  5. Improved family and child well-being and progress toward school readiness

The EHS-CCP brings together the strengths of child care and Early Head Start programs. Child care centers and family child care providers respond to the needs of working families by offering flexible and convenient full-day and full-year services. In addition, child care providers have experience providing care that is strongly grounded in the cultural, linguistic, and social needs of the families and their local communities. However, many child care centers and family child care providers lack the resources to provide the comprehensive services needed to support better outcomes for the nation’s most vulnerable children. Early Head Start is a research-based program that emphasizes the importance of responsive and caring relationships to support the optimal development of infants and toddlers. Early Head Start provides comprehensive family centered services that adhere to the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS)2 to support high-quality learning environments. Integrating Early Head Start comprehensive services and resources into the array of traditional child care and family child care settings creates new opportunities to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, and their families.

Attachment A provides topical policy and program guidance around:

  • Seamless and Comprehensive Full-Day/Full-Year Services
  • Partnership Agreements
  • Layered Funding
  • Child Care Subsidies
  • Citizenship and Immigration Status
  • Child Care Center Ratios and Group Sizes
  • Staffing and Planning Shifts for Staff
  • Staff Qualifications and Credential Requirements
  • Federal Oversight and Monitoring

Please share this IM with your partners and direct any questions to your Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Regional Office.

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of infants and toddlers and their families.

/ Linda K. Smith /
Linda K. Smith
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development
Administration for Children and Families

/ Blanca Enriquez /
Dr. Blanca Enriquez
Director
Office of Head Start

/ Rachel Schumacher /
Rachel Schumacher
Director
Office of Child Care

Source: Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, and Office of Child Care

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/standards/im/2015/resour_ime_003.html

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