Federal Review Preparation

Monitoring preparation can be stressful. Foundations for Families can help you get ready.

The Head Start Aligned Monitoring System (AMS 2.0) uses Focus Area Reviews to take a holistic view of a grantee’s services and functions across the five-year grant cycle, evaluating grantee compliance, progress, and performance across multiple years of program implementation.

Because data from AMS 2.0 is used to determine whether the grantee will need to compete for continuing Head Start funding according to the Designation Renewal System (DRS), it’s important to demonstrate strong performance during your review.

In a review that is focused on dialogue and personal exchanges, how does one prepare?

Resources from the Office of Head Start

Learn more about the FY 2022 Monitoring protocols for Focus Area 2 reviews.

Focus Area 2: At-A-Glance

Focus Area 2: The Recipient Experience


Get ready for your review and make any improvements necessary – ahead of time


​A Focus Area 1 review is conducted off-site and largely focused on design. As part of the Focus Area 1 review, the Reviewer will hold telephone interviews with multiple staff. We can help you prepare by using our Assessment Readiness Tool (ART), aligned to the FA1 Monitoring Protocol, to facilitate mock review sessions. Through this process, we will work with your team to identify areas that are challenging to respond to and provide recommendations to develop an improved response so that everyone can effectively demonstrate their expertise across all areas of your program.

A Focus Area 2 review is on-site, much more in depth, and centered on the effectiveness of your program implementation as demonstrated through conversations and data tours, and other review activities (e.g., classroom explorations; ERSEA child file reviews). Just like with the FA1 Review, Foundations for Families team members will use the ART (this time aligned to the FA2 Monitoring Protocol) to facilitate mock review sessions, identify areas where improvement may be needed, and provide recommendations and resources to support next steps. In addition, we will review documents, data, year-to-date outcomes, and other materials, as appropriate, so that you have an opportunity to develop a response to any identified concerns prior to discussions with Reviewers.

Read more about preparing for federal reviews. Subscribe to our blogs for insights.

FY2022 Head Start Monitoring Protocols Provide Consistency and New Areas of Interest

As you get ready for a FY2022 review, consider how you can make improvements ahead of time so that your review is seamless and effectively demonstrates your program’s compliance and performance.

>>read more

Planning for your Focus Area 2 Review

FA2 is an opportunity for programs to demonstrate their effectiveness in implementing a high-quality program to promote positive outcomes and school readiness for children and their families.

>>read more

Establishing a Strong Foundation for a Focus Area 1 Review

If you have an upcoming review you might be feeling some anxiety about the new review process. There are steps you can take now to establish a strong foundation for the review.

>>read more

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