This week’s Office of Head Start (OHS) Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) Talk Webinar focused on Section 1301, Program Governance. Rich information was shared, and we hope you were able to participate. If you weren’t able, we’ve recapped some of the highlights below and we’ll continue to dig into the new HSPPS with follow up posts.
Lots of questions, and lots of learning. OHS stressed the helpfulness of grantees and other stakeholders submitting questions about the new HSPPS. The webinar followed a different format than past webinars in that OHS used prepared questions and answers rather than hosting a live Q&A. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask OHS. Others may have your same questions!
More information might be coming about background record check requirements. OHS acknowledged they have been hearing many questions about background record check requirements. In particular, the fingerprint check required prior to staff hire (see 1302.90 Personnel policies). As of now, this requirement is effective November 7, 2016. OHS indicated they are considering what can be done to relieve concerns about the upcoming effective date. Stay tuned…
Advisory committees can be established on a range of topics. OHS discussed the governing body’s discretion to develop advisory committees, which may focus on many topics. Even though the scope of what can be delegated is broad, the governing body must maintain legal and fiscal responsibility. OHS stressed they will not be prescriptive about what can and cannot be addressed by advisory committees, and this speaks to the desire to give flexibility to grantees.
Data use and training – important and flexible. The flexibility embedded in the new HSPPS extends to data use and training, specifically related to maintaining informed and engaged boards and policy councils. OHS spoke about the importance of sharing data with the board and policy council, and encouraged grantees to think about how much data the board needs and what type. Similarly, training on the new HSPPS must be provided. The frequency is not specified in the new HSPPS. Rather, grantees should consider what they orientation and training is needed for members to effectively participate in program governance.
Next month’s OHS HSPPS Talk Webinar will take place on November 16, 2016 and the main topics will include human resources, background checks, standards of conduct, qualifications, and coaching.
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 [email protected] to learn about how we can help.