On November 16, the Office of Head Start (OHS) held its monthly Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) Talk webinar. Human Resources Management was the primary topic and OHS reviewed the key standards that fall into this section of the new HSPPS. Throughout the webinar OHS referred to the Staff table available on ECLKC. If you haven’t seen this resource, we recommend taking a look. For each position it lays out education requirements, experience requirements, competency requirements, and the timeframe when applicable.
Below are a few interesting pieces of information learned on this week’s webinar. (As a reminder, all of the OHS HSPPS Talk webinars are available on ECKLC. Lots of information is shared!)
Standards of conduct as well as penalties for violation of those standards are important. Be clear about standards of conduct that apply to staff, consultants, contractors and volunteers. OHS reminded listeners that penalties for violation of standards of conduct must be defined. OHS stressed the importance of helping individuals understand (via training, orientation, etc.) the standards as well as the consequences for not following them.
When staff serve in multiple roles, they must have the degree necessary to perform all of their job responsibilities. OHS indicated they’ve received questions from grantees that have staff members who serve in multiple capacities in their program. It is important that educational requirements are reviewed to ensure staff are meeting all relevant requirements. OHS also recommended paying careful attention to the wording in the HSPPS. For example, pay attention to the use of “must” versus “preferably” in the new HSPPS when degree requirements are described.
Specific standards address volunteers in the program. OHS spoke briefly in the webinar to standards related to volunteers, reminding grantees that volunteers should receive orientation, and that they are not to be left alone with children. The new HSPPS do not require background checks for volunteers, which is the reason why volunteers may not be left alone with children. It is important to remember, however, that state licensing regulations or other requirements may indicate that volunteers are required to have a background check.
The next OHS HSPPS Talk webinar will take place on December 14. We look forward to sharing information learned!
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