This just in, via an email from NHSA:

National Head Start Association Statement Regarding Dismissal of Lawsuit Seeking Changes to HHS Designation Renewal System

Earlier this year, a suit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make major changes in the Designation Renewal System (DRS). Today, the court ruled in favor of HHS and issued an opinion upholding DRS in its entirety.

The following statement should be attributed to Yasmina Vinci, Executive Director of the National Head Start Association:

“The National Head Start Association (NHSA), and by extension, the Head Start and Early Head Start community we represent, continue to embrace excellence, quality and accountability in all aspects of Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Though NHSA was not a party to the suit, we will continue working with the Office of Head Start (OHS) as DRS moves forward to ensure that Head Start children and families in transitioning programs experience no disruption in their services.”

“Throughout the implementation of DRS, NHSA has worked tirelessly to advocate with OHS and the Administration to make this a fair and open process. We believe that significant changes were made: clarification of important aspects of the re-competition application process as well as lengthening the transition period for new grantees. Each was the result of the Administration listening to the input from the field collected by NHSA and our members.”

“We look forward to utilizing the experience and wisdom of the entire Head Start community as we work together with the Administration, specifically OHS, to ensure that the DRS effectively improves outcomes for Head Start children and families as Congress intended.”


If your agency has activated a ‘trigger’ and is facing recompetition – you might want or need guidance. In most cases, we can help you get through this critical period and, if we can’t, we’ll certainly help you find the support you need.

If you think you have a legal issue OR want to prevent one through regulatory compliance and risk assessment, please do yourself a big favor and call Ted Waters at [email protected] or Zoë Beckerman at [email protected], both with Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP.

If you are a delegate agency thinking about responding to the upcoming RFP to continue to serve your children and families on your own, but are unsure about grant writing, give us a call.

If you are a community based, solid organization with your heart and management practices in the right place and think could do just as well or better on behalf of young children and their families, we can help you think that through and move forward if you’d like. Call us: 703-299-6570 or 703-299-6570 or email [email protected]


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