93.600: Head Start

Popular Name: Head Start

Objectives: To provide comprehensive health, educational, nutritional, social and other services primarily to economically disadvantaged preschool children, including Indian children on federally-recognized reservations, and children of migratory workers and their families; and to involve parents in activities with their children so that the children will attain overall social competence.



Applicant Eligibility: Any local government, federally-recognized Indian tribe, or public or private nonprofit agency which meets the requirements may apply for a grant. However, application will be considered only when submitted in response to a specific announcement, published in the Federal Register, which solicits proposals to establish new Head Start Programs. Grantee agencies may subcontract with other child-serving agencies to provide services to Head Start children.

Beneficiary Eligibility: Head Start programs are for children from birth up to the age when the child enters the school system. No less than 10% of the total enrollment opportunities in each Head Start program shall be available for children with disabilities.

Credentials/Documentation: Nonprofit organizations must submit proof of nonprofit status. Applicable costs and administrative procedures will be determined in accordance with Part 74 and 92 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.


Preapplication Coordination: The grantee, its policy advisory group, and the Head Start program specialist participate in a pre-review to develop plans and priorities. The standard application forms as furnished by DHHS must be used for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedure: The Administration for Children, and Families/Head Start regional representative will provide each applicant agency with a completed check list form showing exactly which items must be completed by each applicant and delegate agency.

Award Procedure: All funds are awarded directly to the grantees. Funds for local Head Start programs, some research and demonstration programs and some career development and technical assistance programs are awarded by the Regional Offices. However, funds for the following are awarded by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) Headquarters: Indian programs (reservation only); Migrant programs; Early Head Start programs evaluation studies; some research and demonstration programs and some career development training and technical assistance programs.

Deadlines: Applications for new projects may be submitted at any time or at times specified by announcement in the Federal Register. Applications for continuation grants must be received 90 days prior to the start of the new budget period.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time: About 90 days from submission of application to Governor's approval.

Appeals: Grantees who are denied refunding may appeal adverse decisions to the ACF office which makes the decision. There is no appeal for new grants denials.

Renewals: HHS Headquarters or Regional Offices will inform grantees of the application procedures for renewal.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals: (1) The degree to which the proposed project will meet the Head Start Program Performance Standards or other program objectives as specified in a program announcement; (2) reasonableness of cost; (3) qualification of staff; and (4) other criteria, which are detailed in every program announcement.

Examples of Funded Projects: (1) Full-Year and Full-Day Head Start Programs; and (2) Full-Year and Part-Day Head Start Programs.

Range & Average of Financial Assistance: $114,000 to $115,323,000; $2,350,000.


93.600 PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Since 1965, Head Start has served about 14,594,000 children from low-income families in 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Commonwealths and Republic. The program has provided education, health improvement services, and nutrition and social services to the target population. During fiscal year 1995, Head Start enrolled 750,700 children and families. Children with disabilities constitute 13% of the total enrollment of the Head Start Program.



Type of Assistance: Project Grants.

Obligations: (Grants) FY 95 $3,533,800,000; FY 96 est $3,569,329,000; and FY 97 est $3,981,028,000. (NOTE: The funds in this program are also available for program contracts. The amounts which can be used for such contracts cannot be predetermined.)

Budget Account Number: 75-1536-0-1-506.

Authorization: Head Start Act; Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Title VI, Subtitle A, Chapter 8, Subchapter B, Public Law 97- 35, as amended; Human Services Amendment Act of 1994, Title I, Public Law 103-252; Omnibus Elementary and Secondary Human Education Act, Part E, Public Law 100-297, 42 U.S.C. 9801 et seq.

Regulations, Guidelines, & Literature: Chapter XIII of Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations, including 45 CFR 1301 - 1308. These are available on request at no charge.


Regional or Local Office: Regional Administrator, Administration for Children, and Families. (See Appendix IV of the Catalog for list of addresses of Regional Offices.)

Headquarters Office: Administration for Children and Families/Head Start, Department of Health and Human Services, P.O. Box 1182, Washington, DC 20013. Phone: (202) 205-8569. FTS is not available.


Formula & Matching Requirements: The statistical factors used for fund allocation are: (1) the relative number of children (age birth to 5) living with families with incomes below the poverty line in each state as compared to all States and the source is the latest information available from the Bureau of the Census; and (2) the number of children (age birth to 18) in families receiving AFDC in each State as compared to other States; the source is the "Characteristics of State Plans for AFDC under the Social Security Act, ORS/SSA. Head start grantees are required to provide 20% of the total cost of the program, although this maybe waived wholly or in part if certain conditions pertain. Matching share may be in cash or in-kind fairly evaluated.

Length & Time Phasing of Assistance: Funds are available for a 12-month budget period. Funds are released by monthly allowance on an Electronic Transfer System or by monthly check.

Uses & Use Restrictions: At least 90% of the enrollees in a program must come from families whose income is at or below the poverty guidelines as established by the Office of Management and Budget or from families receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Training and technical assistance grants are available to Head Start programs and to agencies which provide services to Head Start programs.


Reports: Quarterly financial and program progress reports are required.

Audits: Audits are conducted in accordance with the requirements in 45 CFR, Parts 74 and 92.

Records: Grantee must maintain an accounting system adequate to meet the purposes of the grant. Requirements for records are found in 45 CFR, Part 74 and 92.

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