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Looking Ahead to the Next 50 Years

by Emmalie Dropkin
September/October 2015
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/looking-ahead-to-the-next-50-years/5022578/

For 50 years Head Start has been at the forefront of programs serving vulnerable young children and their families. As we celebrate this momentous anniversary, the program is poised to take another step forward in offering high-quality, research-based services. In June 2015, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell — herself a Head Start graduate — unveiled the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for revised Head Start Program Performance Standards. While the Performance Standards have been expanded and edited repeatedly since the early 1970s, as our understanding of child development and best practices has grown, the current document is a challenge to navigate and too often dictates compliance where communities might achieve more with reasonable flexibility. The updating of the Standards offers an opportunity to incorporate all the best lessons of research and innovation into common practice. 

As the Head Start community comes together to reflect on the proposals and provide comments on how to best strengthen the program, we’re returning again to the questions at our roots: 

  • What do children need for healthy development? 
  • What do parents need in order to be engaged and empowered? 
  • How do needs vary based ...

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