42 U.S.C. § 9840a - Early Head Start programs

Cite as42 U.S.C. § 9840a

(a) In general

The Secretary shall make grants to entities (referred to in this subchapter as "Early Head Start agencies") in accordance with this section for programs (referred to in this subchapter as "Early Head Start programs") providing family-centered services for low-income families with very young children designed to promote the development of the children, and to enable their parents to fulfill their roles as parents and to move toward self-sufficiency.

(b) Scope and design of programs

In carrying out a program described in subsection (a), an entity receiving assistance under this section shall-

(1) provide, either directly or through referral, early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services that will enhance the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of participating children;

(2) ensure that the level of services provided to families responds to their needs and circumstances;

(3) promote positive parent-child interactions;

(4) provide services to parents to support their role as parents (including parenting skills training and training in basic child development) and services to help the families move toward self-sufficiency (including educational and employment services, as appropriate);

(5) coordinate services with services provided by programs in the State (including home-based services) and programs in the community (including programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities and programs for homeless infants and toddlers) to ensure a comprehensive array of services (such as health and mental health services and family support services);

(6) ensure that children with documented behavioral problems, including problems involving behavior related to prior or existing trauma, receive appropriate screening and referral;

(7) ensure formal linkages with local Head Start programs in order to provide for continuity of services for children and families;

(8) develop and implement a systematic procedure for transitioning children and parents from an Early Head Start program to a Head Start program or other local early childhood education and development program;

(9) establish channels of communication between staff of the Early Head Start program, and staff of a Head Start program or other local providers of early childhood education and development programs, to facilitate the coordination of programs;

(10) in the case of a Head Start agency that operates a program and that also provides Head Start services through the age of mandatory school attendance, ensure that children and families participating in the program receive such services through such age;

(11) ensure formal linkages with providers of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ( 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.), with the State interagency coordinating council, as established in part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ( 20 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.), and with the agency responsible for administering section 5106a of this title;

(12) meet such other requirements concerning design and operation of the program described in subsection (a) as the Secretary may establish.

(c) Persons eligible to participate

Persons who may participate in programs described in subsection (a) include-

(1) pregnant women; and

(2) families with children under age 3;

who meet the eligibility criteria specified in section 9840(a)(1) of this title, including the criteria specified in section 9840(a)(1)(B)(ii) of this title.

(d) Eligible service providers

To be eligible to receive assistance under this section, an entity shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require. Entities that may apply to carry out activities under this section include-

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