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HHS/ACF RIN: 0970-AD01 Publication ID: Fall 2023 
Title: Supporting the Head Start Workforce and Other Quality Improvements 

This NPRM will propose changes to the Head Start Program Performance Standards to better support the Head Start workforce and to maintain the quality of comprehensive Head Start services.

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services(HHS)  Priority: Section 3(f)(1) Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 45 CFR parts 1302 and 1305     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 9801    42 U.S.C. 9836a    42 U.S.C. 9839   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

This notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposes to add new provisions to the Head Start Program Performance Standards to increase pay and support the Head Start workforce, make improvements to the overall quality of Head Start program services, and strengthen mental health supports. Head Start programs serve hundreds of thousands of children ages birth to five, pregnant women, and their families each year. This NPRM is critical to improving the quality, stability, and continuity of Head Start services for children and families.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

ACF publishes this NPRM under the authority granted to the Secretary of Health and Human Services by sections 641A, 645, 645A, 648A, and 653of the Act (42 U.S.C. 9836a, 9840, 9840a, 9843a, and 9848), as amended by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-134). 


One alternative is to keep the status quo and not put forward this proposed rule. This would likely result in the workforce crisis continuing, which ultimately has a negative impact on the quality of services for the children and families Head Start aims to serve and enrollment levels may continue to decline as programs have difficulty filling vacancies.

Another alternative is to allow this NPRM to be published and move forward to a final rule. This would stabilize the Head Start workforce and enable Head Start programs to provide consistent, high-quality services to children and families.  

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The costs associated with this proposed rule include the funding required for implementing compensation requirements proposed in the rule. Another potential cost is that burden on programs may temporarily increase as they work to implement the proposed requirements.

The benefits associated with the proposed rule include a more stable Head Start workforce and high-quality services consistently provided to all children and families served by Head Start.  ACF strongly believes the anticipated benefits of this proposed rule far outweigh the potential costs.  



Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  11/00/2023 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Lindsey A Hutchison
Senior Policy Analyst
Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
330 C Street SW, #4305B,
Washington, DC 20201
Phone:904 860-7032