Head Start Program, 48558-48559 [2018-20848]

Download as PDF 48558 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 187 / Wednesday, September 26, 2018 / Rules and Regulations § 180.960 Polymers; exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance. * * * * * Polymer CAS No. * * * * * * 2-Propenoic acid, polymer with butyl 2-propenoate, ethenylbenzene and (1-methylethenyl) benzene, ammonium salt, minimum number average molecular weight (in amu), 2,300 ......................................................................................................................... * * * BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families 45 CFR Part 1302 RIN 0970–AC78 Head Start Program Office of Head Start (OHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). ACTION: Final rule; delay of compliance date. AGENCY: The Office of Head Start will further delay the compliance date for programs to meet background checks requirements and participate in their state or local Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). The Department delayed the compliance dates for these standards through a previous document in the Federal Register. Since then, we have learned programs could benefit from more time as they work to align with state systems to meet these federal standards. DATES: The date for programs to comply with background checks procedures as described in 45 CFR 1302.90(b) and to participate in QRIS as described in 45 CFR 1302.53(b)(2), as published at 81 FR 61294 and delayed at 81 FR 87843 and 82 FR 45205, is further delayed until September 30, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Rathgeb, Office of Head Start, Planning, Oversight, and Policy Division Director, (202) 358–3263, OHS_NPRM@acf.hhs.gov. Deaf and hearing impaired individuals may call the Federal Dual Party Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with RULES VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Sep 25, 2018 Jkt 244001 * Background [FR Doc. 2018–20958 Filed 9–25–18; 8:45 am] SUMMARY: * The Head Start Program Performance Standards (81 FR 61294) define standards grantees and delegate agencies must implement to operate high quality Head Start or Early Head Start programs. As part of our effort to prioritize child safety, we strengthened our criminal background check procedures at 45 CFR 1302.90(b) in the final rule to reflect changes in the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, Public Law 110– 134, and to complement background check requirements in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014, Public Law 113–186. In addition to more comprehensive background check standards, we aim to strengthen partnerships between states and Head Start programs. At 45 CFR 1302.53(b) in the final rule, we require Head Start programs to actively promote coordinated early childhood systems, including those in their state. As part of these requirements, most Head Start programs must participate in QRIS, if they meet certain conditions. Currently, Head Start programs must comply with background check requirements and participate in their states’ QRIS, by September 30, 2018. We have already delayed the date for programs to comply with background check requirements in the final rule to align with the background check requirement deadline in the Child Care Development Block Grant Act of 2014, Public Law 113–186, through a document published in the Federal Register (82 FR 45205) on September 28, 2017. In the same Federal Register document, we extended the date for programs to participate in QRIS. Through conversations with programs and states, we are concerned programs are still not be able to fully implement either background check or QRIS requirements by September 30, 2018, without assuming unintended regulatory and administrative burden. PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 * * 360564–31–4 * Background Checks Procedures in the Final Rule Generally, 45 CFR 1302.90(b)(1) requires that before a person is hired, programs must conduct a sex offender registry check and obtain either a state or tribal criminal history records, including fingerprint checks, or a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal history records, including fingerprint checks. In 45 CFR 1302.90(b)(2), (4), and (5), we afford programs 90 days to obtain whichever check they could not obtain before the person was hired, as well as child abuse and neglect state registry check, if available. However, programs must ensure newly hired employees do not have unsupervised access to children until their background check process is complete. A complete background check process consists of a sex offender registry check, state or tribal history records, including fingerprint check and FBI criminal history records, including fingerprint check, as well as a child abuse and neglect state registry check, if available. We also require programs to conduct complete background checks for each employee at least once every five years. We believe programs require more time to implement systems to complete the background checks process listed at 45 CFR 1302.90(b)(2), (4), and (5) in our final rule. We aligned our compliance date for our background checks requirements with the background check requirement deadline the CCDBG Act because states that receive CCDBG funds are required to establish systems that implement the same set of comprehensive background checks for all child care teachers and staff. These systems will enable Head Start programs to meet background check requirements in the final rule. We understand, however, states may request additional time-limited waivers of up to two years, in one year increments (i.e., potentially through September 30, 2020) to design systems that can accommodate our programs’ background checks requests. To minimize burden on programs, we will E:\FR\FM\26SER1.SGM 26SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 187 / Wednesday, September 26, 2018 / Rules and Regulations extend the compliance date for 45 CFR 1302.90(b) to September 30, 2019. However, until Head Start programs have systems in place that fully comply with 45 CFR 1302.90(b), we require them to continue to adhere to the criminal record check requirements in section 648A of the Head Start Act, as amended by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, Public Law 110–134. QRIS Requirement in the Final Rule We require programs that meet certain conditions, except for American Indian and Alaska Native programs, to participate in state or local QRIS, as prescribed at 45 CFR 1302.53(b)(2) in the final rule. A QRIS is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs within a state or locality. It awards quality ratings to programs that meet a set of criteria as defined by the QRIS. Criteria Head Start programs must meet to enter the QRIS and maintain participation greatly vary by state. We recognize many Head Start programs were already participating in their state and local quality improvement efforts before we introduced this standard to the final rule. Now that we have included this standard in the final rule, we understand programs have taken steps to participate in QRIS and that many states are assessing their QRIS with new Head Start QRIS participation policies. However, programs and states need additional time to align these systems. We want to minimize any unintentional burden on states that choose to adapt their systems to allow Head Start programs to participate in QRIS, as well as alleviate programs’ concerns about meeting the current compliance date. To avoid duplication efforts between Head Start and QRIS monitoring systems as well as eliminate undue burden on Head Start programs and states as they work to align these systems, we will delay the compliance date for this standard for another year. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with RULES Conclusion We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). However, we can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary finds, for good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a statement of VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Sep 25, 2018 Jkt 244001 the finding and the reasons for this finding in the notice. We find good cause to waive public comment under section 553(b) of the APA because it is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest to provide for public comment in this instance. States, localities, and Head Start grantees will likely be subjected to undue and unnecessary administrative burden as they expend time trying to find ways to implement these standards without support from local and state law enforcement agencies and without QRIS systems that can accommodate Head Start programs. A period for public comment would only extend programs’ concerns as they attempt to meet these standards by the compliance dates. Head Start programs are still required to comply with statutory background check requirements in the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, Public Law 110– 134, until they can develop systems that will enable them to conduct complete background checks with fingerprints. Therefore, if we delay compliance dates, we will pose no harm or burden to programs or the public. Moreover, programs that already have systems in place to meet background check standards at 45 CFR 1302.90(b) and to participate in their states’ QRIS at 45 CFR 1302.53(b)(2) may voluntarily come into compliance by the compliance date. However, programs that do not have systems in place have until September 30, 2019 to comply. Dated: September 14, 2018. Lynn A. Johnson, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families. Approved: September 20, 2018. Alex M. Azar II, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2018–20848 Filed 9–25–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184–40–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 170816769–8162–02] RIN 0648–XG502 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Ocean Perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 ACTION: 48559 Temporary rule; closure. NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the 2018 total allowable catch of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. SUMMARY: Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), September 21, 2018, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Whitney, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The 2018 total allowable catch (TAC) of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA is 3,312 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2018 and 2019 harvest specifications for groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (83 FR 8768, March 1, 2018). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), has determined that the 2018 TAC of Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 3,212 mt, and is setting aside 100 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific ocean perch in the Western Regulatory Area of the GOA. While this closure is effective the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip. DATES: Classification This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 E:\FR\FM\26SER1.SGM 26SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 187 (Wednesday, September 26, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 48558-48559]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-20848]


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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Administration for Children and Families

45 CFR Part 1302

RIN 0970-AC78


Head Start Program

AGENCY: Office of Head Start (OHS), Administration for Children and 
Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

ACTION: Final rule; delay of compliance date.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Head Start will further delay the compliance 
date for programs to meet background checks requirements and 
participate in their state or local Quality Rating and Improvement 
Systems (QRIS). The Department delayed the compliance dates for these 
standards through a previous document in the Federal Register. Since 
then, we have learned programs could benefit from more time as they 
work to align with state systems to meet these federal standards.

DATES: The date for programs to comply with background checks 
procedures as described in 45 CFR 1302.90(b) and to participate in QRIS 
as described in 45 CFR 1302.53(b)(2), as published at 81 FR 61294 and 
delayed at 81 FR 87843 and 82 FR 45205, is further delayed until 
September 30, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Rathgeb, Office of Head Start, 
Planning, Oversight, and Policy Division Director, (202) 358-3263, 
[email protected]. Deaf and hearing impaired individuals may call 
the Federal Dual Party Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. 
and 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Head Start Program Performance Standards (81 FR 61294) define 
standards grantees and delegate agencies must implement to operate high 
quality Head Start or Early Head Start programs. As part of our effort 
to prioritize child safety, we strengthened our criminal background 
check procedures at 45 CFR 1302.90(b) in the final rule to reflect 
changes in the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, 
Public Law 110-134, and to complement background check requirements in 
the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014, Public 
Law 113-186.
    In addition to more comprehensive background check standards, we 
aim to strengthen partnerships between states and Head Start programs. 
At 45 CFR 1302.53(b) in the final rule, we require Head Start programs 
to actively promote coordinated early childhood systems, including 
those in their state. As part of these requirements, most Head Start 
programs must participate in QRIS, if they meet certain conditions.
    Currently, Head Start programs must comply with background check 
requirements and participate in their states' QRIS, by September 30, 
2018. We have already delayed the date for programs to comply with 
background check requirements in the final rule to align with the 
background check requirement deadline in the Child Care Development 
Block Grant Act of 2014, Public Law 113-186, through a document 
published in the Federal Register (82 FR 45205) on September 28, 2017. 
In the same Federal Register document, we extended the date for 
programs to participate in QRIS.
    Through conversations with programs and states, we are concerned 
programs are still not be able to fully implement either background 
check or QRIS requirements by September 30, 2018, without assuming 
unintended regulatory and administrative burden.

Background Checks Procedures in the Final Rule

    Generally, 45 CFR 1302.90(b)(1) requires that before a person is 
hired, programs must conduct a sex offender registry check and obtain 
either a state or tribal criminal history records, including 
fingerprint checks, or a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal 
history records, including fingerprint checks.
    In 45 CFR 1302.90(b)(2), (4), and (5), we afford programs 90 days 
to obtain whichever check they could not obtain before the person was 
hired, as well as child abuse and neglect state registry check, if 
available. However, programs must ensure newly hired employees do not 
have unsupervised access to children until their background check 
process is complete. A complete background check process consists of a 
sex offender registry check, state or tribal history records, including 
fingerprint check and FBI criminal history records, including 
fingerprint check, as well as a child abuse and neglect state registry 
check, if available. We also require programs to conduct complete 
background checks for each employee at least once every five years.
    We believe programs require more time to implement systems to 
complete the background checks process listed at 45 CFR 1302.90(b)(2), 
(4), and (5) in our final rule. We aligned our compliance date for our 
background checks requirements with the background check requirement 
deadline the CCDBG Act because states that receive CCDBG funds are 
required to establish systems that implement the same set of 
comprehensive background checks for all child care teachers and staff. 
These systems will enable Head Start programs to meet background check 
requirements in the final rule.
    We understand, however, states may request additional time-limited 
waivers of up to two years, in one year increments (i.e., potentially 
through September 30, 2020) to design systems that can accommodate our 
programs' background checks requests. To minimize burden on programs, 
we will

[[Page 48559]]

extend the compliance date for 45 CFR 1302.90(b) to September 30, 2019. 
However, until Head Start programs have systems in place that fully 
comply with 45 CFR 1302.90(b), we require them to continue to adhere to 
the criminal record check requirements in section 648A of the Head 
Start Act, as amended by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness 
Act of 2007, Public Law 110-134.

QRIS Requirement in the Final Rule

    We require programs that meet certain conditions, except for 
American Indian and Alaska Native programs, to participate in state or 
local QRIS, as prescribed at 45 CFR 1302.53(b)(2) in the final rule. A 
QRIS is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the 
level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs 
within a state or locality. It awards quality ratings to programs that 
meet a set of criteria as defined by the QRIS. Criteria Head Start 
programs must meet to enter the QRIS and maintain participation greatly 
vary by state. We recognize many Head Start programs were already 
participating in their state and local quality improvement efforts 
before we introduced this standard to the final rule. Now that we have 
included this standard in the final rule, we understand programs have 
taken steps to participate in QRIS and that many states are assessing 
their QRIS with new Head Start QRIS participation policies. However, 
programs and states need additional time to align these systems. We 
want to minimize any unintentional burden on states that choose to 
adapt their systems to allow Head Start programs to participate in 
QRIS, as well as alleviate programs' concerns about meeting the current 
compliance date. To avoid duplication efforts between Head Start and 
QRIS monitoring systems as well as eliminate undue burden on Head Start 
programs and states as they work to align these systems, we will delay 
the compliance date for this standard for another year.

Conclusion

    We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the 
Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the 
provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of 
the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). However, we 
can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary finds, for 
good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, 
unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a 
statement of the finding and the reasons for this finding in the 
notice.
    We find good cause to waive public comment under section 553(b) of 
the APA because it is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest 
to provide for public comment in this instance. States, localities, and 
Head Start grantees will likely be subjected to undue and unnecessary 
administrative burden as they expend time trying to find ways to 
implement these standards without support from local and state law 
enforcement agencies and without QRIS systems that can accommodate Head 
Start programs. A period for public comment would only extend programs' 
concerns as they attempt to meet these standards by the compliance 
dates. Head Start programs are still required to comply with statutory 
background check requirements in the Improving Head Start for School 
Readiness Act of 2007, Public Law 110-134, until they can develop 
systems that will enable them to conduct complete background checks 
with fingerprints. Therefore, if we delay compliance dates, we will 
pose no harm or burden to programs or the public. Moreover, programs 
that already have systems in place to meet background check standards 
at 45 CFR 1302.90(b) and to participate in their states' QRIS at 45 CFR 
1302.53(b)(2) may voluntarily come into compliance by the compliance 
date. However, programs that do not have systems in place have until 
September 30, 2019 to comply.

    Dated: September 14, 2018.
Lynn A. Johnson,
Assistant Secretary for Children and Families.
    Approved: September 20, 2018.
Alex M. Azar II,
 Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2018-20848 Filed 9-25-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4184-40-P