Head Start Performance Standards
This final rule modernizes the Head Start Program Performance Standards, last revised in 1998. In the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, Congress instructed the Office of Head Start to update its performance standards and to ensure any such revisions to the standards do not eliminate or reduce quality, scope, or types of health, educational, parental involvement, nutritional, social, or other services programs provide. This rule responds to public comment, incorporates extensive findings from research and from consultation with experts, reflects best practices, lessons from program input and innovation, integrates recommendations from the Secretary's Advisory Committee Final Report on Head Start Research and Evaluation, and reflects the Obama Administration's deep commitment to improve the school readiness of young children. These performance standards will improve program quality, reduce burden on programs, and improve regulatory clarity and transparency. They provide a clear road map for current and prospective grantees to support high-quality Head Start services and to strengthen the outcomes of the children and families Head Start serves.
Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalties for Inflation
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing a new regulation to adjust for inflation the maximum civil monetary penalty amounts for the various civil monetary penalty authorities for all agencies within HHS. We are taking this action to comply with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the Inflation Adjustment Act), as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. In addition, this interim final rule includes updates to certain agency-specific regulations to identify their updated information, and note the location of HHS-wide regulations.