Head Start Service Duration Requirements
The Office of Head Start currently requires Head Start programs to operate 100-percent of their preschool center-based slots for 1,020 annual hours by August 1, 2021, which would substantially increase the minimum amount of time preschool children must receive Head Start services. We believe the approach to require all center- based programs to increase their hours of operation was too prescriptive and will reduce grant recipients' flexibility to meet the needs of the communities they serve. It would be costly for grantees to meet the increased service-duration requirement and would likely result in a reduction in the number of children served by Head Start. For these reasons, we propose to remove the 100-percent service duration requirement from the HSPPS. We also propose technical changes to our Program Structure regulations.