The Head Start program performance standards are a set of standards that all facilities offering services to children and families must meet before opening a facility. There are also standards that Head Start facilities must abide by on a continual basis to keep their certification as a governmental educational operation.
As of 2014, the standards are reviewed before the start of each year, and these changes are published in the Code of Federal Regulations after October 1. These standards include admission procedures, staffing and program options, as well as the type of facility allowed and how to secure it. The Head Start standards also lay out the details of who is eligible for services and how many days students must attend the program.
There are also standards for offering Head Start educational services to children with disabilities, how facilities recruit students and transportation standards. Funding guidelines are also set out in the standards, and any facility that does not meet the minimum requirements may not obtain all or a portion of their expected funding.
As changes are made to the Head Start standards and regulations throughout the year, they are posted on the federal register for all involved parties to view. Even though there are standards to the program, each area develops its own studies as long as the standards are met.