Office of Head Start Announcement on Centers of Excellence

Sep 22, 2009

By Elizabeth Hoffmann

The 2007 reauthorization of the Head Start Act established the Centers of Excellence program to identify high-quality Head Start and Early Head Start grantees to serve as models for other early care and education programs. The Office of Head Start has announced that $2 million has been allocated for the Centers of Excellence and the competition for this designation is getting underway.

Head Start and Early Head Start grantees must first be nominated as a prospective Center of Excellence by their state's governor. ACF Regional Offices will nominate American Indian/Alaskan Native grantees and Migrant/Seasonal Head Start grantees. The application will be available through the grants.gov website.

Center of Excellence grantees will partner with other early care and education providers and work to disseminate their best practices. Examples of excellent practices include: using ongoing self-assessment, community assessment, and program data to improve practices; implementing evidence-based curricula that are culturally and linguistically appropriate and promote school success; demonstrating ongoing relationships with health care providers; and demonstrating model collaborations with schools, child care, and other community providers to deliver a comprehensive, holistic approach.

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