Head Start / Early Head Start


Federal Review: Focus Area Two

Achieving excellence in Head Start programs is a top priority for the Federal government. To ensure your program is designed to achieve the desired results, it undergoes a thorough assessment through the Focus Area 1 and 2 reviews. This evaluation includes monitoring data to ensure effective implementation.

The combination of FA1 and FA2 focuses on education and health services, as well as communication within families and communities. FA1 assesses how effectively your program is designed with a data-driven approach, while FA2 reviews whether your plans have been successfully implemented.

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Preparing for the FA2 Review

Prepare for the FA2 evaluation with a rigorous and comprehensive approach. Start by watching the Office of Head Start's kick-off video to stay informed about the timeline and logistics. Next, acquaint yourself with OHS protocol questions by creating scripts and conducting mock interviews with key players like management teams and staff members. Throughout this process, documents such as community assessments, program improvement reports, and data monitoring will be examined to ensure that child, family, and program outcomes are improved.

Use the monitoring protocol questions to outline and script your responses for the evaluation, and don't hesitate to have these scripts available during the discussion. Conduct informal classroom observations and short spontaneous interviews with teachers and families to get a better understanding of how the program is working in practice.

Prepare for the CLASS assessment by having an outside observer conduct it on a sample of classrooms and create an infographic to explain the connection between CLASS and professional development. Engage with family workers and families during interview and goal setting meetings through informal observations and short spontaneous interviews. Ensure that your environment is safe, friendly, and welcoming to families.


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Succeed with Compelling Data Tours

The FA2 review involves classroom observations, file audits, and in-depth interviews conducted on-site. While CLASS reviews are scheduled for 2023, they will not affect the DRS accountability system. Additionally, fiscal reviews will assess budget development, procedure adequacy, and federal money safeguarding.

The FA2 emphasizes crucial data points, giving you the opportunity to showcase your strengths and areas of improvement. Success is not just about numbers, it's about the story behind them. Your data tells the story of your journey and growth. Craft compelling stories using accessible electronic and hard-copy portfolios. Present visually appealing fact sheets, pie charts, bar graphs, and infographics that captivate your audience. Don't forget to make an impact by displaying large, professionally printed posters of your outcomes data. Highlight your competencies and celebrate your progress.

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The Structure of an FA2 Review

Get ready for a thorough FA2 review! This evaluation is broken down into six sections, including program management, education and child development, health services, family engagement, fiscal infrastructure, and ERSEA. You'll undergo in-depth interviews, have your performance measures evaluated, and be led through a data tour for each section.

The review assesses your team's ability to provide top-quality services, achieve program goals, and promote positive outcomes. The emphasis is on your staff's education, experience, and competencies. To give a complete picture of your team, your data should show how culturally and linguistically representative your staff is, showcase employee longevity and former parents on staff, and highlight your living wage and employee wellness strategies.

Your governing body and policy council will also have their own interviews to discuss engagement and involvement. It's essential to review interview protocol, practice with them, and welcome feedback.

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Comprehensive Services in Head Start

Child outcomes drive individualized growth plans, so they're vital to demonstrate and should be broken down by subgroups. Your data must also connect child outcomes to teacher performance, particularly through targeted professional development and intensive coaching.

The FA2 team scrutinizes the program's health services and safety practices, evaluating classroom monitoring and active supervision. Your program data on health outcomes, chronic conditions (including BMI and tooth decay), and families’ access to treatment is important.

Your family engagement strategies will be reviewed, so be sure to monitor family support systems and provide data on family needs and services. Detailing effective family interactions and showcasing trend data of family outcomes is impressive.

The fiscal protocol review will examine how the budget is created alongside the governing body and policy council. It's helpful to use visualizations of data that show progress towards goals and are connected to expenditures in addition to fiscal spreadsheets.

Lastly, the FA2 review team monitors child files for accuracy of eligibility documentation and examines enrollment, and attendance patterns, and how your program responds to barriers to full enrollment.

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FA2 Preparation Assistance

Get ready for your FA2 preparation with the assistance of Sunshine Nonprofit Solutions. Our organization will guide you through the preparation process, including compiling and reviewing all documents, such as FA1 documents. To support your staff, we can provide annotated summaries of these documents.

We will connect you to valuable resources for your Class assessment and help you organize and present your data tours. Our expert team can help you prepare your responses and conduct practice interviews, providing strategic feedback.

Additionally, we conduct a thorough review of your policies, procedures, fiscal procedures and reporting process to ensure a successful FA2. Let us help you prepare for success.

What are you waiting for?

If you are interested in working with Sunshine Nonprofit Solutions, or if you simply have questions about the FA2, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a free consultation. We look forward to working with you and helping you make a difference in your community.

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