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Head Start Officials Publish Final Standards

Federal officials have issued final performance standards for the more than 2,100 local agencies that operate Head Start programs.

The new regulations, which cover the range of services offered to families, such as health, nutrition, education, social services, and parent involvement, are intended to eliminate some of the duplication in past Head Start rules. The Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, which administers the program, issued the rules.

The standards will measure Head Start programs on providing access to family literacy programs, offering prenatal services to pregnant women, and improving transition activities for children about to enter elementary school.

A rewrite of the rules was called for when Congress reauthorized the program in 1994. The reauthorization also created the Early Head Start program, which serves infants and toddlers.

The new standards, published in the Nov. 5 Federal Register, take effect Jan. 1, 1998. They include the Early Head Start program.

Goals Report Due; Service Grants Up for Grabs

The Department of Education announced in the Nov. 5 Federal Register that local early-childhood programs funded under the Title I program can use either the revised Head Start standards or the current performance measures in the 1997-98 school year. The interpretation clears up questions some school districts had raised about which performance measures they must use. ... The National Education Goals Panel was scheduled to meet Nov. 19 in Washington to release its sixth annual report on state and national progress toward meeting the national education goals. ... The Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention was set to meet Nov. 20 in Washington. ... The Corporation for National and Community Service in Chicago will spend up to $200,000 for service projects built around the 1997 Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday, according to the Nov. 8 Federal Register. Applications for the grants, which may amount to as much $5,000 each, are due by Dec. 2.

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