The Center for Policy, Data, and Research's policy work focuses on both the legislation and regulations that govern Head Start directly and the broader policy environment that affects Head Start programs and the children and families they serve.


Head Start was most recently reauthorized by Congress in 2007, through the "Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007." Changes and additions to the law include requirements for teachers' education, Memoranda of Understanding with school districts, creation of the Designation Renewal System, categorical eligibility for homeless children, mandated use of scientifically valid curricula, and establishment of the Centers of Excellence. Visit the NHSA Center for Advocacy to learn more about our approach to the next Head Start reauthorization.


The Office of Head Start, in the federal Department of Health and Human Services, administers the Head Start program to local grantees in communities across the county. Guidance and regulations from the Office of Head Start govern many of the day-to-day realities of programs, and NHSA works to inform the thoughtful design and successful implementation of these regulations. Visit Our Issues to learn more about NHSA's work on Head Start Standards, Monitoring, Training and Technical Assistance, Outcomes, and Designation Renewal.