Early Head Start Home-Based Option
EHS provides individualized services to pregnant women, infants, and toddlers to promote the school readiness of young children from low-income families. The model is administered by the Office of Head Start in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. EHS promotes the school readiness of low-income children from birth to 3 years old by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. See eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/programs/article/home-based-option for details.
What is the model’s approach to providing home visiting services?
Home visits take place weekly. Services are provided until the child is 3 years old. There are no age requirements for when families should begin services.
EHS’ target population includes the following:
- Low-income families
- Teenage mothers or teenage parents
- Parents/caregivers with limited education
- Children with developmental delays or disabilities
- Children with special health care needs
- Families with a history of substance abuse or in need of treatment
- Families with a history of child abuse or neglect/involvement with child welfare system
- Children in foster care
Who is implementing the model?
EHS was implemented by 5,969 home visitors in 2018. The model requires a home-based Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, comparable credential, or equivalent coursework as part of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Home visitors are required to maintain an average caseload of 10 to 12 families.
EHS was implemented by 1,256 supervisors in 2018. The model requires a bachelor’s or other advanced degree with coursework in early childhood education and early education experience for supervisors.
Where is the model implemented?
EHS operated in 816 local agencies across 50 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2018.
Families Served Through Evidence-Based Home Visiting in 2018
The 24,968 children enrolled in 210 exclusively home-based programs are described in the demographics below. An additional 31,664 children were enrolled in 616 programs offering multiple options.
Race and ethnicity
3% American Indian/Alaska Native
<1% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
34% Hispanic or Latino
66% Not Hispanic or Latino
26% No HS diploma
44% HS diploma or GED
23% Some college or training
7% Bachelor's degree or higher
33% < 1 year
62% 1-2 years
5% 3 years
Child insurance status