Model Profiles

Early Head Start Home-Based Option

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.

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?

Home Visitors

EHS was implemented by 6,054 home visitors in 2019. 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.

Supervisors

EHS was implemented by 1,279 supervisors in 2019. 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 867 local agencies across 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2019.

Families Served Through Evidence-Based Home Visiting in 2019

1,118,766
estimated home visits provided
58,176
children served

Caregiver education

24% No HS diploma

46% HS diploma or GED

22% Some college or training

8% Bachelor's degree or higher

Primary language

72% English

21% Spanish

6% Other

Child age

33% < 1 year

63% 1-2 years

5% 3 years

Child insurance status

93% Public

4% Private

3% None

Note • Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding. • Data for 24,321 children are described in the demographics.