42 U.S. Code § 9843a - Staff qualifications and development
Each Head Start teacher shall attend not less than 15 clock hours of professional development per year. Such professional development shall be high-quality, sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused in order to have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction and the teacher’s performance in the classroom, and regularly evaluated by the program for effectiveness.
For purposes of this subsection, the term “mentor teacher” means an individual responsible for observing and assessing the classroom activities of a Head Start program and providing on-the-job guidance and training to the Head Start program staff and volunteers, in order to improve the qualifications and training of classroom staff, to maintain high quality education services, and to promote career development, in Head Start programs.
The Secretary may establish a program of fellowships, to be known as “Head Start Fellowships”, in accordance with this subsection. The Secretary may award the fellowships to individuals, to be known as “Head Start Fellows”, who are staff in local Head Start programs or other individuals working in the field of child development and family services.
The fellowship program established under this subsection shall be designed to enhance the ability of Head Start Fellows to make significant contributions to programs authorized under this subchapter, by providing opportunities to expand their knowledge and experience through exposure to activities, issues, resources, and new approaches, in the field of child development and family services.
A Head Start Fellow who is not an employee of a local Head Start agency or program may be placed only in a fellowship position located in an agency or program specified in clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (A).
Head Start Fellowships shall be awarded on a competitive basis to individuals (other than Federal employees) selected from among applicants who are working, on the date of application, in local Head Start programs or otherwise working in the field of child development and children and family services.
Head Start Fellowships shall be for terms of 1 year, and may be renewed for a term of 1 additional year.
From amounts made available under section 9835(a)(2)(E) of this title, the Secretary is authorized to make expenditures of not to exceed $1,000,000 for any fiscal year, for stipends and other reasonable expenses of the fellowship program.
Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, Head Start Fellows shall not be considered to be employees or otherwise in the service or employment of the Federal Government. Head Start Fellows shall be considered to be employees for purposes of compensation for injuries under chapter 81 of title 5. Head Start Fellows assigned to positions located in agencies specified in paragraph (3)(A)(i) shall be considered employees in the executive branch of the Federal Government for the purposes of chapter 11 of title 18 and for purposes of any administrative standards of conduct applicable to the employees of the agency to which they are assigned.
Not later than 1 year after May 18, 1994, the Secretary, in consultation with appropriate public agencies, private agencies, and organizations and with individuals with expertise in the field of children and family services, shall develop model staffing plans to provide guidance to local Head Start agencies and programs on the numbers, types, responsibilities, and qualifications of staff required to operate a Head Start program.
Each Head Start agency and program shall create, in consultation with an employee, a professional development plan for all full-time Head Start employees who provide direct services to children and shall ensure that such plans are regularly evaluated for their impact on teacher and staff effectiveness. The agency and the employee shall implement the plan to the extent feasible and practicable.
2007—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 110–134, § 19(1), amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) related to qualification and development requirements for Head Start teachers in center-based programs and gave Secretary limited authority to waive alternative credentialing requirements.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 110–134, § 19(2), amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, text of subsec. (c) read as follows: “In order to improve the quality and effectiveness of staff providing in-home and other services (including needs assessment, development of service plans, family advocacy, and coordination of service delivery) to families of children participating in Head Start programs, the Secretary, in coordination with concerned public and private agencies and organizations examining the issues of standards and training for family service workers, shall—
“(1) review and, as necessary, revise or develop new qualification standards for Head Start staff providing such services;
“(2) promote the development of model curricula (on subjects including parenting training and family literacy) designed to ensure the attainment of appropriate competencies by individuals working or planning to work in the field of early childhood and family services; and
“(3) promote the establishment of a credential that indicates attainment of the competencies and that is accepted nationwide.”
Subsec. (d)(3)(C). Pub. L. 110–134, § 19(3)(A), inserted “(including a center)” after “agency”.
Subsec. (d)(6). Pub. L. 110–134, § 19(3)(B), substituted “amounts made available under section 9835(a)(2)(E) of this title” for “amounts appropriated under this subchapter and allotted under section 9835(a)(2)(D) of this title”.
Subsecs. (f), (g). Pub. L. 110–134, § 19(4), added subsecs. (f) and (g).
1998—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–285, § 115(1), amended heading and text of subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) required Secretary to ensure that not later than Sept. 30, 1996, each Head Start classroom in a center-based program was assigned a teacher with certain specified credentials and gave Secretary limited authority to waive that requirement.
Subsec. (b)(2)(B). Pub. L. 105–285, § 115(2), substituted “staff or that are” for “staff, that are” and struck out “, or that lack staff of a similar cultural background to that of the participating children and their families” before semicolon.
Committee on Education and Labor of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Education and the Workforce of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 5, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, Jan. 5, 2011.
Section effective May 18, 1994, but not applicable to Head Start agencies and other recipients of financial assistance under the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.) until Oct. 1, 1994, see section 127 of Pub. L. 103–252, set out as an Effective Date of 1994 Amendment note under section 9832 of this title.
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