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Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request Proposed Projects

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Start Preamble

Title: National Implementation of Head Start, National Reporting System on Child Outcomes.

OMB No.: 0970-0249.

Description: The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), within Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is requesting comments on plans to implement the Head Start National Reporting System on Child Outcomes. This implementation has been conducted to collect child-outcomes information that will be used to enhance Head Start program quality and accountability.

The Head Start National Reporting System (HSNRS) was designed to meet Presidentially mandated reforms and Congressionally mandated requirements for information on specific child outcomes and to provide Head Start program managers and teachers with useful information to support program-improvement strategies.

HSNRS has three major goals. First, HSNRS is intended to provide local Head Start programs with additional information regarding the progress of groups of children by capturing baseline information on how children are doing at the beginning and at the end of the program, in a limited number of areas. Second, HSNRS is intended to capture the same set of information across the nation in a consistent manner. This information can be used to plan for targeted training and technical assistance. Third, the child-outcomes information captured in HSNRS is intended to be used within the current program monitoring effort, which involves an onsite, systematic review of programs. HSNRS can create and compile information that the Head Start Bureau can utilize as part of the process for ensuring the effectiveness of services. These results also will be used to provide for program improvement and accountability of Head Start.

The first three rounds of the HSNRS national implementation (2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005-06 program years) have been successful. In each round of the data collection, over 400,000 assessments were completed, making this the largest assessment of preschool children ever conducted. Also, over 99 percent cooperation was obtained from local Head Start programs and Head Start parents and children. HSNRS data show good internal reliability, both in terms of I__R__T__ (IRT) reliability and Cronbach's Coefficient Alpha, at the individual child-level, for both English-language and Spanish-language assessments. IRT estimates of the internal reliability of the program-level, English-language assessment scores were excellent, with most IRT-reliability coefficients greater than .90.

Participating local Head Start programs have received HSNRS Program Reports at the aggregated program-level for the fall assessment (baseline) and the spring assessment (fall-spring growth), in each program year. These reports provided local Head Start programs with the progress of their children in all assessed domains, and showed how the reports compared to all other Head Start children (national-level reference tables) as well as children in similar programs (sub-group reference tables).

HSNRS will continue to collect child-outcomes information from children who are 4 years-old or older and who will enter Kindergarten next year. As in the previous three years, all eligible Head Start children will be assessed twice a year using a standardized direct child-assessment battery. The assessment battery will include a Start Printed Page 4145limited set of early literacy, language, and numeracy skills.

Social-emotional development of Head Start children reported by classroom teachers will be collected in HSNRS twice a year using a standardized rating scale developed for HSNRS. The social-emotional development scales will be field-tested in spring 2006 prior to national implementation in fall 2006. Head Start teachers will rate children in their classrooms on the aspects of cooperative classroom behaviors, preschool learning behaviors, and problem behaviors.

HSNRS will also collect health and safety information on children and programs, including children's height and weight, immunization status, receipt of dental care, and occurrences of injuries requiring medical attention.

Respondents: Head Start children and Head Start staff.

Annual Burden Estimates

Respondents and activitiesNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentAverage burden hours per responseTotal burden hours
Fall Implementation
Head Start Children: Participate in Child Assessments425,00011/4106,250
Head Start Staff (Assessors): Participate in Training-on-Child Assessments25,00014100,000
Head Start Staff (Local NRS Trainers): Participate in Training-on-Child Assessments1,800147,200
Head Start Staff (Assessors): Administer Child Assessments25,000171/4106,250
Head Start Teachers: Participate in Training on Social-Emotional Development Ratings38,5001138,500
Head Start Teachers: Complete Social-Emotional Development Ratings38,500111/670,583
Head Start Teachers: Complete Child Health Questions38,500111/1235,292
Head Start Staff: Complete Health and Safety of Program Questions1,80011/12150
Head Start Staff: Enter Information on CBRS1,800135,400
Spring Implementation
Head Start Children: Participate in Child Assessments425,00011/4106,250
Head Start Staff (Assessors): Participate in Refresher Training-on-Child Assessments25,00014100,000
Head Start Staff (Local NRS Trainers): Participate in Training-on-Child Assessments1,800147,200
Head Start Staff (Assessors): Administer Child Assessments25,000171/4106,250
Head Start Teachers: Participate in Refresher Training on Social-Emotional Development Ratings38,50011/419,250
Head Start Teachers: Complete Social-Emotional Development Ratings38,500111/670,583
Head Start Teachers: Complete Child Health Questions38,500111/1235,292
Head Start Staff: Complete Health and Safety of Program Questions1,80011/12150
Head Start Staff: Enter Information on CBRS1,80013/22,700
Total Annual Burden Estimates917,300

In compliance with the requirements of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Administration for Children and Families is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained and comments may be forwarded by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Information Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447, Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection: E-mail: infocollection@acf.hhs.gov.

The Department specifically requests comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

Start Signature

Dated: January 18, 2006.

Robert Sargis,

Reports Clearance Officer.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 06-675 Filed 1-24-06; 8:45am]

BILLING CODE 4184-01-M