Summary and Analysis of the Data Privacy Provisions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Proposed Head Start Performance Standard

Organization: Foresight Law & Policy
Published: June 14, 2015

On June 19, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking public comment on proposed changes to Head Start’s performance standards. Among other issues, the NPRM proposes new requirements designed to better protect the privacy of the approximately 1 million children (ages birth-to-5) and their families served by the program. These proposed regulatory changes are required by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, which directed HHS to establish Head Start privacy “policies, protections, and rights equivalent to those” in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This memorandum briefly summarizes the NPRM’s privacy provisions and suggests key issues for stakeholders to consider before responding to the rulemaking. Interested parties must submit comments to HHS no later than August 18, 2015.