Community Development Institute Head Start funded by Office of Head Start

frequently asked questions (FAQ):

Answers to your top questions related to CDI HS!

Where does the local funding for the HS/EHS program go when CDI HS comes in?

CDI HS is awarded a new grant at the same level of funding as had been provided to the prior grantee.

How long will CDI HS be in our community?

CDI HS continues to serve as the interim program manager of a Head Start/Early Head Start program until a replacement grantee has been identified by OHS. CDI HS is typically in a community for around one year. As the interim manager CDI HS cannot apply to be the replacement grantee, and is not involved in the selection of a new grantee by OHS.

CDI HS doesn’t know our community. How can it expect to meet our needs?

All interim programs operate within the framework of the Head Start Program Performance Standards; and all applicable federal, state, tribal and local regulations. In most cases, many of the staff hired by CDI HS are the very staff who have been working in the program for years and know and live in the communities where the programs are operated. It is through the staff, parents, community, and CDI HS’s own comprehensive multi-layered assessment processes that CDI HS learns about what is working well and what needs improvement.

We want to apply to be the next grantee for this program. What do we need to do?

An entity interested in applying to be the replacement grantee should watch for a Funding Opportunity Application (FOA) posted by the Office of Head Start. FOAs are always listed on the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) website and

What role does CDI HS play in the selection of a new, long term replacement grantee?

CDI HS is not involved in any part of the competitive application process to identify a successful replacement grantee.

I have a concern about aspects of CDI HS operation in a program. Who do I talk to?

CDI HS has a parent/community complaint procedure that is approved by the local program’s Policy Council. Following this procedure will ensure you receive a timely response and that you are in communication with the appropriate individuals who can assist in addressing your concerns.

CDI HS encourages all concerns to be addressed by local program staff in the most immediate manner possible – ideally with whomever is directly involved. If support in obtaining a satisfactory resolution is needed, the above mentioned procedure helps guide this process.

If you are unable to find resolution with local program staff and are uncertain of who to speak with next, you may contact us at and we can help you get in contact with the appropriate person.

FAQ for parents:

CDI HS is committed to providing quality Head Start/ Early Head Start services for you and your child.

Will I lose my slot in the program or have to reenroll?

No. CDI HS maintains services for the same children and families currently enrolled in the Head Start/Early Head Start program. We do not require reenrollment under CDI HS because the children and families are already enrolled in a Head Start program.

What happens to our Policy Council?

CDI HS will have a new Policy Council elected soon after our administration begins. The Policy Council elected under the prior grantee is associated with the prior grantee’s Board of Directors, thus the Policy Council’s responsibilities end with the prior grantee’s administration (since CDI HS is an interim contractor and not a successor). CDI HS has a completely separate governance structure and a new Policy Council will be elected using CDI HS By-Laws. Elections will be held through the Parent Committees and in accordance with the Head Start Program Performance Standards.

CDI HS values the contribution of parents and community members; a quality program needs their input and support. Head Start/Early Head Start is designed to empower parents and community as contributors and CDI HS intends to uphold this commitment.

FAQ for staff:

You, and your relationships with children/families, are critical for stable program operations and continuity.

Will I still have a job?

CDI HS recognizes that consistency in staff is advantageous for children.

In all of our programs, a CDI HS representative comes onsite to speak directly with staff about opportunities for employment. An orientation and job fair is held where potential applicants can learn about CDI HS’ terms and conditions of employment and decide whether they want to apply for a position.

An offer of employment is not promised nor is it guaranteed. If offered employment, it is your choice whether to accept the offer; this is not automatic.

Who will be my supervisor? Will the organizational structure stay the same?

Upon offer of employment, each CDI HS employee will receive an organizational chart showing Head Start positions and supervisors for each position. Early in our administration of the program, this structure is evaluated to ensure it is sufficient for optimal program operations. Sometimes the organizational chart is amended to meet the needs of the program, based on the size and scope of the program and/or to meet the budget.

FAQ for vendors:

Your services are essential to our continued operations. Establishing and maintaining accounts in good standing is a priority for CDI HS.

Will CDI HS pay all the debt owed to me by the prior grantee?

No. CDI HS is not liable for, nor is it permitted to issue payments for expenses incurred by the prior grantee. CDI HS has no legal or historic relationship to the prior grantee. Any matters related to outstanding bills/debt need to be addressed with the entity sponsoring the program at the time those expenses were incurred. CDI HS will pay vendors with which we have established accounts after our official start date for operations.

If I'm a vendor for CDI HS, how do I know I'll get paid?

One of CDI HS’s goals as an interim manager is to offer quality services – this includes financial stability. Our financial ratings speak for themselves. CDI HS has received the highest Dun & Bradstreet rating for prompt bill payment. We have a PAYDEX score of 80 (out of 80); Credit Score Class of 1 (1 = highest; 4 = lowest); and Financial Stress Class of 1 (1 = highest; 5 = lowest).

How do I become a vendor for CDI HS?

A representative from CDI HS, will contact all vendors with whom we are interested in establishing an account/contract. Accounts/contracts from the prior grantee do not “roll over” to CDI HS as the interim Head Start contractor. To become a vendor for CDI HS, a new account/contract must be established.

Will Head Start/ Early Head Start still have the same account/contract?

No. As a new entity we need to have a new account number and a new contract developed in our name. CDI HS will contact all vendors with whom we are interested in contracting for services via phone and letter of interest. Establishment of these accounts and contracts will be initiated by CDI HS upon commencement of operations.

FAQ for community partners:

Without you, Head Start/Early Head Start wouldn’t be the same — quality partnerships are a cornerstone of our operations.

How can we continue to work with Head Start/ Early Head Start?

The most important message is that CDI HS wants to minimize any disruption of services to children and families during the transition to interim mangement.

CDI HS values the contribution community partners bring to the Head Start/Early Head Start program. We want to establish partnerships with entities and individuals who can support Head Start/Early Head Start. New contracts/agreements with CDI HS will need to be developed. A CDI HS representative will contact you close to the beginning of our administration to discuss the establishment of service with CDI HS.

When will you pay me the money Head Start/ Early Head Start owes me?

Although Head Start/Early Head Start services in a community continue, an interim contractor does not assume liabilities from a prior agency. When CDI HS begins administration for a program, we can only pay for services rendered during our period of administrative responsibility and under a contract established in CDI HS’s name. Any contracts, bills, debt, etc. entered in to by the prior grantee remains its responsibility to reconcile/fulfill.

CDI HS has no legal or historic relationship with the prior grantee and as an interim contractor is not a successor.

FAQ for media:

Our communities look to you for accurate and up-to-date information.

Who can we talk to for information to keep the public informed?

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is the contact for media related to CDI HS.

You can contact ACF Office of Communications at: (202) 401-9215.

Any inquiries made to CDI HS staff persons will be redirected to ACF.