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Child Care and Early Education Glossary

The child care & early education glossary defines terms used to describe aspects of child care and early education practice and policy; the research glossary defines terms used in conducting social science and policy research, for example those describing methods, measurements, statistical procedures, and other aspects of research.

A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T U V W
Gross Motor Skills
A child's development of large muscle movement and control. Examples of gross motor skills include crawling, running, and jumping. Compare with: Fine Motor Skills.
Head Start
A federal program that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income families. The program is designed to foster stable family relationships, enhance children's physical and emotional well-being and support children's cognitive skills so they are ready to succeed in school. Federal grants are awarded to local public or private agencies, referred to as "grantees" to provide Head Start services. Head Start began in 1965 and is administered by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Head Start Bureau
Refers to the former name of the Office of Head Start (OHS).
Head Start State Collaboration Grants
Funding granted to states and territories by The Office of Head Start (OHS) to create partnerships that support multi-agency and public-private partnerships. Head Start State Collaboration Offices create linkages between Head Start and other states' early childhood initiatives, service systems and priorities.
Home Language
The primary language that a child speaks at home. See related: Native Language.
Home-Based Child Care
Child care provided in a caregiver's home setting. Home-based child care may be regulated or unregulated, paid or unpaid, listed or unlisted. Narrower terms for specific home-based Child Care Arrangements might include Family Child Care, Informal Child Care and Family, Friend and Neighbor Care.
Home-Visiting Programs
Programs that aim to improve child outcomes by helping high-risk parents who are pregnant or have young children to enhance their parenting skills. Most home visiting programs match trained professionals and/or paraprofessionals with families to provide a variety of services in families' home settings. Examples of home visiting services can include health check-ups, developmental screenings, referrals, parenting advice, and guidance with navigating community services.
In-Service Training
Refers to Professional Development that occurs outside of a credentialing program that early childhood Providers take to enhance their skills and remain current regarding knowledge and practices in the field. A certain number of in-service training hours are typically required for early childhood professionals to maintain early childhood-related Certifications.
Inclusion
The principle of enabling all children, regardless of their diverse backgrounds or abilities, to participate actively in natural settings within their learning environments and larger communities.
Income Eligibility
Refers to one's ability to qualify for a program or service based on household income and related criteria, like family size.