GAO Report Findings for Head Start

October 24, 2019

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a study to identify problems with Head Start program eligibility screening and instances of potential fraud. On October 2, 2019, they made these results public in a published report

The GAO submitted fake enrollment information to 15 different programs in major cities across the US: seven correctly determined ineligibility, three encouraged enrollment despite ineligibility, and five altered the forms to make the child appear eligible. These findings will be referred to the inspector general’s office at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for consideration of a criminal inquiry. GAO’s Report also specifically noted that the Office of Head Start (OHS) has not done a comprehensive fraud assessment and does not monitor all grantees in a timely manner.

Déjà vu? It's not just you, we've seen this before. Nine years ago, the GAO went undercover to test Head Start eligibility and enrollment procedures and released a similar report. This report and its findings resulted in Congressional hearings, two sets of revisions to ERSEA regulations, and considerably more required documentation.

What does this mean for Head Start programs? In all likelihood, this means heightened attention to program compliance with eligibility requirements, documentation related to ERSEA, and more frequent and detailed monitoring reviews. 

What should you do? It is more important than ever to make sure your staff understands the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) applicable to their jobs and daily responsibilities. In light of this report, now is the time to confirm that your program is following the rules and review your existing policies and procedures to see if you need to make any adjustments.

Note: The recorded version of this webinar is included in your purchase. The recording will be available to you for 180 days after it is posted. 

To purchase the recorded version of this webinar as a standalone, click here.

Target Audience

  • Eligibility Workers
  • Eligibility Managers
  • ERSEA staff
  • Executive Directors
  • Head Start Program Directors
  • Other senior staff and management
  • All are welcome!

Learning Objectives

After this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the broad results of the recent GAO Report and the implications for Head Start programs
  • Understand the key risk areas for Head Start programs based on the GAO Report's findings
  • Identify which practices, policies, and processes need to be reviewed (and updated) in your program 
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.25 Certificate of Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
10/24/2019 - 1:00pm EDT
Event ends: 
10/24/2019 - 2:30pm EDT


Serving as Managing Partner of the firm since 2003, and a member of the Health Law and Federal Grants practices since 1992, Ted focuses his practice on helping organizations to solve problems. Ted’s expertise in financial, cost reporting, reimbursement, and administrative issues is widely recognized, and illustrated by his selection as a 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019 Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer in health care. Ted routinely handles challenging issues for clients such as government audits, internal investigations, and litigation. [Full Bio]

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Available Credit

  • 1.25 Certificate of Attendance


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Access to the recorded version of this webinar is included with your purchase. The recorded version of this webinar will be available within 48 hours of the live event. You will have access to the recording for 180 days after the posting of the recorded webinar. Once posted to your account, you can view this webinar anytime on-demand during the access period identified in your purchase confirmation. For additional information on viewing and accessing webinars, view our full terms and conditions here.


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