Providing counsel to Head Start and Early Head Start programs (HS/EHS) across the country since the firm was founded in 1970.

Nationally recognized for experience in Head Start, FTLF's attorneys provide direct legal representation as well as extensive training on a wide variety of topics, including: programmatic monitoring under the Aligned Monitoring System (AMS); fiscal management and federal grant administration; Head Start human resources requirements; confidentiality and privacy issues; Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, and Attendance (ERSEA) practices; governance issues; and other grant and compliance-related matters that arise in day-to-day operations.

Our attorneys frequently counsel clients on matters stemming from the Head Start Act, the Head Start Program Performance Standards, and specific program guidance from the Office of Head Start (OHS) at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). We also help Head Start clients to untangle the many federal grants rules on financial requirements, procurements, property, and non-federal share, audit defense and frequently represent programs in front of the HHS Departmental Appeals Board on cost disallowances, grant suspensions, terminations, and appeals of indirect cost rates. In addition, we work with clients to resolve disputes between the governing body and policy counsel. Our assistance allows clients to achieve compliance within these heavily regulated programs, and to obtain the knowledge to be able to run your program effectively, efficiently, and within the bounds of the law.

Managing a federal funded program as complex as Head Start is a difficult process, and to do so there are many regulatory compliance issues to take into account. We work to help organizations navigate the many rules that apply and how to allocate costs between and amongst multiple funding streams, to the satisfaction of federal funders and auditors. We also encourage Head Start programs to proactively prepare themselves in understanding and developing systems, policies and procedures to stay in compliance through our training program  view our training schedule hereIf you have any questions, please contact Edward T. Waters at or Nicole M. Bacon