Answer: Is the Head Start program administered by the school district? If so, the McKinney-Vento Act applies, and lack of immunization records cannot be a barrier to continued enrollment. (This flowchart provides more information about when Head Start programs are covered by the McKinney-Vento Act.) The law specifies that if the child needs to obtain immunizations, the school must immediately refer the parent or guardian to the local educational agency liaison. The liaison must assist in obtaining necessary immunizations or screenings, or immunization or other required health records.

Even if the Head Start program is not administered by the school district, there is a required grace period of at least 90 days for obtaining immunizations and records, and the program should be helping the family obtain them. This brief provides more information about Head Start’s requirements for serving children experiencing homelessness.

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