Benefits of Head Start Program Governance Training
You may ask what the benefits are of familiarizing Staff and Policy Council with the Head Start Act 2007 and the Program Governance.
First, the Performance Standards was published in 1974 and revised in 1996 and again in 2015, with the most recent proposed changes scheduled to take effect in school year 2017. The Performance Standards are the Bible for operating Head Start programs across the county.
The Act provides a detailed referral mechanism and process for Head Start Staff to utilize when ensuring that the Policy Council/Committees and/or Parent Committees are functioning in accordance with guidance of the Head Start Act.
If staff is more knowledgeable and have the ability to articulate the contents of the Performance Standard, the likelihood increases that these councils / committees will successfully strive to ensure that children receiving services are being properly developed and a quality education is provided.
Within Head Start there is a process that has to be followed when making decisions about organizational structure, resources, programming, etc. In most cases there are one or more layers of the process: the board makes the decision based off information provided by the policy council/committee.
However, things are much different when it comes to a Head Start Policy Council as there could possibly be up to four layers of process that must be adhered to before a decision is ratified.
In summary Head Start staff/policy council members who understand the policies and the structure of the program governance will have a strong Head Start program that will function as mandated in the Head Start Act.
Knowing your decision making process will prevent any unnecessary internal conflict and/or legal issues down the road.