Mel Gravely
February-10-2018

ERSEA Cheat Sheet: Head Start Selection without Tears

ersea selectionIf you’re doing a good job with recruitment, selection will be a tough job. Say you have 100 slots, and a waiting list of 200. How can you make your job easier? How can you select the neediest children, without spending all of your workweek on it? Can you avoid the tears and angry phone calls from disappointed families?

Here are some ideas to keep in mind during this tense time.

  • Establishing a selection criteria based on your community needs will help.
  • Keep an up to date waiting list of children ranked according to your program’s selection criteria.
  • A good selection committee can help. Find people who are committed to the Head Start cause.
  • Find a place where you can work undisturbed, especially if you are working on a large amount of
    slots. Yeah, you probably want to avoid the gym during school hours. You may need to go offsite
    if your site is busy. Try a local library or parent’s home.
  • Alternatively, come in early or stay late if possible, and if it’s easier for you.
  • Great community partnerships with agencies that refer as well as those who can accept
    children. Think child care agencies, schools, Pre-Ks, other Head Start agencies in your area.
  • The ability to provide parents with information and resources they can use even if not accepted.
  • Coffee while selecting! This is definitely a must.
  • Snack and lunch, if necessary. Yes, food will keep you going.
  • Preliminary work of selections and interview should be well organized.
  • Arrange children’s information in files, whether electronic or paper.

The Gravely Group wishes you a smooth selection process. Let us know if you would like some training
on selection or ERSEA as a whole. Can you share with your fellow Head Start staff how you make the
selection process easier?

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