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Mel Gravely

LGMS Protocol Key Performance Area #1 – Program Planning

program_planningThis is the second part in our five-part series about the FY2016 Leadership, Governance and Management Systems Protocol.

Exactly how will your Head Start program deliver a quality, comprehensive service to children and families? A stable base of program planning ensures that your Head Start program will be a dynamic force within the community.

An involved and strategic program planning process should include:

  • Creating a mission statement, something that will adhere and align with the priorities of the Head Start as well as the needs of the community.
  • Community & program participation in order to ensure that you have a dynamic Head Start that will engage and keep the community interest.
  • Set goals using BROAD or Beyond Compliance, Responsive to Community Needs, Organization Wide, Aspirational, and Dynamic to describe what the program intends to accomplish.
  • Set objectives that are SMART or Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely and make sure that they align with the program’s goals.
  • Creating and communicating these plans that outline steps your program will take to achieve its goals and ensure you are providing high-quality and comprehensive services as well as the health and safety of your Head Start facilities and learning environments.

Compliance Measures

When it comes to Compliance Measures, there are a few things that OHS will look for in regards to program planningyou’ll need to keep in mind during the planning process.

  • Your program should have a clear mission with long-term and short-term goals based on data.
  • It should involve all the stakeholders – the community, the OHS and any other parties involved.
  • Be sure to include written plans to guide the program in achieving its goals, all of them written down so they are more tangible and easy to reference.

Targeted Questions

There are a few TQs (Targeted Questions) that may be asked during the interview process regarding program planning.

For instance, the Governing Body of your Head Start might be asked about their role in revisiting goals to maintain their relevance to the current needs of the community- and how often they revisit those goals to ensure their continued relevance.

The Policy Council of your Head Start would be questioned about how the plans for providing services align with the community’s needs- are they provided in the necessary language and are culturally sensitive to that community in particular. There needs to be proof that The Policy Council has a familiarity with the program’s plans and how they meet the community needs.

Any Staff would be asked about their roles and responsibilities in regards to helping the program with its planning.

And the Director of your Head Start might be asked how they set and, as needed, reset program goals to align with any community needs and shifts in the program.

The Program Planning KPA is one of utmost importance, it’s the basis for everything your Head Start will be doing, and a solid foundation leads to a strong reception from the community.


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