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Mel Gravely

To Do List for Your Policy Council

The new Head Start Performance Standards didn’t change much on the area of the policy council/committees. Since this was already revised in the Head start Act, it largely remained the same.

Establishing policy councils and policy committees. “Each agency must establish and maintain a policy council responsible for the direction of the Head Start program at the agency level, and a policy committee at the delegate level.”

Composition “Parents of children currently enrolled in each program option must be proportionately represented on the policy council…” They key word here is proportionate. So no having half your members who are parents of home-based children, if 90 percent of your program is center-based.

Responsibilities in the Head Start Act “The policy council shall approve and submit to the governing body decisions about each of the following activities:

  1. Activities to support the active involvement of parents in supporting program operations, including policies to ensure that the Head Start agency is responsive to community and parent needs.
  2. Parent recruitment, selection, and enrollment priorities.
  3. Applications for funding and amendments to applications for funding for programs under this subchapter, prior to submission of applications described in this clause.
  4. Budget planning for program expenditures, including policies for reimbursement and participation in policy council activities.
  5. Bylaws for the operation of the policy council.
  6. Program personnel policies and decisions regarding the employment of program staff, including standards of conduct for program staff, contractors, and volunteers and criteria for the employment and dismissal of program staff.
  7. Developing procedures for how members of the policy council of the Head Start agency will be elected.
  8. Recommendations on the selection of delegate agencies and the service areas for such agencies.”

Within the new Head Start Performance Standards, none of this is really new when it comes to policy council, but it is merely clarified again for you to remember. We encourage you to read the policy council requirements and set aside time in your next meeting to review them with staff and parents.

Interested in training for your policy council? Check out what The Gravely Group has to offer. Call or email today and get your agency up to date with what they need to know.

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