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Mel Gravely

What is ERSEA and Why Is it Important to Your Head Start Program?

headstart_imgERSEA stands for the Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, and Attendance of children in early childhood education programs. It is part of the 10 Head Start Management Systems. ERSEA governs how programs select and enroll children into their program, and is one of the most important tasks to be performed in successful Head Start programs.

Whether you are a new Head Start program or an established program, ERSEA is important to you and is the life blood of a successful early childhood program. Remember every staff member plays an important part in the execution of ERSEA.

During mid-year, it is important that Head Start staff:

  • Review ERSEA annual plans to update or change strategy to complete the year
  • Encourage families to bring children to school during the winter months to promote school readiness
  • Review waiting list or the reasons for no waiting list
  • Work with Policy Council/Committee to ensure parent ideas for ERSEA goals
  • Prepare for the next school year with strategies to improve your ERSEA plans

Here are some of the questions your program should be asking to ensure a successful program:

  • Do you have a plan for the beginning of next school year? This is the time to begin your marketing plan. What was successful the previous year? What was not? Have you budgeted enough to make sure is it successful?
  • Do you have enough qualified personnel to execute your plan? How many advertising dollars do you need to spend to get attract the required number of eligible children into you program?
  • How many children and families do you need on your waitlist? Is your waitlist an active waitlist with children and families still looking for services or is your program not sure.
  • Have you budgeted for attrition? In most Head Start programs there are a certain percentage of children and families that enroll but for a variety of reasons decide not to take advantage of the quality programming some programs have to offer. Do you enough families on your waitlist to make sure your organization is still at full enrollment?
  • Do you or your staff need training, knowledge or expertise in staying compliant with Federal, start or local requirement without creating non-compliance or a deficiency?

These are some of the questions that need to be answered to have in order to have a successful ERSEA plan. Knowledge Management can help you design a plan to keep you at full enrollment with proven techniques while keeping your organization within budget.

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” -Booker T. Washington

Put yourself on the road to success. Enlist Knowledge Management to assist you in meeting your ERSEA and financial goals. Knowledge Management has the knowledge, experience and effective techniques to assist your organization with any ERSEA or non-compliance issue that you may have. Knowledge Management specializes in Technical Assistance and Training that will assist your Head Start program in ERSEA compliance.

See all of our posts on ERSEA »



  1. ROSE JOHNSON says:


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