Resources for Program Governance

The Head Start Act of 2007 requires that all Head Start agencies must establish and maintain a formal structure for program governance. Find resources on this page that provide opportunities to learn about program governance.

Resources for Leadership

Head Start leaders face changes and challenges in delivering high-quality early education and services to young children and their families. Find resources on this page that provide opportunities to learn about leadership.

Governance Readiness Assessment

The Governance Readiness Assessment helps organizations review their processes. Governing bodies can use it to assess their capacity to oversee and monitor a Head Start program.

Documentation-Volunteers Services

Grantees and delegate agencies will find this resource useful when documenting volunteer services. An agency's volunteer services should be documented similarly as for its employees, including time and attendance records or activity sheets.

Community and Self-Assessment

Community and self-assessment systems highlight the two starting points for the program planning process. Community assessment is the initial focus on external factors for new and existing programs, ensuring they are providing the right services to the right population. Self-assessment, with its focus on internal factors like ongoing monitoring data, supports the continuous quality improvement process which occurs annually.

Leader's Role in School Readiness

Every Head Start and Early Head Start program is required to develop a plan of action to meet desired outcomes of school readiness, family engagement, professional development), curriculum, assessment, and teaching practice. A key part of this plan is to make sure teachers, home visitors, and family child care providers intentionally support children’s progress. For this to happen, systems and services must come together as early as possible.

Management Systems

The Head Start Management Systems Wheel is a visual representation of the 12 program management, planning, and oversight systems that are critical to high-quality service delivery.

Organizational Leadership

Leadership and governance are the bedrocks of effective management. Head Start program leadership consists of three key entities: the governing body/Tribal Council (i.e., legal and fiscal responsibilities); Policy Council/parent committees (i.e., set program direction); and management staff (i.e., day-to-day operations). 

Recordkeeping and Reporting

Well-designed recordkeeping and reporting systems maintain the program's institutional memory and provide critical information to program leaders, staff, families and community partners.