Outreach and Recruitment

Recruiting for Head Start programs involves reaching out to families in your program’s service area. The process is systematic and year-round. Because each family is unique, Head Start programs need to be strategic, thoughtful, creative, and inclusive in their recruitment planning efforts. By tailoring their processes and using a lens of equity, programs can successfully reach all eligible families.

Questions for Consideration

  • How do your outreach and recruitment approaches and materials show sensitivity and respect for the diverse families in the community, including families from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, LGBTQ+ parents, and adults with disabilities?
  • What are families’ first impressions of your program and staff? How do you show a commitment to honoring the culture and languages of families and children, starting from the first interaction you have with a family?
  • How is your recruitment process inclusive of families across the geographic areas you serve?
  • Are you prioritizing the populations in your community that are most in need of Head Start services?
  • How do you tailor recruitment strategies for different populations?
  • How do you adapt your outreach strategies to where families live and most frequently go in the community?
  • What community partnerships do you prioritize to ensure outreach to families who need program services the most?
  • What strategies does your program have in place to ensure that staff do not unintentionally act on their implicit biases when identifying who to prioritize for outreach and recruitment?
  • How do you incorporate father and male caregiver engagement in your recruitment strategies?
  • How does your program use social media and virtual recruitment strategies when those kinds of strategies are more convenient for families?
  • How do you reach communities with little or weak Wi-Fi access?