Parent committees are allocated a specific amount from the Parent Activity Fund to develop and implement parent projects and activities. Grantee and delegate agencies will find this information useful when preparing their annual budgets.
The Parent Activity Fund is money set aside in the program budget to provide parents the opportunity and experience in planning, developing and implementing their own projects. The Parent Activity Fund amount varies from program to program. While there is no standard formula, programs have allocated from $3 to $10 per child for this fund. Generally, each Parent Committee is allocated a specific amount from the Parent Activity Fund based on the number of children the Parent Committee represents. For example, with a $5 per child parent activity fund allotment, the Parent Activity Fund would be $200 in a center with 40 children. The Parent Committee would decide how they want to spend the funds, and would then make a request to the Policy Council for approval.
Specific examples of the kinds of activities supported by the Parent Activity Fund include:
- Identifying a special speaker to present at a Parent Committee meeting and paying his or her fee.
- Including parents on a field trip to the zoo and paying their entrance fee.
- Paying the registration fee and expenses for a Parent of the Year to attend a state Head Start Association conference.
- Purchasing ingredients for a cooking class for parents on low-budget nutritious meals or Chinese cooking or some other special food interest.
- Including a family photo evening when the school photographer comes to take children's photos and using the parent activity dollars to pay some or a portion of the additional cost for the family portraits.
- The Parent Activity Fund should be spent on the basis of project relatedness. The Parent Activity Fund must not be used for activities that are solely for entertainment. Entertainment can be defined as cost of amusement, diversion, social activities, ceremonials, and incidental cost relating thereto, such as meals, lodging, transportation, and gratuities. However, the Parent Activity Fund can be used for expenses where entertainment may play an incidental part in the activity. Therefore, programs should always couple entertainment expense with project-related activities. Spending must always be for program-related expenses or the spending would be unallowed. This goes not only for entertainment expenditures, but for all other types of expenditures as well.
Resource Type: Article
Audience: Directors and Managers
Last Updated: September 1, 2023