Family Services Managers

All Head Start and Early Head Start staff have a role to play in family engagement leading to positive outcomes for families and children. As family services managers, your work contributes to family well-being and positive parent-child relationships, which are essential to school readiness.

Managers of family services staff and home visitors do important work in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. As a manager, you assist in setting up the organizational climate and culture. You act as a role model and help staff develop the knowledge and skills needed to engage families. You work closely with staff, families, and community partners to support children’s school readiness and healthy development. The work of family services managers recognizes that families are vital to children’s learning and development.

Developing trusting and respectful relationships is a key component of your work. These relationships are mirrored in those that staff build with families and community partners. Reflective supervision, training, and coaching help staff build trusting relationships with families from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Steps to School Readiness

  1. Establish Goals for Improving School Readiness Across All Domains

    Recruitment and Enrollment

    • Share your excitement about child and family progress.

    • Partner with families, program staff, and community partners to support child and family progress.

    • Create a welcoming organizational climate and structure for all staff.

    • Encourage a program-wide commitment to achieving school readiness.

    Program Year

    • Create a program-wide model of leadership and accountability.
    • Work with program staff and community partners to set goals for school readiness and family progress.
    • Ensure everyone is fully invested in getting each child to attain the goals set for school readiness and family progress.
    • Ensure intentional professional development opportunities that enhance knowledge and build new skills take place throughout the program year.

    Supporting Transitions [PDF, 1.3MB]

    • Partner with all stakeholders to identify transition goals that are in line with Head Start Program Performance Standards.
    • Ensure respectful and successful transitions take place across all programs for all children and families.
    • Develop a user friendly system to share data and maintain and protect privacy and confidentiality.
  2. Create and implement a plan of action for achieving the established school readiness goals

    Recruitment and Enrollment

    • Assist staff with data collection.
    • Ensure the tools used for data collection index the established school readiness goals.
    • Ensure the process, policy, and procedures used for data collection are intentional and meaningful.

    Program Year

    • Partner with staff and community partners to develop a plan of action to achieve shared goals.
    • Coach program staff to collaborate with families in engaging community partners.
    • Inspire families to boost their child's learning and healthy development within their community.

    Supporting Transitions [PDF, 1.3MB]

    • Partner with program staff and community partners in developing a transition plan. Guide the plan of action to assist families in supporting a successful transition to kindergarten.
    • Create a trusting environment for program staff to partner with families in reaching their children’s school readiness goals.
  3. Assess child progress on an ongoing basis and aggregate and analyze data at multiple times throughout the year

    Recruitment and Enrollment

    • Coach staff on how to present information and leadership opportunities to families. These guided opportunities can foster engagement and school readiness.
    • Provide training and support on how staff can demonstrate cultural responsiveness.
    • Assist staff in recognizing each child's language and culture as a means to promote school readiness.

    Program Year

    • Partner with other program staff to review the child assessment data [PDF, 2.2MB]. Joint review of these data can enhance program services and family engagement in children's learning.
    • Provide ongoing trainings for staff to develop competence in data collection assessments and tools.
    • Ensure meaningful, reliable, and valid data are being collected throughout the program year.
    • Lead the team in ongoing conversations with families about child progress and program matters. These conversations will help to build trusting relationships with families.

    Supporting Transition [PDF, 1.3MB]

    • Assist families, program staff, school system staff, and community partners as they create a transition plan.
    • Build a trusting environment to ensure each child's successful transition to kindergarten.
  4. Examine data for patterns of progress for groups of children in order to revise, or develop and implement plans for program improvement

    Recruitment and Enrollment

    • Speak with families about sharing information about their children. Be sure to discuss confidentiality. Highlight how the sharing of this information supports program improvement.
    • Create an environment that boosts the sharing of information among parents, staff, and community partners.

    Program Year

    • Partner with families, program staff, and community partners to use the child assessment data [PDF, 2.2MB]. These partnerships will help improve program services and enhance family engagement in children’s learning.
    • Collaborate with your community partners to create a system for the sharing of data. This coordinated system will help improve program services and enhance children’s learning.
    • Collaborate with the management team on a regular, ongoing basis to review, analyze and summarize child, family, and program progress as a means to identify "real time" trends and patterns.
    • Create ongoing and varied ways to communicate with families to give voice to their strengths, challenges, and successes.

    Supporting Transitions [PDF, 1.3MB]

    • Share aggregate data confidentially with key program staff, school staff, and community partners.
    • Engage in ongoing data sharing with key staff and partners to ensure successful transitions to kindergarten and beyond.


Parent, Family, and Community Engagement for School Readiness

Relationship-Based Practice

Using Data and Assessing Child, Family, and Program Progress

Related Resources

Stories from the Field

Last Reviewed: September 2014

Last Updated: January 14, 2015