Governing Bodies
+ Tribal Councils

Governing bodies and Tribal Councils provide oversight of the Head Start program's school readiness efforts.

Governing bodies help to engage the community in identifying school readiness goals and garner their assistance and support in achieving those goals. Tribal Councils work primarily with American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Head Start programs.

Steps to School Readiness

Establishing School Readiness Goals

  • Understand the purpose and importance of establishing school readiness goals [PDF, 1MB].
  • Use the Leader's Role in School Readiness session from the Learning for New Leaders: Head Start A to Z series to help clarify the relationship between school readiness and program goals.
  • Work to ensure that goals are aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework, state early learning standards, and requirements and expectations of the schools the children will be attending.
  • Promote community involvement in establishing school readiness goals.

Planning and Implementation

  • Ensure that the program budget is aligned with school readiness goals.
  • Use the Leader's Role in School Readiness session from the Learning for New Leaders: Head Start A to Z to understand how the 10 Head Start management systems support school readiness.
  • Oversee the program’s progress in achieving school readiness goals by reviewing regular progress reports and the recommendations of the Policy Council.

Assessing and Aggregating

  • Ensure that data reports can be used to effectively collect and aggregate school readiness data to determine progress towards achieving goals.
  • Participate in the self-assessment.
  • Review year-long data to determine school readiness trends and assess overall progress in achieving goals.
  • Review aggregated data to assess Head Start’s progress in achieving school readiness goals.

Determining Priorities

  • Ensure that school readiness goals are supported by program and organizational goals and the program budget.
  • Assist the program planning team to prioritize goals [PDF, 277KB] in order to achieve the greatest impact for children and families.


PFCE Framework Webinar Series No. 2: The Role of Leadership

Governance, Leadership, and Oversight Capacity Screener

Head Start Approach to School Readiness [PDF, 1MB]

Leader's Role in School Readiness — Learning for New Leaders: Head Start A to Z

Program Level School Readiness Goals for Early Childhood Programs: Examples from the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (NCECDTL)

Improving School Readiness and Promoting Long-Term Success: The Head Start Roadmap to Excellence[PDF, 251KB]

Part 1304 Subpart B – Designation Renewal

Important to Know: Dual Language Learner Facts, Figures, and Findings provides information about dual language learners in each Head Start Region. The information is useful in community assessments and planning.

Refugee Families provides information about the number of refugees in each state and region and the countries they arrived from. This information is useful in community assessments, grant writing, and program planning.

Stories from the Field

Last Reviewed: December 2016

Last Updated: December 15, 2016