This section of the Head Start Act provides requirements for establishing a formal structure for program governance including the composition of the governing body as well as the composition and selection of the Policy Council.
This section of the Head Start Program Performance Standards provides the requirements for program governance in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Appendix A in this section provides a quick reference for understanding the responsibilities and specific decision-making obligations of the governing body and management staff but should be used in partnership with Section 642 of the Head Start Act to ensure that all current requirements are met.
This tool draws on current research and helps organizations' governing bodies and leaders assess their capacity to effectively oversee a Head Start program. It is designed to help governing bodies and other leaders develop a governance readiness plan.
This resource supports the development of bylaws (written rules to support the internal affairs of a Policy Council or governing body), which are required for the formation of a Policy Council and governing body.
Linking Our Voices
This 22-minute video (1997) explores the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that create successful Policy Councils. Based on real stories of representative Policy Council members, the video is inspirational and is useful in demonstrating to parents the possibilities of participating in program governance activities.
Within 60 days of the start of the five-year project period, every grantee governing body must complete this or another governance and leadership capacity screening and send a certification to their regional office. This screener reflects the Head Start requirements for program governance to help organizations identify where they need to make changes for quality improvement and to build capacity to fulfill Head Start governance responsibilities.