Management Minute: How the Planning Cycle Helped a Program Achieve a Key Goal
Karen Surprenant: We noticed in our program that we were having an increased number of Spanish-speaking children and families. It was 33% of our enrollment, and when we did our community assessment, we saw that very same statistic. We questioned what our services were like for families that spoke another language. That led us to the goal of enhancing our services to dual language learners and their families. And we thought, well, we want some new partnerships that can help support our efforts in working with families, and we want to have in our program some more engagement opportunities. Then we thought about what kinds of training do we need to offer our staff to help them better work with Spanish-speaking children and their families.
That was our action plan, and we wanted to make sure that we had the budget that was aligned with that plan. We had to identify some data points: what do we want to measure? Do we want to measure the number of partnerships? What's happening with those partnerships in terms of the family engagement activities? Do we want to measure the attendance? And more importantly, do we want to measure the impact they had on families, on their parenting, or maybe even on child outcomes? We made sure that we looked at that data regularly as part of our ongoing monitoring process. Finally, all of your monitoring data and all your data about your goals is taken to that annual self-assessment where everybody can look at it, see the big picture, think about how you can improve.
And that's the cycle. The cycle begins again with that community assessment or that community assessment update. That cycle is ongoing throughout the five-year project period.Close
A Head Start director shares how her program used community assessment data and the program planning cycle to achieve a key goal — enhancing services for dual language learners. Learn more about how to use the program planning cycle to guide decision-making in the iPD course Financial Essentials 1: The Grant Application Process.