Program Governance In Head Start


Parent Committee: All parents of currently enrolled children are automatically members of a Parent Committee, which is formed at the center-level. The parent committee carries out the following minimum responsibilities:

(1) Advise staff in developing and implementing local program policies, activities, and services to ensure they meet the needs of children and families; 

(2) Have a process for communication with the policy council; and

(3) Within the guidelines established by the governing body or policy council, participate in the recruitment and screening of Head Start employees.

Policy Council: The Policy Council has policy-making authority and is governed by locally determined bylaws that ensure clarity and consistency in function and purpose. Membership of the Policy Council is made up of at least 51% of current Head Start parents. The remaining representatives are community representatives who have a concern for children of low-income eligible families.

Governing Body: This group, which is called the BROC Board of Directors, is legally responsible for overseeing the program and setting the program’s financial priorities. The BROC Board of Directors ensure that the program is in compliance with Federal laws and regulations, Head Start Performance Standards, State, Tribal, local laws and regulations, including laws defining the nature and operations of the governing body.

A governing body may establish advisory committees as it deems necessary for effective governance and improvement of the Head Start program.

If a governing body establishes an advisory committee to oversee key responsibilities related to program governance, it must:

  • Establish the structure, communication, and oversight in such a way that the governing body continues to maintain its legal and fiscal responsibility for the Head Start agency; and
  • ,Notify the responsible HHS official of its intent to establish such an advisory committee.