Parent Involvement/Volunteer Coordinator -- Terri Rickard



Policy Council:  A group that works in partnership with key management staff of the Grantee and the Head Start program.  The group is made up of Community Representatives and parents of children enrolled in the program.  More than half of the Council's members must be parents of currently enrolled children.  Parents are elected each year and serve one-year terms.  No parent may serve more than three one-year terms.

Program Design and Management

1304.50 - Program Governance

1304.50(d)(2)  In addition, Policy Councils and Policy Committees must perform the following functions directly:

  1. Serve as a link to the Parent Committee, grantee and delegate agency governing bodies, public and private organizations, and the communities they serve.
  2. Assist Parent Committees in communicating with parents enrolled in all grogram options to ensure that they understand their rights, responsibilities, and opportunities in Early Head Start and Head Start and to encourage their participation in the program.
  3. Assist Parent Committees in planning, coordinating, and organizing program activities for parents with the assistance of staff, and ensuring that funds set aside from program budgets are used to support parent activities.
  4. Assist in recruiting volunteer services from parents, community residents, and community organizations, and assist in the mobilization of community resources to meet identified needs.
  5. Establish and maintain procedures for working with the grantee or delegate agency to resolve community complaints about the program.


Definitions of Policy Council Activities:

A.  General Responsibility

The individual or group with legal and fiscal responsibility that guides and oversees the carrying out of the functions described through the individual or group given operating responsibility.  Establishing the guidelines, limits and parameters for agency activities.

B.  Operating Responsibility

The individual or group that directly responsible for carrying out or performing the functions consistent with the general guidance and oversight from the group holding general responsibility.  Actually doing the work or seeing that it is accomplished.

C.  Must Approve or Disapprove

The group that must be involved in the decision-making process prior to the point of seeking approval.  If it does not approve, a proposal cannot be adopted, or the proposed action taken, until agreement is reached between the disagreeing groups,  gathering and discussing information, asking question, making suggestions, and taking a formal vote to accept or reject a recommendation, report, procedure, etc.

D. Determined Locally

Management staff functions as determined by the local governing body and in accordance with all Head Start regulation.  Deciding the role of the Agency Director and Head Start/Early head Start Director in various activities, such as whether they have operating responsibility, must make recommendation, should review and comment on an issue, must approve or disapprove, must be consulted before and action is taken, and so on.


Must Approve or Disapprove

1304.50(d)(1)    Policy Council or Policy Committees must work in partnership with key management staff and the governing body to develop, review and approve the following policies and procedures:

         i. All funding applications and amendments to funding applications for Early Head Start and Head Start, including administrative services, prior to the submission of such applications to the grantee (in the case of Policy Committees) or to HHS.  *

       ii. Procedures describing how the governing body and the appropriate policy group will implement share decision-making. *

      iii.Procedures for program planning in accordance with this part and the requirements of 45CFR 1305.3 (this regulation is binding on Policy Councils exclusively). *

     iv.The program's philosophy and long and short range program goals and objectives. *

       v.The selection of delegate agencies and their service areas (this is exclusively binding on Policy Councils). *

     vi.The composition of the Policy Council of the Policy Committee and the procedures by which policy group members are chosen. *

    vii.Criteria for defining recruitment, selection, and enrollment priorities, in accordance with the requirements o 45CFR, Part 1305.*

  viii.The annual self-assessment of the grantee or delegate agency's progress in carrying out the programmatic and fiscal intent of its grant application, including planning or other actions that may result from the review of the annual audit and finding from the Federal monitoring review.*

     ix. Program personnel policies and subsequent changes to these policies, in accordance with 45CFR 1301.31, including standards of conduct for program staff, consultants, and volunteers.*

       x. Decision to hire or terminate the Early Head Start/Head Start Director of the grantee or delegate agency. *

     xi. Decision to hire or terminate any person who works primarily for the Early Head Start or Head Start program of the grantee or delegate agency.

    xii. Reimbursement for low-income members of parent and policy group to allow their full participation.*

1304.40(g)(1)  Grantee and delegate agencies must have written policies that define the roles and responsibilities of the governing body members and that inform them of the management procedures and functions necessary to implement a high quality program.*

1304.50(h)  Each grantee and delegate agency and Policy Council or Policy Committee jointly must establish written procedures for resolving internal disputes, including impasse procedures, between the governing body and policy group. *

* For the functions, the policy group shares the Approval/Disapproval function with the governing body.

Operating Responsibility

1304.50(d)(2)v  Establish and maintain procedures for hearing and working with the grantee or delegate agency to resolve community complaints about the program.  For this function, the policy group shares Operating Responsibility with the governing body.