What is Policy Council?
Policy council is a group of parents and community members that are elected at center level to participate in decision and policy making of the Head Start program.
This group of elected members consists of at least 51 % parents of the children currently enrolled in Head Start and the council consists of interested community members.
All parents serving on Policy Council are elected by other parents from their center.
Each year the Policy Council sets aside money to be used for childcare expenses and transportation reimbursement for members while they attend a monthly Policy Council meeting.
Child Care is provided on site for parents who cannot provide their own.
Dinner is made by our cook and is enjoyed at each meeting. We eat dinner together and afterwards the children are escorted to another room for childcare.
What is my role as a member?
Your role as a member means that after having been elected at your center you will have a voice with the program that will affect policies made as well as decisions concerning program operations.
As elected members you will have the opportunity to participate with the hiring process of employees and when necessary the termination of staff.
As elected members you will have the opportunity to view program budgets. You will have a voice in how our money in the parent activity fund is spent.
Elected members will have the opportunity to be elected to represent the program at state meetings that are held three times a year (November, February, and May). The program will pay for your room, per diem for meals and childcare money to your child care person.
As an elected member you will have the opportunity to participate on committees that you are interested in such as interviews, budgeting, fundraisers, class room curriculum and others as the need arises.
What I will need to do?
As a member you will attend all policy council meetings ensuring that policies and decisions reflect the views and ideas of parents from your center.
As a member you will attend family nights at your center and give a report from your council meeting. This will also be a time for you to gather input from your center to bring back to your next council meeting.
Parent Center Committees
All parents have the opportunity and are encouraged to participate as a member of the Parent Committee at their center.
Center Committees are chaired by center Policy Council representatives who develop agendas and facilitate the meetings in conjunction with the Center Manager.
Center meetings include but are not limited to: Policy Council reports with requests for parent input re: the development and implementation of local program policies, parent ideas for program and center activities, sharing input into the classroom curriculum.
Minutes are taken at these meetings. At the next scheduled Policy Council Meeting, representatives will give center committee reports. These minutes will be posted at the centers.
Policy Council Election Process
Parents receive information about Policy Council at the September center Orientation/Open House. Staff and policy council members will share information with new parents about the opportunity to be a member of the parent policy council. There are flyers with PC information in both English and Spanish.
Policy Council members will encourage parents to sign up with their contact information expressing interest in the council. They will encourage attendance at the October family night so that they can be elected to represent their center.
At October Family Night (Parent Meeting) past Policy Council parents will talk about the role of the Council and parents will watch an informational video about the function of the council. Center policy council members will assist the center manager with selection and election of new members.
The center manager at each site will pass the election sheet of the new members to the Family and Community Partnership Director. All members will receive information about the October meeting in the agenda. This information is mailed 5 days prior to the meeting.
Interested persons will be elected by the parents at their center and sign up to attend the October PC meeting. The previous year council members vote in the new members; they may choose to remain members. They also will be required to be re-elected. Council Officers will be elected at the October PC meeting.
We will elect a Chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, treasurer, and state representatives.
We will also appoint a time keeper, and committee members.
A Master Roster list of elected persons from each center is developed.