The Policy Council is comprised of two types of representatives: parents of currently enrolled children and community representatives. At least 51 percent of the members of Policy Council must be the parents of currently enrolled children. Parents of children currently enrolled at all Head Start sites must be proportionately represented on Policy Council.

Community representatives must be drawn from the local community: businesses, public or private community, civic, and professional organizations, and others who are familiar with resources and services for low-income children and families, including, for example, the parents of formerly enrolled children.

All parent members of the Policy Council must stand for election or re-election annually. All community representatives also must be selected annually.

Policy Council must limit the number of one-year terms any individual may serve on either body to a combined total of five terms.

What Does Policy Council Do?

The Policy Council works in partnership with key management staff and the Board of Directors to develop, review and approve or disapprove policies and procedures including:

  • All funding applications and amendments to funding applications
  • Procedures for program planning
  • Program philosophy and long- and short-range goals and objectives
  • Selection of delegate agencies and their service areas
  • The composition of the Policy Council or the Policy Committee and the procedures by which policy group members are chosen
  • Criteria for defining recruitment, selection, and enrollment priorities
  • The annual self-assessment
  • Program personnel policies and subsequent changes to those policies, including standards of conduct for program staff, consultants, and volunteers
  • Decisions to hire or terminate the Head Start director
  • Decisions to hire or terminate any person who works primarily for the Head Start program
  • Serving as a link to the Parent Committees, the Board of Directors, public and private organizations, and the communities they serve