The purpose of the Policy Council is to provide a formal means of involving parents, agency, board, and the community in decisions affecting the operation and management of the Head Start program.
Parents and community representatives participate in policy making and the operation of the whole Head Start program by being members of the Policy Council. Parents must make up at least 51% of the Policy Council.
A representative from each classroom is elected by the parents to the Policy Council. These representatives will take ideas with them from all parents and, in turn, keep those parents informed of decisions made at the Policy Council meetings. Policy Council members help plan and develop program goals; decide ways of enrolling Head Start families; and approve various policies, hiring and firing decisions, and the budget. They also assist staff in evaluating the program each year. Community Representatives are selected from collaborating agencies and voted on each year. No more that 49% of the Council can be Reps from the community.
The Policy Council receives support from the program by receiving training from Head Start so they are able to understand the program and changes within it. Parent representatives also receive reimbursement for child care and transportation, if needed, to attend Policy Council meetings.