The Life of a New Head Start Director

Are you a new Head Start or Early Head Start Director?  Let me offer you my congratulations! This is a wonderful opportunity and, as I’m sure you’ve already found out, the beginning of an exciting journey. 

As a Head Start Director, you are responsible for ensuring that the children and families receive high quality services, that your program is fully compliant with all regulations, and that you provide great leadership to your staff.  I know what you’re saying…….. I have a million things on my to-do list… so many things to address.  Where do I start?

We’ve found that there are 3 key areas for Head Start Directors to focus on:

  • Build relationships.  Having good working relationships is key.  Take time to build relationships with the staff – the staff at your office and the staff at the centers.  Get to know your Policy Council and Board members.  Reach out to your community – to other service providers.  And establish a good relationship with your Program Specialist.
  • Plan well and create systems.  Good planning is essential in Head Start.  Whether you’re designing training for your staff or preparing for a successful Federal Review, plan with your key stakeholders.  And be sure that the planning consists of setting up systems in your program – spelled out in your policies and procedures manual.
  • Provide strong leadership.  One of your most important roles is to provide great leadership to your staff.  Share your vision with the staff – and the critical role that the staff plays in your vision.  Make strategic planning a priority – set goals and monitor the progress frequently.  Communicate your expectations and provide staff with feedback and support. 

Looking for “New Head Start Director Training: The Keys to Head Start”?  Give us a call at (713) 594-7060 or email us at deborahkaiser@hsessentials.com.