ESC-20 Conference Building
Programs and Services » Head Start » Program Governance

Program Governance

The focus and goal of the Program Governance service area is to ensure that parents are involved in program policy-making and decisions.


Governance Activities

The Head Start Program involves parents as decision-making partners in a variety of ways:
  • Parent Committees
  • Policy Council
  • Decision-making Committees
There are established By-Laws that guide the Parent Committees and Policy Council through their roles and responsibilities.
Parents also participate in activities such as Self-Assessment, and Health Advisory Committee, which have direct impact on the quality of services provided by the Head Start Program. Within each service area are many other opportunities for shared decision-making, both formal and informal.



When parents are involved in program governance, the benefits are many. Parents, who in many instances have never before had opportunities to be part of decision-making teams, gain leadership skills they can use for the rest of their lives. By participating with the Parent Committee and Policy Council, parents learn various skills, including:
  • Conducting formal and informal meetings using Parliamentary Procedures
  • Voting - having their voice heard
  • Collaborating with other groups
  • Networking with other parents and professionals
  • Increased self-esteem
Through active parent engagement in the Head Start Program, parents often times become involved in their community and add a vital perspective to their community resources.


Facts & Highlights

  1. Parents who in many instances have never before had opportunities to be part of a decision-making team, gain leadership skills they can use for the rest of their lives.
  2. The ESC-20 Board of Directors is the governing body of the ESC-20 Head Start Program and is responsible for legal and fiscal administration of the program. Members are invited to attend monthly Policy Council meetings.
  3. At least 51% of the Policy Council membership must be comprised of current Head Start parents.
  4. Specific roles and responsibilities of parent decision-making groups are defined in respective By-Law documents.
  5. The Policy Council approves and endorses any application submitted to the federal government to formally request funding.
  6. Parents have opportunities to participate in program governance using Parliamentary Procedure by attending Parent Committee meetings or participating on the Policy Council.
  7. Each site Parent Committee elects Community and Parent Representatives as well as an Alternate to serve on Policy Council.
  8. A Chairperson, Co-Chairperson, and Secretary are elected by the Policy Council Committee membership to conduct monthly meetings.
  9. Parents participate with the management team and other community members to conduct the annual self-assessment activity, which is a critical process for the program to monitor effectiveness and compliance.

Tri-County Head Start Contacts:

Suanna Lamb
(210) 370-5464
Julie Segura-Cordova
(210) 370-5438


Bexar County Head Start Contact:

Sharon Grady
(210) 370-5444
Misty Phelps
(210) 370-5495