Phone (419) 784-5136 | Address: 1933 E 2nd Street Defiance, Ohio 43512

Policy Council

POLICY:

The NOCAC Head Start Policy Council is responsible for the direction of the Head Start program at the agency level.  The program maintains a policy council in accordance with section 642(c)(2) of the Head Start Act.

PROCEDURES:

Regular meetings are held monthly on the first Monday of the month. Special meetings may be called by the Director and/or Chairperson of the Policy Council during the program year and the summer months.

 

Policy Council Composition

  1. The policy council is elected by the parents of children who are currently enrolled in the Head Start program.
  2. The policy council is comprised of current parents of children who are enrolled in the Head Start program and community representatives.
  3. Current Head Start parents constitute at least 51% of the members of the policy council.
  4. Community representatives are 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 parents of formerly enrolled children.
  5. Parents of children currently enrolled in each program option are proportionately represented.
  6. The program ensures members of the policy council do not have a conflict of interest with the Head Start program including, staff do not serve on the policy council and members of the Policy Council do not receive compensation for serving on the policy council or for providing services to the Head Start program.
  7. All parent members of the Policy Council must stand for election or re-election annually. All community representatives also must be elected annually.
  8. Policy Council meetings are open to all parents and interested individuals without voting privileges.
  9. No employee or their immediate family shall serve on the Policy Council in a voting capacity. Staff members may attend the meetings of the Policy Council or committees in a consultative, reporting non-voting capacity.
  10. All parents and community representatives are limited to one-year terms for a combined total of five terms.

 

Parent Representatives

  1. Each County shall be represented by parent representatives of 5% of the total number of children served in that County. The standard form of rounding will be used when a whole number is not available.
    1. Policy Council parent representatives will be elected by the Parent Committee at each site in each County in September and ongoing as necessary.
    2. The total number of parent representatives will be based on the actual enrollment in each option in a given year. The Family & Community Engagement Manager will calculate the composition based on enrollment and the number of representatives will be made known to each Parent Committee prior to elections. Only current Head Start parents can be members of the Parent Committees and only those members can vote for the Policy Council parent representatives.
    3. In addition to the regular Policy Council members, each site will elect at least 1 alternate to serve in the event that one of the regular members is unable to serve.

Community Representatives

  1. Community representatives can come 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. Former Head Start parents may also be community representatives. 
  2. Perspective community representatives are brought to the policy council by a recommendation from the Head Start Director. The policy council group must vote for the community representatives to be seated.
  3. The elected Community Representatives join the Council with equal rights and responsibilities.

 

Officers

  1. Election of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Corresponding Secretary will be held in October. They shall hold that position for one year, being available for specially called meetings during the program year and/or the summer. This is the Executive Committee.
  2. Holding an office in the local Parent Committee will not prohibit parents from holding an office on the Policy Council.

 

Governing Body Representative

  1. One person shall be elected to serve as the Head Start Policy Council representative to the Board of Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission, annually, at the time of Policy Council elections, and may not serve more than two consecutive years (24 months). If the Policy Council Board representative resigns, a new Board Representative for Policy Council must be elected by Policy Council.  The Policy Council representative is a voting member of the NOCAC Board.
  2. One Board Representative will be appointed by the NOCAC Board to serve on Policy Council.

 

Voting

  1. Quorum is established when 30% of Policy Council members are present. The quorum must consist of at least 51% of the current parents for any business requiring Policy Council approval. If a quorum is not present and critical business must be taken care of, accomplishment of the critical business shall be done by the Regulatory Committee where minutes will be taken and presented at the next Policy Council meeting.  If no quorum is present, a phone conference will be conducted to verify approval of critical business.
  2. All motions will be carried by the simple majority. A secret ballot will be issued only upon request.

 

Hiring and Termination of Staff

  1. Hiring: After the NOCAC Head Start Director or their designee have interviewed the applicants being considered for employment the Head Start Director will review the information with the NOCAC Executive Director and indicate the applicant they feel is best qualified to fill the open position.  The Head Start Director will review the credentials and experience of the applicants that were interviewed at the next full Policy Council meeting. 
  1. Termination: The NOCAC Head Start Director will review the documentation with the NOCAC Executive Director. The NOCAC Executive Director and the NOCAC Head Start Director will make the decision to terminate. The NOCAC Head Start Director will discuss his/her recommendation to terminate the employee with the full Policy Council.

Committees

  1. The following committees are formed from Policy Council members: Regulatory Committee, Education Committee, Health Committee, and Family & Community Engagement Committee.
  2. The Policy Council Chairperson may call for a majority vote on removal of members that do not regularly attend committee meetings.
  3. Committees shall have a minimum of fifty one (51%) percent membership of current Head Start parents.
  4. Minutes and attendance are to be taken at all committee meetings.

 

Removal of Members

  1. If the Policy Council feels that a member is not contributing to the Policy Council (e.g., a large number of excused absences or the member is acting in a way that is detrimental to the council), the Policy Council may vote to remove the member. In cases of removal due to lack of attendance, the Chairperson may call a vote.  If the member is a current parent, the Parent Committee that they represented must be notified of removal and the Parent Committee must elect a new representative.
  2. If a Parent Committee feels a representative is not functioning on behalf of their interests, a vote must be taken at a regularly scheduled parent committee meeting to remove the representative. Policy Council must be notified of removal and the Parent Committee must elect a new representative.
  3. Any Policy Council member may resign by submitting a written resignation to the Policy Council Chairperson with a copy to the Director or by missing 2 scheduled meetings without an approved excuse.
  4. Any Policy Council member found to have breached confidentiality in any way, shape or form, shall be voted on for removal.

 

Policy Council Responsibilities

  1. The Policy Council is responsible for approving and submitting to the governing body decisions about:
  2. Activities to support the active involvement of parents in supporting program operations, including policies to ensure that the Head Start agency is responsive to community and parent needs.
  3. Program recruitment, selection, and enrollment priorities.
  4. Applications for funding and amendments to applications for funding for programs, prior to submission of applications.
  5. Budget planning for program expenditures, including policies for reimbursement and participation in policy council activities
  6. Bylaws for the operation of the policy council.
  7. Program personnel policies and decisions regarding the employment of program staff, regarding the hiring, evaluation, compensation, and termination of the Executive Director, Head Start Director, Director of Human Resources, Chief Fiscal Officer, and any other person in an equivalent position with the agency, including standards of conduct for program staff, contractors, and volunteers and criteria for the employment and dismissal of program staff.
  8. Developing procedures for how members of the policy council of the Head Start agency will be elected.

Reporting

  1. The program submits the following status reports determined by ongoing oversight data to the policy council:
    1. monthly financial statements, including credit card expenditures;
    2. monthly program information summaries;
    3. program enrollment reports, including attendance reports.
    4. monthly reports of meals and snacks provided through CACFP
    5. the financial audit;
    6. the annual self-assessment, including any findings related to such assessment;
    7. the community-wide strategic planning and needs assessment of the Head Start agency, including any applicable updates;
    8. communication and guidance from the Office of Head Start; and
    9. the program information reports

Reimbursement for Reasonable Expenses

  1. Policy council members can be reimbursed mileage to and from the meeting at the rate per mile that the agency pays staff.  Childcare is offered on site for children of the policy council members.  Childcare can be reimbursed if the child is in the care of another provider who is not living in the home.

Program Governance Training

  1. To ensure the members understand the information they receive and can effectively oversee and participate in the Head Start program, the program provides appropriate training

and technical assistance to the policy council in November which includes:

  1. Training on program performance standards and training on eligibility including:  Methods on how to collect complete and accurate eligibility information from families and third party sources; Strategies for treating families with dignity and respect and for dealing with possible issues of domestic violence, stigma, and privacy; and Program policies and procedures that describe actions taken against staff, families, or participants who attempt to provide or intentionally provide false information.
  2. After the initial training, the program provides training as the need arises. The Policy Council binder is distributed to members at the orientation in November.

 

Disagreement Resolution

  1. If there is a disagreement between the Director, Policy Council, and/or Regulatory Committee, any hiring or termination will be delayed until the issue is settled.  A meeting must be held within seven calendar days of the disputed decision.
  2. The meeting will consist of the following people: Regulatory Committee of Policy Council; Director; Executive Director; and a Moderator.
  3. The Moderator will chair the meeting. All sides of the issue will be presented.  The Moderator will attempt to resolve the issues to the mutual satisfaction of all parties. 

 

Impasse Procedure

  1. Head Start grantees must inform the responsible ACF Regional Office as soon as possible after becoming aware that there is a conflict between the grantee agency and the Policy Council, especially those which, if not resolved, could lead to termination, or denial of refunding, of the Head Start grant. This notification must be made within ten (10) days of the grantee becoming aware of the conflict and in the case of a Policy Council proposing to not approve the grantee’s refunding application, such notification must be made at least 90 days prior to the grantee’s refunding date.  If the situation leading to the Policy Council’s decision to withhold its approval occurs within 90 days of the grantee’s refunding date, the grantee must notify its responsible Regional Office immediately.
  2. The Regional Administrator, or a Regional staff member designated by the Regional Administrator, will hold one or more meetings, as appropriate, which the Grantee’s Executive Director, the Grantee’s Head Start Director and the Policy Council Chairperson are required to attend. The attendance of grantee board members at any meeting is encouraged.  The purpose of these meetings is to attempt to resolve the issues to the mutual satisfaction of all parties and thus avoid the possibility of an adverse action against the grantee.
  3. If the meetings are not successful in resolving the issues between the grantee and the Policy Council, the grantee should, within 10 days of the meeting, submit the dispute to the offices of a professional mediator. The Regional Office will provide assistance to the grantee in selecting a mediator.  The grantee is requested to advise the Regional Office of the time and location of the first scheduled meeting.  The grantee and the Policy Council are expected to attend any meetings requested by the mediator.
  4. If the conflict relates to the grantee’s refunding, the mediation process must be completed 15 days prior to the grantee’s refunding date unless the mediator has indicated to the Regional Office, in writing, that additional time for mediation will likely result in a successful resolution of the conflict, in which case the Regional Administrator may extend the current Head Start grant. The refusal of either party to engage in a mediation process shall be taken into consideration by the AFC Regional Office in determining what course of action is warranted.

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1301.3
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:   Head Start Act 642 (c)(2)
Effective Date: Revision Date:
Approved By Policy Council: Revision Approved By Policy Council:

ODJFS Orientation Training

POLICY:

All new NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start employees will complete the prescribed ODJFS Orientation Training within thirty days of hire.

PROCEDURES:

  1. ODJFS requires all child care staff members to complete the prescribed training within 30 days of hire.
    1. The training can be found on the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association (OCCRRA) website.
    2. Log in to the website using your O-PIN number.
    3. Click “Find Training” and search for Child Care Center Orientation Training.
    4. Select training by clicking on the title.
    5. Click “Add to Cart”.
    6. On the top of the screen (in a red box) it will show “1 – item”.
    7. Select “View Cart” from the drop down menu.
    8. Once you are on the “Shopping Cart” tab, click “Check-out”.
    9. You will get a message that you have successfully registered.
    10. To view the training, return to the dashboard by selecting “Profile” under your name at the top right corner of the screen.
    11. Your training will appear on the profile page. Click the title of the training and then select “Access Training” to begin.
  2. ODJFS defines a child care staff member as follows
    1. “Any adult employed by a child care center who is responsible for the care and supervision of children.”
      1. This includes bus monitors.

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   5101:2-12-08(D)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    
Effective Date: 8/7/17 Revision Date:
Approved By Policy Council: 8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:

Home-Based Option

POLICY:

To deliver the full range of services, consistent with §1302.20 b, through visits with the child’s parents, primarily in the child’s home and through group socialization opportunities in a Head Start classroom, community facility, home, or on field trips.

PROCEDURES:

The home-based option will only be used to deliver services to a portion of the program’s enrolled children.

The program maintain will an average caseload of 10 to 12 families per Home Visitor with a maximum of 12 families for any individual Home Visitor.

The program will provide one home visit per week per family that lasts at least an hour and a half.

The program will provide a minimum of 32 visits per year per family.

The program will provide 16 group socialization activities distributed over the course of the program year.

The program will make up planned home visits or scheduled group socialization activities that were canceled.

The program will not replace home visits or scheduled group socialization activities for medical or social service appointments for the purposes of meeting the minimum requirements.

The areas for learning, playing, sleeping, toileting, preparing food, and eating in facilities used for group socializations in the home-based option meet the safety standards described as follows in §1302.47 1 ii through viii.

(ii) Clean and free from pests;
(iii) Free from pollutants, hazards and toxins that are accessible to children and could endanger children’s safety;
(iv) Designed to prevent child injury and free from hazards, including choking, strangulation, electrical, and drowning hazards, hazards posed by appliances and all other safety hazards;
(v) Well lit, including emergency lighting;
(vi)Equipped with safety supplies that are readily accessible to staff, including, at a minimum, fully-equipped and up-to-date first aid kits and appropriate fire safety supplies;
(vii) Free from firearms or other weapons that are accessible to children;
(viii) Designed to separate toileting and diapering areas from areas for preparing food, cooking, eating, or children’s activities.

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.22 and 1302.47
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    
Effective Date: Revision Date:
Approved By Policy Council: Revision Approved By Policy Council:

Determining Program Structure

POLICY:

The program operates program options that meet the needs of children and families based on the community needs assessment. 

PROCEDURES:

Options

The program determines after review of the community assessment which options will better meet child and family needs.

Classes are determined when final enrollment is reached considering where the families are located within the service area.

The program offers, Full Day/Full Year center based, 3 ½ hour Half Day center based, and Home based options.

After determining the options a staff chart is developed that displays the county, center, option and staff needed to operate the options.  

The staffing chart is shared with the policy council and the NOCAC board annually for approval.

Comprehensive Services

All program options deliver the full range of services as described in subparts C, D, E, F, and

G of the Head Start Performance Standards.

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.20; Act 645 a 5 A-D
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    
Effective Date: Revision Date:
Approved By Policy Council: Revision Approved By Policy Council:

Center-Based Option

POLICY:

To provide center-based options in accordance with the requirements.

PROCEDURES:

The center-based option delivers the full range of services. Education and child development services are delivered primarily in classroom setting.

Ratios and Group Size

Staff/child ratios and group size maximums are determined by the age of the majority of children and the needs of children present.

The program determines the age of the majority of the children in a class at the start of the year and adjusts this determination during the program year if needed.

The Step Up To Quality rating system (SUTQ) requirements are more stringent than the Teacher/Child ratio and group size specifications in the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) requirements, the program meets the stricter requirements of 1/10.

The program maintains appropriate ratios during all hours of operation, except:

During nap time, one teaching staff member may be replaced by one staff member.

A class that serves a majority of children who are three years old has no more than 17 children with a teacher and teacher assistant.

A double session class that serves a majority of children who are three years old has no more than 15 children with a teacher and teacher assistant.

A class that serves a majority of children who are four and five years old has no more than 20 children with a teacher and teacher assistant.

A double session class that serves a majority of children who are four and five years old has no more than 17 children with a teacher and teacher assistant.

 

Table to §1302.21 Center-based group size
4 and 5 year olds

No more than 20 children enrolled in any class.

No more than 17 children enrolled in any double session class.

3 year olds

 

No more than 17 children enrolled in any class.

No more than 15 children enrolled in any double session class.

Under 3 years old

 

No more than 8 or 9 children enrolled in any class, depending on the number of teachers.

 

Service Duration

Half Day

The Head Start program is operating all of its half day center-based classrooms four days per week and 128 days per year.

Half day classes operate for a minimum of 3.5 hours per day.

The double session classes operate for a minimum of 3.5 hours per day.

The double session teacher is provided adequate break time during the course of the day.

Teachers and teacher assistants have time to prepare for each session together, to set up the classroom environment, and to give individual attention to children entering and leaving the center.

Full Day

The Head Start program operates full-day full-year center-based classrooms four days per week and 1,020 hours per year.

The Head Start program is considered to meet the requirements of 1,020 hours if the program schedule aligns with the annual hours required by the local education agency and such alignment is necessary to support partnerships for service delivery. (Leggett Street and St. Paul Lutheran {Napoleon}).

The program makes every effort to schedule makeup days using existing resources if days of planned class operations fall below 128.

The facilities used by the program are licensed by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) and meet the ODJFS licensing requirements.

The classrooms have at least 35 square feet of usable indoor space per child available for the care and use of children.

There is at least 75 square feet (per HSPPS) of usable outdoor play space per child.

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1302.21
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    51010:2-2-11
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    
Effective Date: Revision Date:
Approved By Policy Council: Revision Approved By Policy Council: