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Governing Body


The NOCAC Governing Body has legal and fiscal responsibility to administer and oversee the Head Start program, including the safeguarding of Federal funds.


  1. The composition of the NOCAC governing body is in accordance with the requirements of Act 642 c 1 B.
    a) Not less than 1 member shall have a background and expertise in fiscal management or accounting.
    b) Not less than 1 member shall have a background and expertise in early childhood education and development.
    c) Not less than 1 member shall be a licensed attorney familiar with issues that come before the governing body.
    d) Additional members shall:
    i) Reflect the community to be served and include parents of children who are currently, or were formerly, enrolled in Head Start programs; and
    ii) Are selected for their expertise in education, business administration, or community affairs.
  2. If a person described above is not available to serve as a member of the governing body, the governing body shall use a consultant or another individual with relevant expertise and the qualifications as described, who shall work directly with the governing body.
  3. Exception – If an individual holds a position as a result of public election or political appointment, and such position carries with it a concurrent appointment to serve as a member of the governing body, and such individual has any conflict of interest (Act 642 c 1 C).
    a) such individual shall not be prohibited from serving on such body and the Head Start agency shall report such conflict to the Secretary of HHS; and
    b) if the position held as a result of public election or political appointment provides compensation, such individual shall not be prohibited from receiving such compensation.
  4. The NOCAC governing body is comprised of public, private and client sector members from each County plus a Policy Council representative. While some Head Start parents may run for and be elected to seats on the Board the memberships are never identical.
  5. The Head Start Policy Council elects one person to serve as a member of the governing body. The member attends and votes at governing body meetings and facilitates communication as part of shared governance.



  1. NOCAC will provide appropriate training and technical assistance or orientation to the governing body that includes training on the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) program performance standards and training on eligibility for Head Start children as indicated in §1302.12(m) to ensure the members understand the information they receive and can effectively oversee and participate in the Head Start program.


Duties and Responsibilities of the NOCAC Governing Body:

  1. The governing body shall adopt practices that assure active, independent, and informed governance of the Head Start program (including impasse procedures, internal dispute resolution, and facilitation of meaningful consultation and collaboration about policy council and governing body decisions) and fully participate in the development, planning, and evaluation of the Head Start program.
  2. The governing body is also responsible for ensuring compliance with Federal laws (including regulations) and applicable State, tribal, and local laws (including regulations).
  3. The governing body is also responsible for establishing procedures and criteria for recruitment, selection, and enrollment of children, reviewing all applications for funding and amendments to applications for funding,
  4. The Head Start program ensures the sharing of about program planning, policies, and operations, including:
    a)  monthly financial statements, including credit card expenditures;
    b)  monthly program information summaries;
    c)  program enrollment reports, including attendance reports.
    d)  monthly reports of meals and snacks provided through CACFP
    e)  the financial audit;
    f)  the annual self-assessment, including any findings;
    g) the community-wide strategic planning and needs assessment of the Head Start program, including any applicable updates;
    h) communication and guidance from the Office of Head Start; and
    i)  the program information reports.
  5. The governing board is also responsible for reviewing and approving all major policies of the agency, including:
    a)  the annual self-assessment and financial audit,
    b)  the agency’s progress in carrying out the programmatic and fiscal provisions in the agency’s grant application, including implementation of corrective actions, and
    c)  personnel policies of the agency regarding the hiring, evaluation, termination, and compensation of agency employees;
  6. The governing board is also responsible for developing procedures for how members of the policy council are selected (see Act 642 c 2 B),
  7. The governing board is also responsible for approving financial management, accounting, and reporting policies, and compliance with laws and regulations related to financial statements including the approval of all major financial expenditures of the agency, annual approval of the operating budget of the agency, and selection (except when a financial auditor is assigned by the State under State law or is assigned under local law) of independent financial auditors who shall report all critical accounting policies and practices to the governing body, and the monitoring of the agency’s actions to correct any audit findings and of other action necessary to comply with applicable laws (including regulations) governing financial statement and accounting practices.
  8. The governing body is responsible for reviewing results from monitoring (see Act 641A c) including appropriate follow-up activities.
  9. The governing body is responsible for approving personnel policies and procedures, including policies and procedures 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.
  10. The governing body is responsible for establishing, adopting, and periodically updating written standards of conduct that establish standards and formal procedures for disclosing, addressing, and resolving any conflict of interest, and any appearance of a conflict of interest, by members of the governing body, officers and employees of the Head Start program, and consultants and agents who provide services or furnish goods to the Head Start program and complaints, including investigations, when appropriate.
  11. The governing body is responsible to the extent practicable and appropriate, at their discretion establishing advisory committees to oversee key responsibilities related to program governance and improvement of the Head Start program.


Governing Body Use of Data:

  1. The governing body uses ongoing monitoring results, data on school readiness goals, other information described in §1302.102 (listed below), and information described at section 642(d)(2) of the Act to conduct its responsibilities. This includes:
    a)  Establishing program goals that include:
    i) Strategic long-term goals for ensuring programs are and remain responsive to community needs as identified in the community assessment
    ii) Goals for the provision of educational, health, nutritional, and family and community engagement program services
    iii) School readiness goals
    iv) Effective health and safety practices
    b) Monitoring program performance
    c) Ongoing assessment of program goals
    d) Using data for continuous improvement
    e) Status reports, determined by ongoing oversight data at least semi-annually


Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1301.2, 1302.12 (m), 1302.102
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:   Head Start Act  641A c, 642 (c) (1) (B), (d 1), c 2, (d)(2)
Effective Date:   8/17/17 Reviewed Date:   11/30/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/17/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    
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