01.04.01 - Head Start Director Job Description

Head Start Director Job Description

Policy Number and Last Update (01.04.01/08-2020)

Title: Head Start Director

Reports to: Board of Directors

Supervises: Coordination Staff

FLSA: Exempt Salary Range:

General Summary

The Head Start Director is responsible for assuring all the Head Start program mandates and standards for excellence are met on a daily basis. This position develops the structure, systems and procedures to facilitate this. In addition to operating responsibility for fiscal, legal, and programmatic aspects of the program, it bears the responsibility of assuring that the program is strategically positioned for the future. At the discretion of the Head Start Director, some responsibilities may be delegated to other staff.

Essential Functions

Assures the compliance with all funding source mandates, all applicable laws and regulations, and assures that standards which exceed the minimum are being met.

  1. Provides guidance and leadership to staff to emphasize the importance of the program achieving high standards of quality, internally and through public and private sector partnerships.
  2. Reviews and analyzes monthly financial and statistical reports to assess the budget status and to initiate preventative measures if any problems appear to be predicated.
  3. Oversees and monitors agreements for the purchasing of goods and services assures that bids are solicited in accordance with state and federal regulations.
  4. In conjunction with the Family Services Worker, assures that the program serves the number of eligible children for which it is funded.
  5. In conjunction with Component Service Workers and Education Coordinators, reviews and analyzes monthly Attendance Reports to assess chronic absenteeism and use individual child attendance data to identify children with patterns of absence that put them at risk of missing ten percent of program days per year and develop appropriate strategies to improve individual attendance among identified children, such as direct contact with parents or intensive case management, as necessary.
  6. Reads management and leadership materials and program-related materials to keep abreast of developments in comprehensive early childhood programs.
  7. Works with other organizations in the community to foster collaboration as defined by federal Head Start.
  8. In conjunction with the Board of Directors, staff and Policy Committee, leads planning meetings in which long and short-term goals for improvement are established.
  9. Conducts a complete Community Assessment every five years and an up-date during the intervening years.
  10. With input from program participants and the staff, develops a funding application every year.
  11. In conjunction with the Board of Directors, seeks additional outside funding for the program; meets the non-federal share requirement.
  12. Facilitates the continuing professional development of all staff as part of the commitment to excellence.
  13. Maintains effective, appropriate communication with the Board of Directors, including:
    1. Attending all regular and special meetings, and committee meetings
    2. Providing a written report to the board of the fiscal and programmatic status of the program and of the administrative activities since the last meeting monitoring results, and strategies to resolve problems
    3. Communication of relevant information from the funding sources
    4. Provision of training for new Board members and Periodic refresher for veteran Board members on their roles and responsibilities.
  14. Monitors the implementation of the responsibilities of employees through observation, monthly supervisory meetings, team meetings, and review of files and documentation.
  15. Assumes an active role in the annual program self-assessment.
  16. Assures remediation of any non-compliances found in delegate or grantee assessment, and incorporates recommendations into planning for the improvement of the program.
  17. Provides and/or secures training and technical assistance for all staff.
  18. Maintains a close working relationship with the Fiscal Coordinator which provides the Director with information for budget writing and the status of the budget to facilitate effective oversight of expenditures.
  19. Hears and resolves community complaints about the program, seeking input from staff, parents, or the Board, as needed.
  20. Carries out the function delineated in procedures for staff grievances.
  21. Hires, and if necessary, fires staff, complying with applicable laws, regulations, Agency Personnel Policies and Procedure assures parent input into the hiring and/or firing of staff prior to seeking their approval for the personnel action.
  22. Completes and submits regular reports to the funding sources, the Board of Directors, and the Policy Committee.
  23. Monitors the program's administrative cost, assuring it does not exceed the allowed amount.
  24. Monitors the program's non-federal share to assure that the amount required is met. Meets with staff, parents, and the Board to develop strategies for increasing the amount of the program's accumulated non-federal share, if necessary.
  25. Maintains open lines of communications with the grantee personnel.
  26. Negotiates final contracts for space, seeking to secure the lowest rate possible.
  27. In consultation with the Education Coordinator, assures that classrooms and playgrounds are well-equipped.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by a person in this position. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all duties that may be performed in such a position.

Employment Qualifications


Minimum Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, Social Welfare, Public Administration, Human Resources, Day Care Administration, or one of the social sciences, and a minimum of three years pre-school management experience.


An understanding of Head Start philosophy and the ability to implement its principle of shared

authority and decision-making. Experience in human services program management, including program planning, operations and evaluation, and the use of management information systems. Leadership ability. Good interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to work as part of a team, Bilingual (Spanish/English) preferred.

Additional Requirements:

Regular access to a reliable vehicle; vehicle insurance which would include periodic transportation of program participants. Ability to work a flexible schedule including some evenings and/or weekends. Ability to pass a health examination and criminal background check. Ability to work effectively with minimal daily guidance. Knowledge of community resources. Successful experience working in a team setting. Ability to present a positive image of the organization to members of the community. Visual and auditory acuity within professionally determined normal ranges, with correction if needed. Manual dexterity sufficient to operate a computer and other office equipment, including, but not limited to, the telephone, fax machine, copier, and tape recorder. Must be able to travel, enter and exit a vehicle without assistance.

Working Conditions:

Tasks that involve possible exposure to blood, bodily fluids, or tissues (generally, only observing in the classroom). Risk involved with travel on main highway, side streets, and rural roads during business travel, including evening meetings. Tasks that involve handling implements or utensils, use of public or shared bathroom facilities or telephones and personal contacts are Category III tasks. Possible exposure to communicable diseases. This is a job that Is a mixture of desk work, standing for long periods of time, and visits in the community. Ability to successfully perform the job in this manner is required.

The qualifications listed above are guidelines for selection purposes; alternative qualifications may be substituted if sufficient to perform the duties.