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The Head Start Management Systems Wheel is a visual representation of the 12 program management, planning, and oversight systems that are critical to high-quality service delivery.


Leadership and governance are the bedrocks of effective management. They encompass and inform the 12 management systems. Head Start program leadership consists of three key entities: the governing body/Tribal Council, Policy Council, and management staff. The governing body/Tribal Council assumes legal and fiscal responsibility for the program. The Policy Council sets direction. Management staff oversee day-to-day operations. Together, they are a powerful force that provides leadership and strategic direction.

The yellow circle outlines the scope of these systems consistent with the five-year project period. The systems support program management, planning, and well-developed oversight systems. This enables programs to comply, increase quality, and strive for excellence.

The segmented aqua blue ring outlines each of the individual management systems. Select a slice to learn more about that system. All of these systems work together to inform and influence the program’s service delivery, represented in the inner blue circle. This includes Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, and Attendance (ERSEA), Education, Health, Mental Health, Community Partnerships, and Family Engagement.

When innovative leadership, strong management systems, and well-designed services are working together, quality child and family outcomes are the result.

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