FTLF's Annual Head Start Leadership Conference

November 15, 2023 to November 17, 2023

While every Head Start organization is different, the same rules apply to everyone (and there are a lot of rules). It can be challenging to keep everything straight between requirements under the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS), state regulations, and federal laws like the Uniform Guidance. In the era of the Designation Renewal System (DRS), getting it wrong can have huge negative consequences.

Over the two-and a half days, FTLF attorneys will:

  • Describe the laws that apply to Head Start programs
  • Explain where the rules come from, what they mean on a practical level, and how to meet the standards for compliance
  • Provide the View from Washington – news from Capitol Hill and potential changes and challenges for Head Start programs on the horizon

This training is designed to be a crash course in managing a Head Start program, covering the key topics every Head Start leader needs to understand; highlighting the challenges you face every day and sharing specific examples to ensure that you know how to identify an issue and address what you've learned.  More seasoned Head Start leaders will also find this comprehensive overview to be a helpful refresher that includes important updates to Head Start requirements that range from A to Z.

Head Start Governance

  • Governing Body and Policy council composition requirements
  • Respective responsibilities of the Governing Body and Policy Council


  • Documentation and recordkeeping obligations
  • Consequences of knowingly violating eligibility rules
  • Avoiding common pitfalls in eligibility determinations

Fiscal Integrity and Management Issues

  • Facilities and property management (Federal Interest)
  • Financial management systems
  • Procurement policies and procedures
  • Delegate agreements and monitoring
  • Cost Allocation/ Blended and Braided funding

Grants Management

  • Time & effort reporting
  • General requirements and program-specific flexibility
  • Areas of heightened risk and implementation challenges

Human Resources

  • Navigating pre-employment and the hiring process
  • Complying with requirements that apply during employment
  • Approaching the termination process


  • Preparing for the Aligned Monitoring System (AMS) 2.0
  • Understanding Head Start Program Performance Standards
  • Being "review ready" every day

Target Audience

All are welcome, but we think those in the following roles will find this training especially helpful:

  • C-Suite
  • Executive Director/ Head Start Director
  • HR Director/Manager
  • Grant Manager
  • Finance Staff
  • Any staff new to Head Start or newly promoted to a leadership role

Learning Objectives

After this training, you will be able to:

  • Understand how to show compliance with the Head Start Program Performance Standards
  • Identify Uniform Guidance requirements most relevant to Head Start Programs
  • Describe how to successfully mitigate common compliance issues
  • Discuss current hot-topic issues that every Head Start leader should know
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 11.25 Certificate of Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
11/15/2023 - 10:30am EST
Event ends: 
11/17/2023 - 1:30pm EST


FTLF Virtual Classroom
Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - Friday, November 17, 2023
*All specific agenda times are ET*

Day 1

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023
10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET
10:30 - 11:00 a.m.Welcome and Head Start 2023 Update
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
What is a Head Start Grant?
12:00 - 12:15 p.m.
12:15 - 1:30 p.m.Head Start Governance and Conflicts of Interest
1:30 - 2:15 p.m.Break
2:15 - 3:15 p.m.
Head Start Human Resources Requirements
  • Background checks
  • Drafting Effective Personnel Policies and Procedures
  • Staff Requirements
3:15 - 3:45 p.m.Health & Safety Information Memorandum: ACF-IM-HS-22-07
3:45 - 4:00 p.m.
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.Health & Safety Significant Incidents Case Study Breakouts

Day 2

Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023
10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Providing Services When Facing Budget Cuts 

12:00 - 12:15 p.m.
12:15 - 1:45 p.m.Blended Funding
1:45 - 2:30 p.m.Break
2:30 - 4:00 p.m.Cost Share/Match Group Exercise
4:00 - 4:15 p.m.
4:15 - 5:15 p.m.

Federal Interest and Property Management

5:15 - 5:30 p.m.Q&A

Day 3

Friday, Nov. 17, 2023
10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Agreements Under Head Start Grants: Contractors, Delegates, and "Partners"

12:00 - 12:15 p.m.Break
12:15 - 1:15 p.m.


  • What is Income Eligibility
  • Who is Eligible and How to Determine It
  • Under-enrollment
1:15 - 1:30 p.m.Wrap-Up and Open Q&A


This live, interactive training will take place in FTLF's Virtual Classroom, hosted by Zoom.  Should you have any technical questions or would like more information, please contact us at learning@ftlf.com or 1-855-200-3822.

Nicole Bacon

Nicole Bacon, a Partner at Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP, works in the firm’s Federal Grants, Litigation, and Health Law practice groups. Nicole offers her clients specialized guidance in compliance with federal grant law including specific programmatic requirements as well as the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements of Federal Awards. Nicole represents a variety of community-based organizations, before State and Federal courts as well as administrative bodies. [Full Bio]

Phillip Escoriaza

Phillip Escoriaza is Senior Counsel in the firm’s Federal Grants and Health Care practice groups. A native of Puerto Rico, Phillip’s bilingual, nationwide practice serves non-profit organizations, municipalities, local government agencies, and other federal grantees. Prior to joining Feldesman Tucker, Phillip ran a practice from San Juan which spanned corporate, business, public policy, government and contract law, and included contested matters and appeals before state and federal courts. [Full Bio]

Kathy Ghiladi

Kathy Ghiladi, a Partner in FTLF’s federal grants practice, serves as counsel to Federal and State contractors and grant recipients across the country, including community action agencies receiving CSBG Act and Head Start funding. She has assisted Head Start agencies in reviewing and responding to monitoring reviews and has represented Head Start agencies in appeals before the Departmental Appeals Board. She has provided Head Start trainings across the country including trainings provided to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families personnel. In addition, she represents federal grant recipients in Government investigations and audits, and has helped Head Start agencies navigate governance and related obligations during difficult times involving CEO transitions, Policy Council disputes/mediation, investigations, and audits. [Full Bio]

Ted Waters

Serving as Managing Partner of the firm since 2003, and a member of the Health Law and Federal Grants practices since 1992, Ted is a national authority in the area of federal grants, particularly in the health and community service spheres. He advises clients on all aspects of program requirements, including issues such as cost-based reimbursement, governance, grant administration, cost reporting, and administrative issues and routinely handles challenging issues such as government audits, internal investigations, and litigation. Ted's priority is to help each organization carry out its mission by offering practical, down-to-earth counsel and to ensure that legal challenges do not distract from that focus. [Full Bio]

Participants can earn up to 12.80 CPE credits in Specialized Knowledge and Applications upon completion of all course requirements.


  • Prerequisites: None 
  • Target Audience: C-Suite, Executive Director/ Head Start Director, HR Director/Manager, Grant Manager, Finance Staff, Any staff new to Head Start or newly promoted to a leadership role
  • Advanced Preparation: None  
  • Program Level: All
  • Delivery Method: Group Internet Based

Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website www.nasbaregistry.org (formerly www.learningmarket.org).

Available Credit

  • 11.25 Certificate of Attendance


Please login or register to take this course.

Training Is Not Recorded

This training will not be recorded for later viewing, as we would like attendees to be comfortable and candid, sharing their experiences and asking scenario-based questions. The discourse between the attorneys and participants is a valued part of each training.

Registration Fees

Early Registration
(Through October 6)
Regular Registration
(October 7 and Later)

Group Discounts

Bring your team! Discounts are available for groups of three (3) or more individuals from the same organization. Please contact us to process your registration.

Groups of 3 - 6
Groups of 7 - 10
Groups of 11 - 15
Over 15 attendees
10% off 15% off20% offCall us!

Registration Instructions

Each registration must be in the name of the individual(s) who will attend. This allows FTLF to communicate important course information to the actual attendee(s), add training materials and handouts to the right account, and properly assign certificates of attendance or CPE credits. 

To register for this training:

  • For yourself: login to your account and register with your personal information
  • For someone else: login with the ATTENDEE’S login information or create an account for the ATTENDEE and register from the ATTENDEE's account
  • For a group: email Learning@ftlf.com to complete group registration

If you encounter problems or have questions Contact us.


We accept payment by PayPal, credit card, and check. Payment for any live training is due upon registration. If payment is not received in full prior to the start of the event, FTLF reserves the right to cancel your order and deny you entrance to the training.

Cancellation/Transfer Policy

All cancellation or transfer requests must be received in writing at learning@ftlf.com. Requests for refunds or transfers for in-person events will be granted according to the following schedule:

  • 45 or more days prior to the event, requests for a full refund or a transfer, minus a $75 administrative fee, will be granted.
  • Between 15 to 44 days prior to the event, requests for cancellations will be granted, subject to an administrative fee equal to 50% of the paid registration fee. Requests for transfers may be granted, space permitting and subject to a transfer fee.
  • Within 14 days of the event start date, no requests for refunds or credits will be granted. At FTLF's discretion, late transfers may be granted, space permitting and subject to a transfer fee.

Cancellation of a registration with group pricing may result in the discount being revoked or reduced for the entire group.

If there are extenuating circumstances regarding your cancellation, please reach out to the FTLF Training Team directly at learning@ftlf.com.

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