The Life Cycle of the Head Start Employment Relationship

October 24, 2023 to October 25, 2023

As employers, Head Start agencies face a multitude of obligations, encompassing both general and state federal employment laws and specific Head Start requirements. Given the ongoing staff shortages nationwide and the growing necessity to make challenging employment decisions related to health and safety incidents, understanding and navigating these responsibilities can be particularly demanding.

Over the course of this two-day workshop, we will delve into the various stages of the Head Start employment relationship.  Our focus will be on providing both general federal employment laws as well as specific Head Start requirements. 

Interactive Learning

This training is designed to provide you with opportunities for exchanging ideas and best practices with your Head Start colleagues.  Through case studies, small group exercises, and discussion points, you will apply your new knowledge and gain insight from Head Start agencies across the country.

Workshop Structure

The training will be divided into four major parts, each offering a targeted explanation of the Head Start employment relationship life cycle. These sections will provide a comprehensive framework to guide participants through the intricate web of compliance and best practices.

Part I: Head Start Governance and Human Resources

Before jumping into the employment life cycle, we will briefly discuss the intersection of Head Start governance and human resources requirements. Failing to report to the governing body and policy council is a top noncompliance finding, second only to code of conduct violations (i.e., health and safety violations).

In this part of the workshop, you will learn the human resources responsibilities of the governing body and policy council and the respective roles with management that touch every phase of the Head Start employment life cycle.

Part II: Starting the Employment Relationship

Next, we will walk through the important issues Head Start agencies should consider when recruiting and onboarding new staff.

  • Drafting job postings that meet staff qualification requirements as outlined in the Head Start Act and the Head Start Program Performance Standards
  • Achieve initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Evaluation of candidates against Head Start requirements
  • Fulfilling the criminal record check requirements
  • Remain under the Head Start salary cap

Part III: During the Employment Relationship

In this section, we will dedicate significant time to discussing the various requirements that arise during the employment relationship.

  • Compensation, including incentive compensation, cost of living adjustments, and fringe benefits
  • When things go wrong: internal investigations and disciplinary actions
  • Professional development and training for Head Start staff
  • Maintaining employee health and wellness activities
  • Conducting employee evaluations

Part IV: Ending the Employment Relationship

During this part of the workshop, we will focus on what Head Start should consider when the employment relationship comes to an end, whether involuntary or due to termination. 

  • Navigating the complexities of employment termination
  • Return of agency property, especially for remote workers
  • Continued confidentiality of both child records and information in employee files

Pulling It All Together

At the conclusion of this workshop, we will recap Parts I-IV by going over a checklist of essential HR policies and procedures. Participants will walk away fully equipped with a greater understanding of the necessary steps to minimize risk and ensure compliance with the HPPS.

Target Audience

  • Human Resources Directors/Managers
  • Other Directors, Managers, Coordinators, and key staff directly involved with onboarding or managing Head Start staff
  • Head Start Leadership, including CEOs, CFOs, COOs
  • Executive Directors/Head Start Program Directors

Learning Objectives

After this training, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the human resources responsibilities of the governing body and policy council and the reporting obligations of management
  • Draft effective personnel policies
  • Identify minimum staff qualifications and competencies
  • Conduct effective internal investigations
  • Understand how human resources requirements are addressed in the AMS 2.0 Monitoring process
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 10.75 Certificate of Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
10/24/2023 - 10:00am EDT
Event ends: 
10/25/2023 - 5:00pm EDT


FTLF Virtual Classroom
Tuesday, October 24 - Wednesday, October 25, 2023
*Agenda times are all ET and subject to change*

Day 1

Tuesday, October 24, 2023
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET
10:00 - 10:15 a.m.
Welcome & Introductions
10:15 - 11:30 a.m.

Part I: Head Start Governance and Human Resources

  • Role of the Governing Body
  • Role of the Policy Council
  • Role of Management
  • Conflict of Interest
11:30 - 11:45 a.m.
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Part II: Starting the Employment Relationship

  • Staff Qualifications and Job Postings
  • Interviews and Offers
  • Criminal Record Checks 
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch Break
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Part III: During the Employment Relationship
  • Employee Health and Wellness
  • Professional Development
  • Compensation Issues    
3:30 - 3:45 p.m.
3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Part III: During the Employment Relationship, continued

  • Compensation
  • Time and Effort
4:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Wrap-up and Q&A

Day 2

Wednesday, October 25, 2023
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET
10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Part III: During the Employment Relationship, continued

  • Conducting Internal Investigations: Health and Safety Violations
11:30 - 11:45 a.m.
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Part III: During the Employment Relationship, continued

  • Conducting Internal Investigations: Harassment
1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch Break 
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Part IV: Ending the Employment Relationship
  • Termination
  • Post-Separation
3:30 - 3:45 p.m.
3:45- 4:45 p.m.
Human Resources Policies and Procedures Checklist
4:45- 5:00 p.m.
Wrap-Up and 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 or 1-855-200-3822.

Nicole Bacon

Nicole Bacon, a Partner at the firm, works in the firm’s Federal Grants, Litigation, and Health Care 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 the firm, 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]

Ted Waters

Serving as Managing Partner of the firm since 2003, and a member of the Health Care 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 and the never-ending list of grant administration matters. Ted’s expertise in financial, cost reporting, reimbursement, and administrative issues is widely recognized and he routinely handles government audits, internal investigations, and litigation. [Full Bio]

Professional Development Credits (PDC)

Participants can earn up to 10.75 PDCs.

Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification activities.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credit

Participants can earn up to 10.40 CPE credits in Specialized Knowledge and Applications upon completion of all course requirements.


  • Prerequisites: None 
  • Target Audience: Human Resources Directors / Managers; Other Directors, Managers, Coordinators, and key staff directly involved with on-boarding or managing Head Start staff; Head Start Leadership, including CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs; Executive Directors / Head Start Program Directors
  • 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 (formerly

Available Credit

  • 10.75 Certificate of Attendance


Please login or register to take this course.


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 August 23)
Regular Registration
(August 24 and Later)

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