May 20, 2001

Los Angeles — Preschool children and their families will be the ultimate beneficiaries of specialized management training completed by Head Start directors through the Head Start - Johnson & Johnson Management Fellows Program. Johnson & Johnson awarded UCLA Anderson a grant of almost $600,000 to conduct an intensive two-week management education and training program for 81 Head Start directors.

Johnson & Johnson, Head Start and UCLA developed the program in 1991 in response to concerns about the health and educational development of children in low-income families. Fellowships are awarded annually to Head Start directors who have been selected from the most exceptional programs in the country. Since the program's inception, almost 700 directors have graduated with enhanced management and leadership skills.

"The primary goal of support for child-care should be to enhance the healthy development of all children," stated Al Osborne, faculty director of the program. "In order to create an environment which fosters such development, a strong entrepreneurial management team is essential."

Osborne continued, "Building on our experience in training entrepreneurs in the for-profit arena, we have developed a curriculum model which allows child care providers to develop their own management tool kit. In this way, managers are empowered with knowledge and understanding to produce successful outcomes, whether they are products, services, or happy and healthy children."

The capstone of the program is the development of a management improvement project, addressing specific issues within the individual Head Start program and creating a blueprint for implementation. A year or more later, graduates of the program are encouraged to showcase their resulting successes through the Helen Hollingshed Taylor Award that honors the most significantly implemented improvement projects. The four-year-old award was named in honor of Ms. Taylor (a graduate of the program's inaugural year) this year upon her retirement as associate commissioner of the Head Start Bureau.

Head Start provides comprehensive developmental services to low-income children, from infancy to five years of age, and their families through a network of grantees and delegate agencies across the country. Program directors supervise more than 48,000 classrooms nationwide and manage at the local level with the assistance of more than 167,000 paid staff and almost 1,400,000 volunteers.

The 2000 program is conducted in two intensive two-week sessions; one taking place in June and the other in July. Courses are taught by UCLA Anderson faculty and involve the school's MBA students as teachers' assistants.

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