About the Toolkit

“Opening the Doors” is a free, A-to-Z toolkit that gives Head Start directors and staff step-by-step advice and templates that can be tailored to help start and grow their community volunteer programs, thereby helping them toward their non-federal share goals, strengthening their organization’s capabilities and, ultimately, enriching the offerings to the children and families whom everyone serves.

The Toolkit is available (in both English and Spanish!) for Head Start and Early Head Start directors and community outreach staff who want to enhance their program’s services by engaging community volunteers.

NHSA and PNC Grow Up Great are pleased to offer the Opening the Doors: A Community Volunteer Tool Kit free for download.

It’s New…

Using this tool kit can help you:

  • Increase the number of community volunteers
  • Contribute substantially toward your non-federal share
  • Provide new and innovative resources for staff and parents
  • Strengthen existing volunteer coordination systems

Opening the Doors is easy to use and provides everything you need for a first-rate volunteer program. The Tool Kit was field tested in Head Start programs in several states for three months and reflects the best practices of exemplary community outreach programs.


Here is some of what you will find in the Tool Kit:

  • What’s In It For Me?
  • Is There a Need? A Step by Step Needs Assessment
  • Increase the number of community volunteers
  • Checklist for Community Volunteer Readiness
  • Building Investment Among Staff
  • Sample Job Descriptions
  • Sample Forms and Policies
  • Volunteer Recruitment
  • Screening, Interviewing, and Placement
  • Recordkeeping and Reporting
  • Measuring Volunteer Program Effectiveness


Volunteers can provide specialized skills and the benefits of accumulated knowledge from years of experience. They bring new ideas, fresh perspectives, and a contagious surge of refreshed energy! With flexible schedules and the ability to focus intently on a particular task, volunteers can ease the workload strain on full-time staff. Volunteers can spread the word in your community about the great things your program does for children and families!

And easy!

How to get started: The Opening the Doors Toolkit is available to all Head Start/Early Head Start and early childhood programs. Download here.




“Our partnership with PNC Bank has been very valuable to the program and according to the volunteers, a rewarding experience for them as well. Not only have the volunteers given us much needed extra hands for special events and in the classrooms, but their volunteer hours have given us a needed boost to our in-kind amounts. Perhaps even more important is the value that comes to everybody (families, children, KCHS, and Head Start as a whole) as more members of the community from diverse backgrounds and income levels get an up close, hands on look at Head Start and recognize how important the program is to the community.”

– Kalamazoo County Head Start, Michigan