Parent and Male Involvement Information
Parents are the most important influence in a child’s development. Parent involvement in education, program planning, parent education, and program governance is an essential part of every quality preschool program.
Parents are eligible for committee involvement and are urged to participate in their child’s classroom and center activities. Parents are also given the opportunity to become active members of the Head Start/Early Head Start community by participating in the Parent Committees, the Policy Council, Health Services Advisory Committee, and Self-Assessment Committee. These groups share the responsibilities, along with staff, for making decisions about how the program is operated.
WHY PARENT INVOLVEMENT?
- Are their child’s first teacher. They play a major role in shaping what and how a child learns.
- Spend more time with their children than our staff and can reinforce what the child learns with the teacher.
- Have a great emotional investment in their children.
- Know their children better than anyone else.
- Are important natural linkages between teachers, Family Advocates, Head Start staff, and their child.
- Families are primary influences of their children’s lives.
Know their communities and those aspects of community life which affect their children.
PARENT INVOLVEMENT BENEFITS
Parent involvement benefits you the parent, your child, your family, and the program.
Parents gain …
- Activities to reinforce their children’s learning
- Training to enhance their parenting skills
- Educational opportunities
- Community resource information and referral assistance
- Health, mental health, and nutrition information
- Leadership experience
Your child sees you …
- Assisting the teacher
- Visible in the center/home and program
- Carrying out educational activities at home
- Reinforcing the value of education
The family gains …
- Positive approaches to child rearing
- Assistance in identifying needs
- Assistance in accessing resources
Monthly parent meetings are held in each of our twelve counties that we serve. Parent officers are elected at the first parent meeting of the new school year. All parents are part of their center’s Parent Committee and are eligible to vote on issues discussed at the meetings. Additional parent workshops may also be held throughout the school year. Varied topics and activities are covered during the meetings and workshops. Topics covered may include but are not limited to: financial information, health issues, nutrition, crafts, literacy activities, parenting information, dealing with stress, bullying, internet safety, child passenger seat safety, adult learning opportunities, curriculum information, job skill, dressing for success, transitioning and kindergarten readiness, child abuse, and community resources.
“7 Super Things Parents & Caregivers Can Do”
Early Childhood-Head Start Task Force/U.S. Departments of Education
and Health & Human Services
- Talk often with your children from the day they are born.
- Hug them, hold them, and respond to their needs and interests.
- Listen carefully as your children communicate with you.
- Read aloud to your children every day, even when they are babies. Play and sing with them often.
- Say “yes” and “I love you” as much as you say “no” and “don’t”.
- Ensure a safe, orderly, and predictable environment, wherever they are.
- Set limits on their behavior and discipline them calmly, not harshly.
Transition activities are provided as children transition into the program and out of the program.
Parents are encouraged to attend parent orientation, center visits, and tour the facilities. An information flyer will be distributed regarding how to prepare your child for their first day of school and what to expect.
Transition activities from the program into public school kindergarten will be schedule in the spring. Staff will work with children and families in preparing the child to enter kindergarten. In addition, if a teacher is aware that a child is leaving Head Start to enroll in another child care setting, the teacher will make every effort to facilitate that transition.
Parents will be provided with education and training to prepare them to exercise their rights and responsibilities concerning the education of their children in the school setting in order to promote the continued involvement of Head Start parents in the education and development of their children upon transition to school.
Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions concerning their rights and responsibilities and their children’s rights and responsibilities in the school setting.
Parents will be encouraged to meet and discuss the developmental progress and abilities of their children with Head Start teachers and elementary teachers. The meeting will provide opportunities for parents to raise concerns they may have about their child’s placement, receipt of necessary services, or general progress.
Letters/notes will be sent home by staff informing parents of registration dates, documents needed for kindergarten registration and any additional information that is needed by kindergarten such as a parent questionnaire or information sheet.
A visit/tour to kindergarten classrooms will be scheduled before the end of the school year for parents and children who will be leaving Head Start. Parents are encouraged to visit the kindergarten classrooms with their child.
Before the visit to the elementary/primary school, the teacher will discuss the field trip with the children, read books about transition/change, allow children to role play and show the videos, “Kindergarten, Here I Come” and “Making the Move to Kindergarten”. Parents are invited to the center to watch the videos, “Kindergarten, Here I Come” and “Making the Move to Kindergarten”.
Ages of Development
Infant (Birth to 12 months old)
The first stage in a child’s development is the infant stage. A baby will grow more in this stage than in any other stage in his life. By his first birthday, an infant will have doubled his weight and height. In just 12 months, he will learn to roll over, sit up, creep or crawl, pick up small items with his hands and fingers and, possibly, walk and talk.
Mentally, a baby will learn to coo, laugh, babble, play a game of peek-a-boo, and maybe say a few words such as “Momma, Dadda or ball.” In terms of play, he can now join in on games like patty-cake and peek-a-boo, instead of just being a passive (but enchanted) observer.
Teetering Toddler (1 to 2½ years old)
By 15 months old, most toddlers have learned how to walk. In this stage of child development, they will also be able to run, draw and color with “chunky” crayons, stack blocks, eat with a spoon and fork, drink from a non-spill cup and put on their clothes and shoes (with help). Most, but not all, children will begin to potty train at this age.
A toddler’s mental development includes speaking about 50 words by the age of two and using short sentences by age three.
Preschooler (3 to 4½ years old)
Preschoolers are soaking up information like small sponges at this stage in child development, although their mental abilities will range greatly.
Most will know their name and can sing their alphabet as well as several songs. Some preschoolers can read before they enter kindergarten.
Potty training is usually accomplished in the preschool developmental stage, and dressing themselves is also usually mastered during this time.
School Age (5 to 9 years)
Between five and nine years of age, children are in the school age stage of child development. In these years, children develop friendships with others and are also more able to perceive stress.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website, “In middle childhood, pressures may come from a number of sources-from within the child herself, as well as from parents, teachers, peers and the larger society in which the child lives. Pressure can take many forms that challenge children and to which they must respond and, often, adapt. Whether these are events of lasting consequence like the divorce of their parents, or merely a minor hassle like losing their homework, these demands or stresses are a part of children’s daily existence.”