HEAD START/EARLY HEAD START SUPPLEMENT

EOC ANNUAL REPORT: 2014

 

 

 

Program Overview:

Head Start/Early Head Start is a federally funded program for low-income pregnant women and families with children from birth to 5 years old.

 

Head Start/Early Head Start is not just a pre-school or a day care.  It is a comprehensive School Readiness program for the entire family.  Staff works with families to discover and enhance their strengths and provide guidance and support to meet their goals, while preparing for the Public School experience.  This is achieved through a full array of services such as:  health and nutrition, transportation, education, family partnerships, information/referral, mental health, disability services, and through community partnerships with local schools, human service providers, the medical community, businesses, and other entities.

 

The program strives to support families as they prepare to transition their children to Kindergarten. 

 

Washington County Head Start/Early Head Start is funded to serve 310 Head Start children, ages 3-5, and 110 infants, toddlers, and pregnant women in the Early Head Start program. 

 

Both Head Start and Early Head Start provide a Center-Based option and a Home-Based option.

 

Center-Based Option:

We have 5 Centers throughout Washington County providing comprehensive services to eligible children and their families.  These centers are licensed by New York State and are subject to day care regulations in addition to Head Start/Early Head Start requirements. 

Center-Based programming serves 244 Head Start children and their families and 40 Early Head Start infants, toddlers, and pregnant women.

 

Center locations:

  • River Street, Hudson Falls
  • Dix Ave, Hudson Falls
  • Granville
  • Whitehall
  • Cambridge

 

Home-Based Option:

Children and their families have the option of receiving full programming in the home.  The Home-Based option serves all of Washington County and enrolls 66 Head Start children and 70 infants, toddlers, and pregnant women in Early Head Start.

 

Home Visitors make weekly visits to families, delivering curriculum in the home environment.  Children enrolled in this option have the opportunity to interact and socialize on scheduled days at a Center as well.

 

REQUIRED INFORMATION:

The Head Start Act Section 644 [42 U.S.C. 9839] (a) (1) specifies the information that must be included in the Annual Report.  These items are outlined below. 

 

The program data contained in this report is based on the most recent Program Information Report (PIR), which covers the Enrollment Year (July through June), and is current through June 2013.

 

 

Number of Children and Families Served & Enrollment Data  (PIR Data):

We are funded as listed below:

  • Total Children: 420
  • o 310 Head Start
  • o 110 Early Head Start

 

Throughout the year, as families move or drop from the program, we are required to fill any vacant slots.  This results in a cumulative number of children/families served as listed below:

  • Total Children Served: 529
  • o 359 Head Start
  • o 170 Early Head Start

 

  • Total Number of Families Served: 497
  • o 357 Head Start
  • o 140 Early Head Start

 

  • Average Monthly Enrollment: Head Start: 99% Early Head Start: 100%
  • o We strive to keep all 420 slots filled at all times. We have been very successful, as this percentage shows.
  • o Family Workers and Home Visitors, work with the Home-Based Coordinator and Family Services Coordinator to fill vacant slots as they arise.
  • o Our Technical/Administrative Assistant provides support in this area as well by monitoring the enrollment tracking in ChildPlus.
  • o There are ongoing efforts in the area of recruitment in addition to specified recruitment times that are set aside on the calendar. This helps us maintain a list of families for services. When a slot becomes available, we can then enroll a child to fill it.

 

  • Percentage of eligible children served: 96%
  • o There were 18 children of 529 enrolled during this period that were outside of the income eligibility requirements (between 100% and 130% of Federal Poverty Level). These were children that had special needs that could be addressed through our program.

 

Results of the Most Recent Federal Review

Federal Reviews are conducted at minimum, once every three years.  The most recent Federal Review was held March 16, 2014 through March 20, 2014. 

 

We were evaluated in 97 Compliance Measures and received CLASS observations in our Head Start classrooms.  Of the 97 measures, we were rated "Compliant" in 96 measures.  There was one "Non-Compliance", which will need to be corrected in 120 days.

 

We were found to be Non-Compliant in equipment records.  Although we maintain separate equipment lists for Vehicles and electronics, it did not meet the requirements outlined and needs to include all equipment.  These include:

  • Source of equipment
  • Award Number
  • Title vested with agency or Federal Government
  • Acquisition Date
  • HS share of the cost of equipment & how calculated
  • Disposition Data (date, price, method to determine value)
  • Record of Physical Inventory at least every 2 years

 

We have been assigned a Grantee Specialist who will work with us to correct the non-compliance identified.  He will be meeting with us on July 1, 2014. 

 

One of the area listed as "Compliant" also had a "Concern" noted.  This is in the health screenings and assuring they are done within the required 45 days.  We believe that these were the items discussed with the reviewers, which had to do with Home-Based screenings and what is accepted for infant screenings.  We need to make sure language on medical documents for infants is very specific.  We will also do some work with Home Visitors in consistent use of Child Plus and reviewing screening challenges as part of the Comprehensive Case Management process.

 

Overall, we are pleased with our CLASS scores and found high range scores in two of the three domains.  All scores met the minimum threshold.  Only one dimension of the 10 was below the national average of last year's scores and none fell within the bottom 10% from last year's scores, which would require a program to re-compete for its grant.  We will now have to wait to see how our CLASS scores compare to all programs nationwide who received a review this year.  We expect the results sometime in the Fall.

 

 

Percentage of Enrolled Children that Received Medical and Dental Exams (June 2012 PIR):

 

Head Start Children:

          Medical Exams:

  • o 100% or 359/359 have an identified medical home
  • o 99.4% or 357/359 are up to date on primary health care and preventive care
  • o 85.7% or 308/359 are up to date on immunizations
  • o 78.7% or 37/47 children with a chronic medical condition received treatment

 

          Dental Exams:

  • o 93% or 335/360 children have an identified dental home
  • o 92.5% or 333/360 children received a dental exam
  • o 90% or 324/360 children received preventive dental care
  • o 97.1% or 34/35 children needing dental treatment received the recommended treatment

 

Early Head Start Children:

          Medical Exams:

  • o 94.7% or 161/170 children have an identified medical home
  • o 91.7% or 156/170 children are up to date on preventive and primary health care
  • o 92.3% or 157/170 children are up to date on immunizations
  • o 100% or 33/33 children with chronic medical conditions received treatment

 

Dental Exams:

94.7% or 161/170 children are up to date with preventive and primary oral health care

 

We have worked very hard to continue to build relationships in the dental community, which has increased our percentage of children receiving dental care from previous years.   We have been monitoring this data closely and anticipated further improvements, which were recognized again this year.

 

Summary of Parent Involvement Activities:

We recognize that parents are the most important teachers of their children and their active engagement is vital.  With an emphasis on connecting school readiness to parent activities, we continued to expand upon Family Engagement, a deeper connection to the program than what we had been classifying as "Parent Involvement" in previous years.

 

The Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework is being used to redefine what Head Start has been doing with families and place our activities, support of families, and positive goal-oriented relationships into the PFCE framework's 7 Family Engagement Outcomes. 

  • Family Well-being
  • Parent-Child Relationships
  • Families as Lifelong Educators
  • Families as Learners
  • Family Engagement in Transitions
  • Family Connections to Peers and Community
  • Families as advocates and Leaders

 

Parents/Guardians have a variety of opportunities to become involved in Head Start/Early Head Start, including:

  • Volunteer Opportunities in the classroom, on the bus, in the kitchen
  • Opportunity to share a hobby, skill, or cultural activity
  • Participate in parent education and special interest workshops
  • Serve on Policy Council or Parent Groups
  • Field Trips
  • Participate in Annual Self-Assessment
  • Parent Activity Committee
  • Input into individual goals/plans

 

We offered parent workshops at varying days/times and locations to meet the needs of our families.  Workshops focused on family engagement in their child's learning, and incorporation themes of School Readiness.  Often, children joined their parents in workshop activities.

 

We also offer families follow up activities/"homework" that relate to the curriculum, reinforcing the value of parents as teachers.

 

Efforts to Prepare Children for Kindergarten:

School Readiness is a priority in our program, not only for children, but for the entire family as well. 

 

Academic preparation occurs daily in the Head Start/Early Head Start setting.  Our program utilizes Creative Curriculum.  This curriculum defines what to teach; why the content and skills are appropriate expectations for young children; and where, when, and how to teach effectively.  It is linked to an assessment system, Teaching Strategies GOLD, so that teachers can use information from assessment to plan and guide instruction.  Outcomes are shared with parents to gain a level of understanding of their child's progress. 

 

Social and emotional preparations are made as well in order to make this transition as seamless as possible.  We follow the Positive Behavioral Support curriculum which teaches children how to be a friend, what expectations are followed during certain times of the routine, taking turns and expressing needs.

 

Head Start/Early Head Start addresses transition planning in Policies and Procedures, which include:

  • During the spring, there are some routine changes made to develop skills that will be expected in Kindergarten, such as: sitting for longer stories, raising hands before talking, standing in line, opening milk cartons, carrying a lunch tray, etc.
  • A visit to the public school is planned with the child and parent. They visit the library, cafeteria, gym, nurse's office, playground, and classroom.
  • Books are read about Kindergarten.
  • Kindergarten teachers are invited to visit Head Start.
  • Kindergarten Teachers, Principal, or representative from PTSO are invited to a Head Start parent meeting and discuss what is expected in Kindergarten. They may review key policies as well.
  • Staff shares with parents the importance of being positive about the child's new adventure. Important tips are shared, such as, setting a home routine where the child gets plenty of sleep, food, and time to read together on a daily basis.
  • A copy of the child's records is given to parents at the end of the year.

 

We continue to monitor our School Readiness plans and goals.  The Regional Office is holding quarterly School Readiness calls to monitor progress.  This had given us an opportunity to analyze our current school readiness plans and identify improvements that may help children and families as they prepare for the Kindergarten experience. 

 

Our program is active in School Readiness Cluster Meetings that are held on a regular basis throughout the year.  We also meet with representatives from local school districts to discuss how we can work together to assure children and families are prepared for Kindergarten.

 

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

  • We continue to make improvements in data collection and reporting by using ChildPlus, a web-based system, which has improved efficiency and accuracy of record-keeping. A committee comprised of staff from a variety of component areas meets to develop user guides, troubleshoot, and plan how to get the most out of the system.
  • I Am Moving, I am Learning principles are included our programming, which involves staff, children, and parents in promoting healthy physical activity for all developmental levels.
  • We continue to promote Eco-Healthy practices in all of our centers and help educate parents on making their home environments safe and healthy.
  • We received a Stewart's Grant to assist in securing funds for families who need help in the area of health/medical/dental needs.
  • Policy Council members and Board members participated in Joint Governance Training to review the Board and Policy Council's role, responsibilities, and obligations under the Head Start Performance Standards.
  • Our Transportation Department under the Management of Sharon Jenkins was recognized by the NY State Department of Transportation once again for their outstanding bus safety inspection record.
  • Despite the challenge of a 5.27% cut in Federal Funding in 2013 due to Sequestration, we were able to maintain high quality, comprehensive programming to enrolled children and their families. Although we temporarily had to reduce the number of days of service, we developed a plan to assure that no enrollment slots were reduced. We continue to serve 420 children and their families.
  • Community support was vital to the livelihood of our program this year, with community groups, individuals, organizations, and businesses donating time, supplies, and their skills to support the Head Start program.
  • We continue to develop and expand partnerships in the community.

 

All staff has put their best efforts forward to assure quality programming for children and families.  It is especially important to emphasize quality, accountability, ongoing monitoring, and attention to regulations/Performance Standards in this new era of program competition in Head Start/Early Head Start.

 

We look forward to many years of service to and partnership with the children and families of Washington County.