At APS Head Start Early Childhood programs, we know that family engagement in their child’s education is a key component in that child’s success now and in the future. We also value parent input on Head Start program happenings. We have a number of ways that families can really make a difference in our program!
Volunteers are critical to the success of Head Start Early Childhood programs. Volunteers provide a wide range of services and support to the Head Start children and their families.
One way to help is to volunteer in the classroom. We welcome parents and other important adults in a Head Start Child’s life to volunteer in the classroom. Parents/loved ones can assist with classroom activities, prep of classroom materials, assisting with mealtime, playground supervision and other similar tasks.
Another way parents can help is to spend time each month doing activities that promote their child’s development. Head Start sends home a monthly calendar with an activity focus that furthers what children are doing in the classroom. By spending time on these activities in the home, you are extending what is happening in the classroom and promoting your child’s learning and development.
The Head Start Program relies heavily on families and community members to strengthen its programs. The Policy Council is made up of parents and community representatives. As a member, you would have broad authority and review over program goals, policies, the hiring and termination of program staff, budgeting and other areas.
Our Parent Committees are organized by parents with the assistance from Family Support Coordinators and Home Visitors. The committees support parents as the child’s first and most important teacher.
Parent Committees meet monthly at a time and date convenient for the parents involved. Policy Council Representatives are encouraged to attend, creating an opportunity to share program information and participate at the site level. Parent Committees also offer a chance for parents to network and meet with other parents that may share similar concerns and interests.
Family Nights happen at each classroom location and consist of activities designed for children in the program and are modified to meet other family members attending. Ideas are generated from the parents and carried out by staff and families together. A focus may come from a Parent Committee requesting activities designed around child development/ health/ nutrition/ mental health/ social services/ father involvement or other areas of interest. Family Nights are an excellent chance for families to see how our program promotes self-help skills, encourages language and provides physical activities.
Family Nights are for the entire family. Family Nights incorporate fun and learning at the same time and are designed to promote interactive experiences that encourage child, family and staff engagement!