Partnering with Families
Head Start and Early Head Start provide reliable assistance in securing resources for families in areas such as food security, safe and adequate housing, family counseling, and the many other challenges that parents face in creating a healthy and nurturing environment for their children.
Parents are provided individualized parenting education and parenting workshops and classes. Parent meetings offer cooking classes and nutrition education. Families get to practice developing family and life goals and plans. Parents learn about and participate in planning classroom curriculum, home visits and other activities.
Parents can explore leadership opportunities by participating in parent meetings and the Policy Council.
Referrals to community agencies and services are provided and referrals are always followed-up on by NCS staff to assure quality and completeness. Transportation to health and dental appointments is provided if necessary.
Services for Children
The program is designed to meet the individual needs of each child and his/her family.
Parents are honored as the child’s first and most important Teacher. Teachers and Home Visitors work in partnership with the parent to develop experiences and activities that support the child’s growth and development.
In classroom activities and during home visits, parent(s) and the Teacher or Home Visitor create learning environments that will help the child grow and develop socially, intellectually, emotionally and physically.
Children learn through doing: making, touching, smelling, shaping, tasting etc. They explore and investigate through play. A supportive social and emotional climate in the program helps to build the children’s self-confidence, self-discipline, curiosity, sensitivity towards others, and a better understanding of themselves.
Teachers and Home Visitors will share child development information with parents, complete a developmental assessment for each child and together with the parent develop an agreement to work together to foster the their child’s development (Family Partnership Agreement).
A comprehensive curriculum includes the development of social skills, language and numeracy, gross and fine motor skills, logic and reasoning. The approach promotes initiative, curiosity, persistence and cooperation. Children experience opportunities for music, dance, art and drama. They learn scientific approaches to learning and gain knowledge of the natural world and learn about family, community and self. Significant support is provided for children learning second languages. Tooth-brushing and other good health practices are promoted and family style meals take place in classrooms and playgroups.
Children with Special Needs
Many children experience physical or developmental delays, speech/language delays or impairments, emotional difficulties and many other types of unique struggles. Northcoast Children’s Services excels in providing support and assistance to children with special needs and their families.
Head Start and Early Head Start coordinates and integrates services such as special education, medical care, and speech therapy. Children may be referred to a professional for diagnosis or assistance when a Parent or Teacher has concerns. Head Start ensures that all activities and experiences are designed to meet the individual differences and needs of all children.
Child Mental and Emotional Health
Head Start and Early Head Start works to anticipate and understand a child’s behavior and development. In partnership with parents extensive resources are devoted to help everyone in the child’s life to respond in a ways that are more likely to enhance the child’s development.
It is normal for a new mother to sometimes feel tired, sad, anxious and angry after the birth of a baby. We call this the “baby blues.” NCS provides assistance in helping mothers adjust to their life with a new baby.
Child Physical and Dental Health
All children 0 to 5 receive complete physical examination (CHDP) which includes vision and hearing tests for preschoolers, immunizations, anemia testing (hematocrit) and TB test. This exam is done within 30 days of entry into the program unless he/she has had a complete exam within the last year. Dental examinations or screenings are done for each Head Start child. Nutrition screening is done for all Head Start and Early Head Start children.
Head Start and Early Head Start staff help with scheduling appointments and transportation if necessary. NCS will assist with any issues requiring follow up based on medical or dental exams or screenings.
All health records of Head Start children are kept in a locked file with access limited to the Head Start program area staff, Teachers, and Home Visitors.
Children are served breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks (full-day programs) to meet their daily nutritional needs. The menus are planned to consider nutrition, personal and cultural preferences as well as the introduction of healthy foods which broaden the child’s food experiences. Meals are served family style.