State Program Overview and Eligibility

Northcoast Children’s Services State Programs are funded by the Department of Education Child Development Division and licensed by the Department of Social Services.

For enrollment see State Program Eligibility and Need Requirements and State Enrollment Priorities.

Program philosophy, goals, values and beliefs are reflected in the Parent Handbook.

1.    Parent Involvement

A. An orientation is provided for parents at enrollment meetings with staff and parent.  The orientation includes program philosophy, goals and objectives, eligibility for enrollment, tour of site, introduction to staff, fee requirements policies and program activities.

B. Parents are offered at least two parent-teacher conferences a year.   Additional conferences may be scheduled at the request of parents and/or staff.

C. Parent Meetings are scheduled with staff at least 2 times a year.  Additional meetings may be scheduled with a focus on parenting, child development, pre-literacy, kindergarten readiness and transition or other related topics that are of interest to parents.

D. Parents are encouraged to visit the center at any time, opportunities are provided for parent participation in class room activities, field trips or observations.

E. Parent Advisory Committee includes parents of children currently enrolled.  There is an opportunity for discussion and input regarding activities and issues that reflect services to children and families at each Parent Meeting.  Program parent’s representatives may be elected as members of the Northcoast Children’s Services Board of Directors.

 2.      Health and Social Services

Enrolled families and their children’s health and social services needs are identified through the enrollment interviews, family self-survey and health history.  When needs are identified, families may be referred to community services or other NCS program services such as Early Head Start and Head Start.

Center staff will follow up with parents to determine if their needs have been met or if they require further assistance.

3.       Community Involvement

A. Communities with NCS centers, support them by donating goods and services. NCS also has fundraising events such as Pastels on the Plaza and the Weekend Get-Away Raffle.

B. Service clubs and churches donate food, clothing, books, learning materials and toys. Kiwanis, Soroptomist, RSVP-Woodworkers, Salvation Army, Humboldt Realtors Association and other organizations donate regularly.

C. Local radio, TV and newspapers feature NCS program in their publications that provide information regarding NCS services and enrollment opportunities.

4.      Nutrition

Nutritional services are provided by the Child Care Food Program by NCS cooks or approved vendors at each site.  Nutritious meals and snacks that are culturally and developmentally appropriate are served.  Food activities are also included in the curriculum.  The Food Services Manager, Center Director and Cook work together to meet all CCFP and NCS program requirements.

5.      Education

A. Each center staff develops an educational program that includes Second Step and Creative Curriculum. Curriculum plans, the daily schedule of activities and the environment is developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate for children and facilitate a child’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional development.

B. The Desired Results Developmental Profile and parent observations are utilized at centers to identify individual children’s developmental needs, and to plan curriculum and appropriate activities.  Preschoolers, Infants and Toddlers are assessed according to the DRDP schedule.

6.      Credentialed Teachers and Staff

A. Early Childhood Education Teachers are experienced and hold California Child    Development Permits. (Permit Matrix)

B. NCS staff is hired through the NCS hiring process.  Each position has a written job description.  Orientation for each NCS staff person occurs prior to beginning work and on-going during site based training.

C. Staff performance is reviewed annually.  Training needs may be identified through the Performance Review process, Staff Survey or Program Self-Study Process.

D. NCS program staff provides staff development training opportunities by early childhood professionals and community based trainings.

E. Bilingual staff are recruited for programs serving Spanish speaking children. Forms are available in Spanish/English and interpretation services are available when needed.

7.      Annual Self Study Process

A.  Northcoast Children’s Services State Program Self Evaluation is conducted annually using information from:

      • Desired Results Developmental Profiles is an assessment tool used within 60 days of enrollment and 6 month later, to measure the child’s progress towards desired outcomes and plan curriculum to support individual children’s learning.
      • Early Childhood and Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Scales is conducted annually in December to measure the quality of the program environment: child /teacher and children’s interactions and activities, language use, health and safety practices, space and materials.
      • In March parents evaluate the program by filling out the Desired Results Parent Survey. This survey is designed to assist us by gathering information from families about satisfaction of their child’s program and how to support the child’s learning and development
      • Agency Self-Evaluation Report submitted to California Department of Education.

B. Goals identified through the Self Evaluation Process are developed by staff and parents and are approved by the Board of Directors. Progress on implementation of the results identified in the Annual Self-Evaluation is documented through the Program Action Plan.