Strong partnerships with families are key to children’s school readiness and healthy development. Family and community partnerships are an extremely important part of the Head Start program. By developing partnerships with families and community organizations, we work together to achieve goals and meet the needs of our children and families.Research shows that family support and involvement is a strong predictor of child outcomes in the areas of academic success. The Head Start puts a special emphasis on family involvement- specifically setting and achieving family goals.
For each Head Start family, the following family support services are provided:
•Individualized Family Partnership Agreement (IFPA): One goal of Tri-County Head Start is to assist families in reaching specific goals and/or to support the family in specific areas of life by providing support and resources when needed. A teacher from each child’s center will meet with each family two times a year to look at family goals, and action steps. Ongoing assistance throughout the year is available through the Family Involvement team. Staff check in with families often to maintain open communication.•Home Visits: Federal Head Start regulations require our program to complete two home visits during the year. Many families are pleased to find out that home visits help the family members, children and staff to become acquainted, which helps to build trust and communication.•Parent-Teacher Conferences: There are two scheduled parent-teacher conferences each year to exchange information about the child’s progress. Parents are encouraged to meet with teachers as needed throughout the year. Also, family activity packets are sent home to all families with ideas for home activities that support educational development. •Transitioning: Children moving from an Early Head Start classroom to the Head Start program, or Head Start children entering Kindergarten are said to go through a transition process. Generally, a visit to the new classroom, discussion about new expectations, the completion of necessary paperwork, and a celebration of the child’s accomplishments are all part of this process.