Early Childhood Program 2016/17

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The Early Childhood Program is dedicated to providing comprehensive services that support the healthy development of young children and their families. The program primarily serves low-income families with children from birth to age 5 and pregnant women within Menominee, Delta and Schoolcraft Counties through Head Start, Early Head Start and Michigan Department of Education funding.
Included in this program are:
Early childhood education
Health and nutrition services
Family support services 
The Early Childhood Program supports coordinated care partnerships throughout the three-county area.
Eligibility is based on a number of criteria, including age, income, special needs, risk, referral and location.
The Early Childhood Program utilizes numerous high quality resources to promote the optimal development of children. Staff receive ongoing training and support in providing rich educational environments and opportunities for all children. Parents receive individualized information about their child as well as general information about child health and development through home visits, parent teacher conferences, newsletters, center parent committee meetings and family fun nights. Teachers work together with parents in identifying and meeting the goals they have for their child’s health and development.
Family Support and Parental Involvement
 Our program is based on the belief that parents are the first and most important teacher in their child’s life. We invite them to participate in the program in a variety of ways, including:
► Center Parent Committee meets monthly
► Home to School Learning Link activities in the areas of Language and Literacy, Safety, Numbers, Science, Social-Emotional development, and Health and Wellness.
► Lending Libraries in each classroom
► Family Fun Nights
► 0 -3 Early Head Start Playgroups
► Policy Council
► Parent Cafe’s – Conscious Discipline Groups
► Parent Enrichment Opportunities offered at all centers
► Parent support in getting GED
► Classroom volunteers
All enrolled families had the opportunity to set and receive support in working on goals for their child’s health and development and for personal and/or family goals. Personal and family goals areas included housing, adult education, parent/child interaction, employment, budgeting/income, knowledge of child development, parenting support, transportation, child care, health and safety, food and nutrition, parent involvement in Head Start, and other general personal goals.
Kindergarten Preparation
Efforts to prepare children for kindergarten are initiated and maintained throughout the school year by establishing ongoing communication with families, through the use of a nationally- and state-approved curriculum for early childhood education and assessment, and by partnering with local school districts to promote a smooth transition process.
Our program implements the researched-based Creative Curriculum. Children are assessed over time using the Teaching Strategies Gold Assessment which has been aligned with the mandated 0-5 Early Learning Outcomes Framework and State of Michigan standards to provide for a comprehensive approach to early childhood education. Supporting curriculums are used in order to meet all Head Start Program Performance Standards as well as child outcomes. These include: Second Step Violence Prevention Curriculum; Talking about Touch Personal Safety Curriculum; S.P.A.R.K Physical Development Curriculum; I Am Moving I am Learning materials; Zoo Phonics; Creative Curriculum Literacy Curriculum; Creative Curriculum Mathematics Curriculum; My Plate nutrition; and Conscious Discipline-Social/Emotional Development Measure.
The program helps to prepare parents and children for kindergarten by including discussions about transition throughout the year. Materials relating to kindergarten transition are handed out at each quarterly meeting with the parent.
 They are also given information about kindergarten registration and screening. Family Service Workers facilitate the transition of child development information to the schools as approved by the parent(s).
 Additional transition activities may include field trips to a kindergarten classroom, kindergarten teachers visiting Head Start classrooms, kindergarten informational meetings for parents, on-site kindergarten screenings, and Head Start teachers assisting with the kindergarten screenings.
 They also coordinate with school districts in order to support families of children with special needs. Staff joins parents at special education planning session(s) to support transitioning plans for children with special needs.
Children are assessed at enrollment to find out if they have an established medical and dental home. If they do not, staff works with families to identify a source of ongoing medical and dental care. Throughout the program year, staff partner with families to keep their child up to date on a regular schedule of preventative medical and dental care, and provide education to families regarding the importance of health and a child’s readiness to learn.
266 Head Start students served by the program
103 Early Head Start students served by the program
245Head Start families served by the program
100 Early Head Start families served by the program
87 percent average monthly enrollment
97percent eligible Early Head Start children served
91 percent eligible Head Start children served
76 percent of Early Head Start children received medical exams
88 percent of Head Start children received medical exams
30 percent of Early Head Start children received dental exams
62 percent of Head Start children received dental exams
$3,348,350 of funding from federal government
$268,976 of funding from state government
$629,744 comes from in-kind donations
$99,035 from USDA reimbursement