Head Start Annual Report

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1 Head Start Annual Report

2 Children s Friend Early Head Start and Head Start provides a comprehensive child and family development program for low-income children birth to age five and their families, as well as pregnant women. In addition to early childhood education, children and families receive health and nutrition services, family development support, access to mental health services, as well as supports for children with disabilities. The goal of the program is to improve child and family outcomes, including school readiness, by providing a continuum of comprehensive services that support children s development and family functioning. Early Head Start serves low-income pregnant women, infants and toddlers birth to age three and their families who live in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, Rhode Island. Early Head Start is a federally funded program, and Children s Friend has been an Early Head Start grantee since Our program is home-based, which means that every family receives weekly home visits designed to support their role as the prime educator of their children. In addition, several times a month families and children visit an early childhood center for socialization activities with other children and families. Head Start serves low-income preschool children who live in Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Cumberland, and Lincoln, Rhode Island. Head Start is funded through federal and state grants, and Children s Friend has been a Head Start grantee since Most children participated in a part-day center-based preschool program at eight Head Start sites. We also partnered with eight child care centers so that children needing full-day child care could also receive Head Start services, providing families with additional choices to receive Head Start services through programs located within their neighborhoods. In September of 2011 we began serving 18 children and their families in a full day, full year program. This classroom is designed to meet the needs of those families who are enrolled in education or vocational programs, or are employed or seeking employment and are not eligible for other forms of child care assistance. We have also integrated Kids Connect services in many of our classrooms, providing additional support to children who have disabilities or special needs. The Improving Head Start Readiness Act of 2007 requires that all Head Start grantees submit an Annual Report to the public, providing an overview of the program. The following provides an overview of Children s Friend Early Head Start and Head Start programs for the past program year. Children and families participating in Early Head Start or Head Start access the many services offered through Children s Friend, ensuring that the needs of the entire family are met. These other services include family counseling, WIC nutrition supports, Early Intervention for infants and toddlers with disabilities, nurse home visiting for high risk newborns, the Family Support Drop-In Centers, family literacy classes, programs supporting fathers, child care for working families, as well as a number of child welfare and family preservation programs.

3 Income - August 1, July 31, 2012 RI Department of Human $628, Services RI Department of $593, Education US Department of Health $9,541, & Human Services Capital Campaign $519, In-kind (match) $1,041, Total $12,324, Expenses - August 1, July 31, 2012 Salaries and Fringe $8,150, Purchased Services $444, Occupancy $2,593, Client Benefits $480, Other $655, Total $12,324, We use two curriculums to guide our every day work! Number of children served: Early Head Start In Early Head Start, we use the Born to Learn Curriculum, also known as Parents as Teachers. It recognizes parents as the primary educators of their child. The program is flexible and dynamic, supports parents in their roles,and provides information and resources about child development, parenting, health, mental health, and nutrition. In Head Start, we use the Creative Curriculum for preschool. It guides teaching teams in addressing all aspects of development; social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language. Our staff build lesson plans for each week that promote literacy, match, science, social studies, art, and technology. Head Start - 1,218 Total = 1,495 Number of pregnant women served: 7 Funded Enrollment: Early Head Start Head Start - 1,076 Total = 1,236 The average monthly enrollment for Head Start was 1,076 or 100% of the funded enrollment. The average monthly enrollment for Early Head Start was 160, or 100% of the funded enrollment. Percent of eligible children served: ACF Budget - May 1, April 30, 2013 Personnel Fringe Benefits Travel Supplies Contractual Other Direct Costs Total $5,676, $2,583, $25, $90, $133, $1,016, $9,526, $9,526, Early Head Start 6%; Head Start 39% Percentage of children who received a medical exam: Early Head Start 97%; Head Start - 99% Percentage of children who received a dental exam: Early Head Start 95%; Head Start 92% Number of homeless families served: 71 The agency consistently receives high marks from its auditors for its internal controls and other accounting policies and procedures, and received an unqualified audit opinion for the most recent audit. A copy of the 2011 audit is available upon request. Number of homeless families who obtained housing during the year: 36 Number of children with disabilities: Early Head Start 50; Head Start 139 Number of children whose fathers/father figures participated in activities: Early Head Start 128; Head Start 467

4 Supporting Working Moms Making a Difference in a Young Life Jay is a four year old that faced circumstances that no one should have to face. Left to the care of his extended family by his mother, and his father s incarceration, Jay did what any four year old was capable of doing in his situation; he expressed his anger physically hitting, breaking things, and doing the exact opposite of what was asked of him. He came to the Head Start program at Children s Friend after being kicked-out of his last child care placement. His child welfare worker knew that Jay would benefit from the program s additional supports in the program s Head Start/ Kids Connect classroom. Kids Connect is a specialized program designed to give children with disabilities direct support in the classroom to make their learning experiences successful. In addition to his teachers, Jay has a Therapeutic Integration Specialist helping to integrate therapeutic materials and strategies to help him express his feelings, learn how to follow the classroom routine, and how to play with his peers. With these supports Jay has progressed tremendously. As his aggressive behaviors have decreased, Jay is able to fully participate in the program and learn. Best of all, he has begun to make friends, smile, and laugh - things all preschoolers deserve. Jennifer is a single mom going to school and working part-time to make a better life for herself and her three year old daughter, Kasandra. Kasandra was involved in the four hour sessions that ran from September to June at the Head Start program at Children s Friend. When Jennifer s mother was no longer able to care for Kasandra when she was not in her Head Start preschool class, Jennifer became heartbroken. The state child care subsidy would not be enough to support full-time child care. She thought that she had to choose between supporting her daughter through her employment or continuing her goal of obtaining a bachelor s degree. Jennifer was relieved to learn that a full-day, full-year Head Start class was available. This class is designed to meet the needs of parents and families that are working or pursing an education to improve their selfsufficiency. As Kasandra has benefited from a safe and enriching learning environment, healthy meals, and opportunities for outdoor play through Head Start, Jennifer has been able to stay in school and work. Jennifer s diligence has paid off. She has already been offered a management position upon her graduation at the business where she has been doing her school internship. Jennifer is set to graduate and receive her bachelor s degree in December of Full Day Full Year Program at Carter Street The Pursuit of a Dream A young Hispanic family came to America in pursuit of a dream. After Enzo, the father, worked long and hard to get an education to exceed his parents goals for him and to set an example for his three year old son, Yemmy, his opportunity came to attend a higher education program in Rhode Island. Despite knowing they would face challenges coming to a new country, Enzo and his wife, Luisa, knew it was an opportunity they could not refuse. They learned of the Head Start program at Children s Friend, met the eligibility requirements, and enrolled. Over the course of a year, the family received a variety of supports from the program, and they have flourished. They moved from a one bedroom apartment to a bigger one. Enzo continues to be successful in his college classes. Yemmy relishes the experiences he never had before playing with peers, learning how to share, and learning English. Luisa is actively involved in Yemmy s education, and often volunteers in his class. She has also taken advantage of the time he has been in class by attending ESL classes and gets more comfortable speaking English each day. Most of all, this family does not feel alone. They know that whatever the need, the program is always there to support them. Although we offer three extended day classrooms, as well as access to the child care/head Start partnership slots for those families needing a full day program, this is not meeting the need of all parents who are working, in a job training program, or in school. Not all families qualify for child care subsidy through the RI Department of Human Services (DHS), and families cannot afford, or struggle with self-pay, for extended hours of care. Our PIR data indicate that over one-half of the parents or guardians of the children enrolled in Head Start have not completed high school. Of those children living in single parent households, over sixty percent are not working, and very few families are in job training or school. Parents have told us that they do not qualify for child care assistance to allow them to obtain the basic skills that they need for employment or even skill development programs. Parents need to complete their GED, as well as learn English and develop basic literacy skills. Parents have also indicated that a four hour Head Start day limits their flexibility in accessing education and job training programs. This year we established a full-day, full-year Head Start classroom beginning in September 2011, and serving 18 children at our Carter Street center. We anticipate that the full-day, full-year Head Start program will allow additional parents an opportunity to enroll in programs that will help them meet their educational and job training goals.

5 The $5,000 contribution from the Hazard Family Foundation received in 2011 helped to support the salary of a bilingual family support/parent empowerment specialist at the Carter Street Early Childhood Center, located in the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence. This center serves some of the poorest families in Providence in our Head Start program. During this past program year, we piloted a full day, full year Head Start classroom to work with families who are seeking job training skills, or are employed, are unable to afford child care, and need assistance to maintain their employment. The family support/parent empowerment specialist was assigned to work with the families whose children are participating in this classroom, providing intensive case management and support. Our first year of operating this particular program model was impressive, with many families making tremendous progress towards their self-sufficiency goals. This is particularly impressive as Rhode Island continues to lag the nation in recovery from the great recession, and is struggling with high unemployment levels and little job creation. Early Childhood programs are about investing in the future of a child. The growth that takes place in these early years is tremendous and cannot be compared with any other age. This is why we need to do everything we can to prepare children for kindergarten. Whether we re talking about a two year old and helping the parent learn how to read books with them every night... or a four year old who is learning to write letters: it s all about making sure these young ones are ready for kindergarten. And making sure that their parents know how to be their ongoing teachers and advocates. During this school year, we worked on our School Readiness goals, required as part of the federal Head Start Act. The School Readiness goals help us to clearly focus on specific learning goals that children should be achieving based on their age. We collaborated with Meeting Street School on these goals to ensure that we were prioritizing the same areas, as the two providers of Early Head Start in Providence. We also involved our Training and Technical Assistance Team, the team from Bradley Early Childhood Center, and several key staff. The result is an array of nearly forty indicators that are aligned from birth to age five! The family development/parent empowerment specialist provided monthly - or twice monthly - home visits to families to give intensive case management services and to support the child s educational progress in the home. She collaborated with the families to develop quarterly goals with the primary focus of self sufficiency. Specifically, she assisted families in developing resumes, completing job applications and assisting in job search activities, building interviewing skills, developing a family budget, collaborating with teaching staff to address familial or child concerns such as behavior or developmental delays, assisting with obtaining basic needs such as utility assistance, food and housing, providing court advocacy, and providing crisis intervention and support. A summary of the progress of the families participating in this classroom follows: Three parents graduated a nursing program and one from a dental hygienist program and were able to find employment. One additional parent graduated from a nursing program and one from a dental hygienist program, and both have continued their education. Two parents are continuing with their educational plan in nursing and have one more semester to complete the program. Two parents who were employed at the beginning of the school year are still employed on a full-time basis. Two parents obtained new employment positions and are still working. Two two-parent households have one parent employed and one parent participating in an education program. Two parents who are working full time received multiple intra-agency service supports for their children, allowing them to meet the needs of their children while continuing their employment. The Hazard Family Foundation s support, and partnership with Children s Friend, has continued to make a difference in some of Rhode Island s most vulnerable children and families.

6 Federal Program Review In November 2011 the Administration for Families and Children (ACF) conducted an on-site follow-up review of our Early Head Start and Head Start programs. As a result of the review, the agency was designated as a program in good standing and had no outstanding issues of compliance with the Federal Head Start Performance Standards. Maintaining positive relationships with families, communicating regularly with families, and encouraging family involvement were relative strengths for the Head Start classrooms. Volunteering Many families enjoyed volunteering at their child s Head Start site. This included such things as volunteering in their child s classroom, chaperoning a field trip, or helping with the program s drop - in center. Activities Parents have the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational and social activities at their centers. Parent Education Workshops were offered on topics such as Child Development, Lead Safety, and Health and Nutrition. Events such as Reading is Fundamental, and Books Are Wings, were held throughout the year where parents and their children had an opportunity to socialize, read to their children and leave with a book. Centers also offered recreational activities for parents and their children to participate in such as dancing and baseball. Children and their parents also jointly enjoyed story telling activities, arts and crafts and participating in Family Night at the Providence Children s Museum. The Head Start program was evaluated by the Bradley Hospital Early Childhood Clinical Research Center. The evaluation included collecting and analyzing indicators of child and family outcomes as well as classroom quality. The full program evaluation report is available upon request. The Head Start Manualized Assessment of Progress (HS-MAP) was the tool used to measure children s progress in child development and readiness for school. The HS-MAP focuses on the domains of Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Creative Arts, Social & Emotional, Approaches to Learning, and Physical Development. The evaluation looks at the rate of change for children participating in the Head Start program from the time of program entry in the fall to the end of the program year in the spring. Readiness development is ranked from 0 5, ranging from significant delay to strength. Classroom Scores Engaging parents in their child s learning is one of the most important things our program can do. Independent evaluators observe every classroom for three to four hours to rate the quality. We use a number of different tools. One specifically looks at how the teaching staff are integrating families into the classroom. Our Head Start program has been in operation for three years and each year we have seen solid progress in the type of environment our staff are creating for families. In the year, 18% of our classrooms rated as inadequate (a score of 2 ) and over the course of the year we cut this number in half to 9%. In the year, 26% of our classrooms received an adequate rating ( a score of 4 ) and over the course of the year we increased this to 32%. MAP Parent Involvement Spring 2011 Spring 2012 During the academic year of , children participating in the Head Start program showed statistically significant improvement in each of the areas that indicate readiness for school. 56% 59% Fall 2011 Spring 2012 Language Literacy Math Science Creative Arts Social Emotional Approaches to Learning Physical 24% 32% 18% 9% 2% Score Scale = 1 (strong need for improvement) to 5 (strength)

7 153 Summer Street Providence, RI

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