Parent’s Handbook

Aloha and welcome to HCAP Head Start!!! Head Start is a comprehensive early childhood and care program for economically disadvantaged families with children between the ages of 3 and 5. We are funded by the Federal Government, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the State of Hawaii.Head Start has played a major role in focusing the attention of the country on the importance of early childhood development. It has served as a model for many programs in the planning of child development and day care services, on the expansion of state and local activities for children and their families, and on the design of training programs for those who staff such programs.The program has led in efforts to improve the cognitive abilities and social competence of young children. Studies have indicated that Head Start children score higher than comparable non-Head Start children in preschool achievement tests that measure these abilities. The studies also show that Head Start children perform equal to or better than their peers do when they enter regular school, and there are fewer grade retention and special class placements.The Head Start outreach and training programs have helped provide low-income parents with the knowledge and resources they need to build a better life for their children. Direct involvement of parents in Head Start planning and policy-making have given families a greater role in the welfare of their children.Please click on any of these topics to jump down the page.


Table of Contents

Transition Tips
Program Locations
HCAP Head Start Mission Statement
Education Philosophy
Child Abuse Policy
Program Options
Family and Community Partnerships
Home Visits
Recruitment
Enrollment
Drops
Attendance Policy
Center Based Program
PickUp-DropOff
Late Pick-up Policy
Absence Due to Illness
Home Based Program
Extended Absenses
Parent Involvement
Parent Education Training
Volunteers
Health and Early Childhood Development
Audiology
Dental Hygiene
Nutrition
Mental Health Services
Health Requirements
Health Emergency
Accident Reports
Non-Admission of Ill Children
Medication Administration
Education and Early Childhood Development
Curriculum
Teaching Strategies Gold Online Communication
Meals
Health and Hygiene
Learning Environment
Parent Teacher Conferences
Field Trips
Seat belt Safety Recruitment
Disability Services
Program Design and Management
Career Development Training
Pre-Service and In-Service Training
Governance and Management Responsibilities
Policy Council
Parent Committee
Parent Grievance


Transition Tips

Is your child entering a new school this fall? Starting preschool, kindergarten, middle school, or high school? During transitions, children often need a little extra time, attention and support from their parents. School transitions also signal a new stage of family life for everyone.

Children may feel…
    • Sadness at the loss of the old school, friends, neighborhood (and if a preschooler or kindergartner, separation from parents)
  • Anxiety about the unknown
  • Fear of not making friends, being accepted
  • Apprehension about their ability to do the work or master the logistics involved (getting lost or on the wrong bus, getting lunch, learning the rules, finding the bathrooms, etc.)
Parents may feel…
  • Sadness about their child growing up and moving on to the next stage
  • Anxiety about whether the new school and/or teacher is the best for their child
  • Uncertainty about what their own role should be in the new setting and how the new school views parent involvement
  • Awareness that their child’s growing up is linked to a new stage of life for parents too, and that family life will change
Here are some things you can do for a smooth transition.
If the school has scheduled an open house, orientation, welcome day or other opportunity for parents and/or children to get acquainted, be sure to attend. Take the time to talk. Ask your child what he would like to know about the new school. Write down the questions and find out the answers; or if it’s an older child, suggest ways he can get the answers himself. Take the time to visit the school. Call ahead to get an appointment or get permission for you and your child to take a self-tour of the building. Practice the walk to school, or the walk to the bus stop. Talk about what will happen during a typical day. Go through the schedule with your child. Help your child anticipate possible trouble spots and discuss what to do if these problems occur. Let your child know it’s normal to feel apprehensive. Share childhood memories of times when you were apprehensive about a new situation and it worked out okay.

Program Locations

Address and contact information of our administrative offices are listed below. For locations of Oahu Head Start classrooms go here.

HCAP 1132 Bishop Street, Suite 100 Honolulu, HI 96813 Tel: 521-4531 Fax: 521-4538

Dillingham Office   1505 Dillingham Blvd., Suite 218 Honolulu, HI 96817 Tel: 847-2400 Fax: 847-2302

Kunia Office* Old Kunia School, Kunia Drive Kunia, HI 96759 Tel: 621-5099 Fax: 621-3842

*All mail correspondence must be sent to the HCAP address.

HCAP Head Start Mission Statement

Enriching the lives of children; Engaging Families; and Strengthening Communities.

Education Philosophy

The HCAP Head Start Program firmly believes that the lives of young children and their families can be enriched and strengthened by the quality of the educational program provided to them. The quality of the program depends on several factors:

  • Providing a safe and nurturing environment
  • Providing a developmentally appropriate curriculum that addresses all areas of development – social/emotional, cognitive, physical and language
  • Providing learning experiences within the context of children’s culture and community; and
  • Working in partnership with parents to plan, implement and evaluate the educational experiences provided for children and families.

Child Abuse Policy

Staff who work with your child and family care about your health and well being. We are required by law (Chapter 350-1.1) to report child abuse or neglect. Being a parent is no easy task and we are here to support you by offering guidance in alternative discipline techniques and resources to parenting classes and other useful workshops. In the event that a report is to be made, our staff will assist you through the process. We will also be cooperating thoroughly with Child Protective Services and the Honolulu Police Department.

Program Options

Center Options
Our center-base programs are licensed by the Department of Human Services and operate in various schools, churches, park sites, military and other facilities available in the different communities across the island. Ages: ………. 3-5 years Hours: ……… Part-day (mornings)
Child Development Centers (CDC)
Our full-day programs operate at various sites for parents needing longer hours of childcare. State and private tuition subsidies are available for eligible families.  Ages: ………. 3-5 years Hours: ……… Full-day
Home Base
Our home base program services families throughout O`ahu and emphasizes the parent’s role as primary teacher and advocate for their child. The Staff work closely with families in their homes through weekly home visits. Bi-monthly cluster activities at various sites are provided for group socialization. Ages: ………. 3-5 years Hours: ……… 1-1 1/2 hour weekly home visits

Family and Community Partnerships

HCAP Head Start staff advocate for Head Start families, both in social changes and in helping with immediate needs. The purpose of this service area is to ensure that every family gets all the information, access to community services, and benefits that they are entitled. The Head Start staff works with individual families and with the parent group at each center and help to link families to the community.

Home Visits

Home visits are valuable in building respectful relationships with parents and in developing a broad understanding of every child in the program.Teachers are required to make two visits to the home of each child in addition to the two staff-parent conferences.There is some flexibility in allowing visits to be conducted outside the home. Every effort is make to conduct the visit in the home.Services in the home-based option must be provided in the family’s home, because the home setting is integral to the success of this option.

Recruitment

Head Start maintains a yearly recruitment process. Applications are available online here, at all Head Start classrooms or by mail by calling 847-2400.

Enrollment

Head Start can currently serve 1,526 children island-wide. Therefore enrollment in the program is limited. Registration does not ensure that the child will be enrolled. Selection of the children to be enrolled is made using age, income, children’s disabilities, and family needs as criteria. Those children who are not selected for enrollment are placed on a waiting list in their attendance area. After selection is made, parents are notified of their child’s status.


Drops

– A parent / guardian planning to drop their child from the Head Start Program must notify staff and sign a drop form at the Head Start classroom and should inform the Family Advocate of the drop.

Transfers

– A parent / guardian wishing to transfer their child to another center must contact their Family Advocate and Teacher. The child may be admitted into another center or placed on the waiting list in the requested center. Admission to another classroom is dependent on whether there is a vacancy in the requested center.

IF YOUR ADDRESS OR TELEPHONE NUMBER CHANGES, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU INFORM YOUR FAMILY ADVOCATE AND YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is important. Through consistent attendance, children and families are able to make maximum use of Head Start services; children learn the importance and value of being in school and children develop responsibility early.

Center Based Program

Federal Guidelines mandate that an 85% attendance rate should be maintained for children and families to receive the maximum benefit from the Head Start experiences.

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Pick-up/Drop-off Procedures

The following are procedures for parents to follow to ensure the safety and well-being of each child in the Head Start program.
  1. An adult (a person 18 years or older), must accompany and “sign-in” the child when dropping off the child in the morning. At pick-up time an adult must “sign-out” the child.
  2. If your child is unable to attend school that day, you must call the teacher no later than 15 minutes from the start of the school day.*
  3. If you are running late, you must call the teacher to notify him/her of your approximate arrival time. This will assist the teacher to determine if a breakfast and/or lunch is ordered for your child.

* Note: If a child is absent five (5) days out of the month or drop off/ pick up is consistently late, the classroom team will assist the parent in developing a service plan. A service plan is used to resolve problems preventing regular attendance or to support the parent in complying with the pick up/drop off schedule. The child may be dropped from the program if the family does not comply with the service plan. A recommendation may be made to the Head Start Director to drop the child from the program if the family does not comply with the service plan.


Late Pick-up Policy

The following procedures are currently in place:
  1. Staff will counsel parent about the pick-up policy after the first incident.
  2. Parents will notify staff immediately of any changes in authorization for pick-up, emergency contact numbers, and personal information (phone numbers, address, etc.).
  3. For unforeseen circumstances, parents will call staff to inform them that they will be late and should indicate an anticipated arrival time at the classroom.
  4. If parents do not call and / or designated contact persons are not available to pick up child, child may be taken to the nearest police station. If this occurs, the Honolulu Police Department will consider the child to be “abandoned” and will call Child Protective Services (CPS) to initiate a temporary custody process.

Absence due to Illness

Notify your child’s teacher if your child is ill, especially if your child is out for more than (3) consecutive days. Please report how your child is doing and when you think he/she will be returning to the classroom. Please contact the Head Start Nurse if you have any concerns or questions.

Home Base Program

Regular attendance in the Home Base program is critical in order for families to receive the maximum benefit from their Head Start experience. Weekly home visits and group socialization activities twice a month are planned for each home base family. Families are expected to attend all planned activities. In the event an emergency situation arises that prevents parents/children from attending an activity, parents are expected to notify the home visitor. No contact will constitute an unexcused absence.
  1. If a child/parent has two unexcused absences for either home visits or cluster activities, staff may recommend to the Head Start Director that the child be dropped from the program.
  • If there are repeated absences, which the home visitor feels are forming a chronic pattern, staff will help the parent/guardian to resolve the problem preventing regular attendance. If poor attendance persists, staff may recommend to the Head Start Director that the child be dropped from the program.

Extended Absences

For extended absences due to vacations, trips, etc., the parent must submit a written request to the Head Start Director prior to the absence to avoid child being dropped from the program. The request must include the period of absence and the date of return. Parents will be asked to sign a drop form. In the event that they do not return on the designated date or if they do not notify staff to extend the leave period, the child will be dropped from the program.

Parent Involvement

Parents are the most important influence in a child’s development. An essential part of the Head Start program is the involvement of parents in parent education and program planning and operating activities. They serve as members of the Policy Council and Parent Committee and have a voice in administrative and managerial decisions.

Parent Education Training

Head Start provides parent involvement and education activities that are responsive to parents’ expressed needs. Workshops and training are available for parents to enhance life skills.

Parent education training is available. Registration funds are limited. See your Family Advocate for more details.


Volunteers

Through participation in classes and workshops on child development, and through staff visits to the home, parents learn about the needs of their children and about educational activities that can be carried out at home.
  • Parents are involved in program policy-making and operations.
  • Parents are encouraged to participate in our program as visitors/volunteers to observe and/or actively participate with their children in the learning centers.
  • Current and former parents also serve in Head Start on a volunteer or paid basis as Assistant Teachers, Family Advocates, and other staff members.

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Health and Early Childhood Development

Head Start provides every child with a comprehensive health care program to ensure that medical, dental, nutritional, developmental, and mental health needs are met. Head Start emphasizes the importance of obtaining and maintaining optimum health which includes assisting in the establishment and collaboration with a medical and dental home, promotion of regular health check-ups, and the early identification, intervention and follow-up of health concerns. Health education is incorporated into the classroom, parent committee and at staff training.

Audiology

Our program follows the current best practice by administering pure tone audiometric and middle ear or tympanometric screening. The screening we do helps us to identify children who have fluctuating hearing loss due to otitis media as well as children who have permanent hearing loss.

Dental Hygiene

A current (within the last 12 months) dental exam/screening is required for all children enrolled in the Head Start program. If treatment is indicated, follow up with the dental home is essential for good oral health. Parents are encouraged to continue to take their child for “well baby dental visits” every six months.

Head Start staff assists families when locating a dentist and advocates for their needs when necessary. Toothbrushes are provided for all children and tooth brushing is incorporated into daily activities. The dental hygienist provides dental education training to teachers, staff and children in individual classrooms. Parents are invited to dental workshops and health fairs throughout the year.


Nutrition

HCAP Head Start’s child nutrition services help families in meeting each child’s nutritional needs and in establishing good eating habits that nurture healthy development and promote life-long well-being. Growth screenings are conducted twice a year to assess each child’s nutritional status and growth pattern. If necessary a nutritionist will follow-up with child’s parent or guardian to address the child and family’s nutritional needs. Referrals are made to WIC and other community agencies, when necessary.

All children in Head Start are served breakfast and lunch, and a snack in the extended day programs. We provide one-third to one-half of the child’s daily nutritional need. All meals are USDA approved. Meals must be consumed during mealtime only. Food items high in nutrients and low in fat, sugar, and salt are offered to the children. Also, outside foods are not allowed. This includes goodie bags filled with food items during the holidays and birthdays.

The following are some alternative ways to celebrate special occasions.

Non-Food, No-Cost Activities
  • Plant/teach art and/or craft activities
  • Share one or two cultural activities
  • Volunteer for a day
Non-Food Ideas
  • A puzzle/book/educational toy to be used in the classroom
  • Cultural toys/outfits for the classroom
  • Stickers/temporary tattoos
  • Toothbrushes
  • Notebooks, pencils, crayons, markers, and/or erasers

Mental Health Services

HCAP Head Start recognizes the importance of promoting a child and family’s complete health. Our staff includes Family Services Coordinators (FSC’s) who are available for consultation, referral, and intervention services. The FSCs work with families and children on an individual or in a group setting. They also provide resource materials or parenting informational workshops. Currently, we are implementing a violence prevention/ social skill curriculum in some of our classrooms.


Health Requirements

Hawaii State Attendance Law requires that all children enrolled in Head Start have a physical examination from a licensed physician. At the time of enrollment, a physical examination is required that is dated closest to the current age of the child in accordance with the well child schedule. Children entering Head start must have a current TB Clearance dated within 12 months of entry. For preschool, physical examinations performed within one year prior to the date of school entry are acceptable for enrollment purposes. A “Physical Exam-Child” and “Child Immunization Record” must be filled out prior to enrollment.


Health/Emergency Information

Encouraging practices that prevent illness or injury enhance long-life and well-being. Despite efforts to prevent illness or injury, emergencies happen and we establish policies and procedures to respond to medical and dental health emergencies. Upon enrollment, parents must complete and sign a “Consent for Emergency Medical/Dental Treatment of Head Start Enrollee” form. This form is kept in the classroom and is accessible for the teacher in case of any emergency.


Accident Reports

Despite all efforts to promote safety and injury prevention, should a child be involved in an accident or receive an injury, it is important to communicate this to parents both verbally and in writing. The information provided is essential should there be a need for follow-up with the medical home or to continue monitoring of the injury and its progress at home.


Non-Admission of Ill Children

If your child is sick, please keep your child at home. We are concerned with the health and well being of your child and the other children in the classroom. In accordance with Hawaii State Law 1 and Disease Fact Sheets and Guidelines2, children with the following communicable disease/illness will be excluded from school as soon as the illness is suspected and may be required to be cleared by the child’s doctor to be allowed to return to the classroom.

  1. Diarrhea-if the child has accompanying fever.
  2. Fever-readmit after fever is cleared for 24 hours.
  3. Scabies-readmit after treatment is completed.
  4. Impetigo-readmit after treatment is completed.
  5. Lice (uku)-readmit after treatment is completed.
  6. Conjunctivitis (pink eye)-readmit after treatment is completed.
  7. Influenza-if the child has accompanying fever.
  8. Chicken Pox-readmit after all blisters have crusted/scabs; usually after 6 days from onset of rash.
  9. Measles-readmit 4 days after onset of rash.
  10. Whooping Cough-readmit after completion of 5 days of antibiotic treatment.
  11. Mumps-readmit 9 days after onset of swelling.
  12. Rubella (German measles)-readmit 7 days after onset of rash.
  13. Scarlet fever, Strep sore throat and other Streptococcal infection (Beta Hemolytic Group A)-readmit after 24 hours of antibiotic treatment.
  14. Active Tuberculosis-until authorized to return by the Department of Health.
  15. Hand-Foot-and Mouth Disease-if the child has accompanying fever.
  16. Any illness, if in the opinion of the pediatrician or health care provider and the childcare staff can endanger the child’s health and/or the health of other children in the facility.
  17. Any illness if in the opinion of the childcare center director or manager, the center is not equipped to provide childcare for sick children.

Medication Administration

Whenever possible, arrangements should be made with the family and the child’s physician to schedule administration of medication during times when the child is most likely to be under parental supervision. When medication must be administered in the classroom, we must ensure that parents, in collaboration with the medical home, provided clear, thorough instructions on how best care for their child. All eligible children are afforded equal opportunity to be included in Head Start regardless of medication requirements, provided the program can reasonably accommodate them. A “Consent for Administration of Medication” form must be completed prior to administration of any medication in the center.


Education and Early Childhood Development

Head Start’s educational program is designed to meet each child’s individual needs within the context of his/her culture and community. Along with family’s input, the teaching staff carefully plans learning experiences to help children gain the awareness, skills and confidence they need to succeed in their present environment, and to deal with later responsibilities in school and in life. Cognitive, physical, social and emotional growth is fostered through developmentally-appropriate practices. Children participate in indoor and outdoor activities daily and are introduced
to skills and concepts through play. They are encouraged to express their feelings in appropriate ways, to develop self-confidence and self-esteem, and to learn how to get along with others. In all program options and settings for Head Start children, family members are seen as integral partners in the process of planning and implementing meaningful curriculum for children and in the program’s overall approach to child development and education.

Curriculum

Head Start implements The Creative Curriculum for Preschool® as a basis for planning learning experiences for children. This curriculum helps staff address each child’s individual needs, and plan developmentally-appropriate individual, small group and large group activities for children. The Creative Curriculum Teaching Strategies Gold® also involves a system for assessing children’s growth and development through the recording of teacher observations.

Teaching Strategies Gold Online Communication

We are very excited to invite you to participate in our program by communicating with us through Teaching Strategies GOLD® online! Accurate assessment of your child’s development and learning is an essential part of our program because it enables us to plan meaningful activities that match his or her strengths, needs, and interests. To accomplish that, our program uses the online version of Teaching Strategies GOLD®. It helps us collaborate with you as we follow your child’s progress and plan our program.
Through the family site, you will be able to…
• Use the messaging system and event calendar to keep in touch with your teachers and stay up-to-date about what your child is doing at school.
• View the classrooms weekly lesson planning form to know about special events and your child’s day-to-day classroom activities.
• View observations made by teaching staff to show what your child knows and is able to do. This includes photos, scanned artwork, and other electronic samples of his or her work and play at school. You can also share your documentation with us by entering it in the system!
• View reports about your child’s development and learning. The “Development and Learning Report” shows your child’s current knowledge and skills and what his or her next developmental steps are likely to be. The report also recommends fun activities that are related to our curriculum so that you can support your child’s learning at home.
• Prepare for family–teacher conferences by viewing the “Family Conference Form”. During the conference, teachers and families will use the information on the form to begin their conversations and together plan ways to support your child’s continued development.
How do I sign up?
In order to use Teaching Strategies GOLD® family tools and resources, please provide your teacher with an e-mail address of each adult family member to whom you would like us to give access. The teacher will send an invitation through your email that can be accepted by clicking on the link in the message. You will be asked to register (at no cost) by selecting a username and password. Once you have registered, you will be able to log in. You can visit the family site through any computer with access to the Internet.
Go to www.TeachingStrategies.com or www.TeachingStrategies.com/gold/parents.
When the homepage appears, log in by entering your username and password.

Meals

One essential aspect of healthy growth and development is good nutrition. All meals served in our program meet the USDA standards for nutritional content. It is the parent’s responsibility to inform the teacher if their child has any food allergies or if the child is on a special diet. A doctor’s certification is required in order for specific adjustments to be made in meals served. Mealtime is also used as a learning experience. Volunteers and staff are expected to sit with the children and to model good eating habits and table manners. Staff also stimulates social interaction, promoting language development and social skills. Language and social interactions are centered on child’s interest.


Health and Hygiene

The nutrition, health and mental health aspects of the Head Start Program Performance Standards are incorporated into the curriculum through adult modeling of good health practices, as well as through experiences. The teaching staff includes daily routines such as hand washing, tooth brushing, and physical exercise; for example, to promote and discuss good health practices.


Learning Environment

All children, no matter what program option or setting they are enrolled in, are provided the kinds of experiences and supports necessary to help them gain the awareness, skills and confidence necessary to succeed in their present environment, and to deal with later responsibilities in school and in life. In all program options and settings for Head Start children (birth to age 5), family members are seen as integral partners in the process of planning and implementing meaningful curriculum for children and in the program’s overall approach to child development and education.


Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences are held three times during the school year. Initial conference is held approximately three months after the child enters the program. An assessment is made with written goals and strategies planned for each individual child. Mid year conference will be scheduled to meet with parents to go over objectives and goals or any concerns and progress about child’s development. The final conference is held before the end of the year, summarizing the child’s progress and make recommendations for continued growth. These conferences also involve parents in planning and participating in their child’s development.


Field Trips

Field trip enhances our classroom curriculum to give opportunities for hands on experiences. It also provides opportunities for parents to participate, expand their horizons and expose them to activities for the whole family to enjoy outside of their communities. Teachers are provided with a pre-approved field trip destinations list to choose from that are age appropriate. Families are welcome on our classroom field trips. We ask that you check with your teachers on the appropriateness of the field trip for younger siblings. As a general rule, siblings are welcome to accompany you on the field trip but due to seating limits on the bus, you may have to transport yourself and your siblings.


Seat Belt Safety

Hawaii Child Passenger Restraint Law requires children under 4 years old to ride in a child safety seat. The driver is held responsible for compliance with the law. Violators of Hawaii Child Passenger Restraint Law are required to attend a 4-hour class and may be assessed a fine of $100 to $500 depending upon the number of offenses. Please do not leave any child in the car while you run in to the class to sign your Head Start child in. Besides being against the law, it is also dangerous. Our children are very curious and have been watching you drive for a while and may want to try it out if they are left on their own even for a short time. In our Head Start bussettes, all passengers will be buckled in and infants and toddlers will be in car seats.


Disability Services

Since 1972, Head Start has operated under the requirements of a Congressional mandate to make available, at a minimum, ten percent of its enrollment opportunities to children with disabilities. Head Start staff plays and important role in helping to find children who may be in need of special services. Staff actively recruit families and offers enrollment opportunities for children with disabilities with our integrated, developmentally appropriate programs. Staff collaborates with other community agencies that assist children with disabilities to ensure that children are identified and provided a full range of services to meet individual needs. Head Start’s philosophy of inclusion supports the rights of all children to be active participants in natural settings within their communities.


Program Design and Management

This section addresses quality standards, program systems, procedures, facilities, materials, equipment and human resources. All of our facilities are state licensed, have the appropriate safety and developmental equipment and materials, and follow designated procedures in meeting federal guidelines. All enrolled children and families are afforded opportunities to receive Head Start services. Yearly parents in our program do a program self-assessment that is used to assess current program operations and assist in planning future direction. Management ensures the program is providing quality services to children and families, is financially sound, meets all state and federal regulations, and supervise program staff.


Career Development and Training

Head Start provides staff at all levels and in all program areas with training to improve job performance and opportunities for career advancement. A goal of the program is also to provide opportunities for parents to learn a job skill and gain on-site experience in order for them to be more marketable in the employment arena. Head Start programs have a low teacher-child ratio. Staff members receive training in child development and in handling developmental problems of children.


Pre-Service and In-Service Training

Head Start provides in-service training opportunities to program staff to assist them in acquiring and increasing the knowledge and skills needed to fulfill their job responsibilities. All half day Head Start centers are closed on Training days for this purpose. In addition, full day centers are encouraged to send at least one staff person to all In-Service trainings. Parents are invited to join staff on these training dates but without the distraction of children.


Governance and Management Responsibilities

Head Start provides parents opportunities to participate in policy and decision-making throughout the program. Parents are involved in such areas as program planning and implementation, volunteering, parent committees, policy council representation standing policy council committee membership, and program self assessment.


Policy Council

The Policy Council is the governing body of Head Start. It is composed of parent committee representatives, community representatives and staffed by the Head Start Director. Its function is to oversee the Head Start program, ensure compliance with federal regulations, and make decisions regarding programming. Policy Council meetings are held on a monthly basis.


Parent Committee

Once your child is enrolled in our program you become a member of the Parent Committee for the class your child attends. The parent committee meets once a month, and is responsible for electing a Policy Council representative, alternate and Parent Committee officers (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary-Treasurer). These officers are to preside during monthly parent committee meetings where discussions and decisions regarding the program occur. However no decision can be made if there is no quorum.* *Quorum occurs when there are 5 or more committee members present for the Parent Committee meeting.


Parent Grievance Procedure

Parent Grievance Procedure is established to provide a means of encouraging parents in the Head Start program to feel comfortable with airing and/or expressing any doubts or problems which many occur during the program year with another parent or staff. This procedure shall give a parent the opportunity to freely express his or her feelings toward the conditions of the program or being treated unfairly. A Grievance may be a complaint relating to another parent who is causing a problem, a staff who is not performing to his or her expectations according to her role and responsibilities, conditions of the centers, etc. The Objectives of the Grievance Procedure shall be to:

  1. Promote harmony in the working relationships of our parents and staff.
  2. Provide and acknowledge an orderly process for the handling of the parent grievances.
  3. Resolve grievances as quickly as possible before they become unduly exaggerated and disruptive to the program.
  4. Resolve the grievance at the parent/staff level if possible.
  5. Correct the cause of the grievance.
  6. Provide free expression of views and open dialogue (documentation) between parent and staff.

A parent has the discretion of bypassing all procedures and going directly to whom he or she feels comfortable requesting assistance for his or her concerns. Step 1: When a parent has a complaint (grievance), the first step is to contact the Head Start staff supervisor immediately to discuss the area of complaint. At this point, we encourage the parent as well as the supervisor to document the complaint. If no satisfaction to the parent: Step 2:The parent, with the assistance of a third party, if necessary, and the staff supervisor will discuss the grievance with his or her parent committee. Documentation will be required of the parent, staff supervisor, and report to be recorded in the parent committee minutes. If no satisfaction to the parent: Step 3: The parent, with the assistance from a third party if necessary, the staff supervisor, will discuss the grievance with the HCAP Head Start Policy Council. Documentation will be required of the parent, staff supervisor, minutes of the parent committee, and report to be recorded in the Policy Council minutes. If no satisfaction to the parent: Step 4: The parent, with the assistance from a third party if necessary, the staff supervisor, will discuss the grievance with the HCAP (Honolulu Community Action Program, Inc.) Administrative Staff. Documentation will be required of the parent, staff supervisor, minutes of the parent center group, minutes of the Policy Council, and report to be recorded at the administrative level. If no satisfaction to the parent: Step 5: The parent, with the assistance from a third party if necessary, the staff supervisor, and administrative staff will discuss the grievance with the HCAP Board. The decision of the Board is recorded as the Final Decision, hopefully to be accepted by the parent. A parent has the discretion of bypassing all procedure and going directly to whom he or she feels comfortable requesting assistance for his or her concerns.

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