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.
HCAP Head Start Mission Statement
Child Abuse Policy
Family and Community Partnerships
Center Based Program
Late Pick-up Policy
Absence Due to Illness
Home Based Program
Parent Education Training
Health and Early Childhood Development
Mental Health Services
Non-Admission of Ill Children
Education and Early Childhood Development
Teaching Strategies Gold Online Communication
Health and Hygiene
Parent Teacher Conferences
Seat belt Safety Recruitment
Program Design and Management
Career Development Training
Pre-Service and In-Service Training
Governance and Management Responsibilities
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.
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
Head Start Waipahu 94-810 Moloalo St, Suite 200 & 210 Waipahu, HI 96797 Tel: 847-2400
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:
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.
– 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.
– 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.
* 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.
Parent education training is available. Registration funds are limited. See your Family Advocate for more details.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A 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:
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.