PARENT, FAMILY, & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Parents and community will be integrated into every aspect of the Geminus Head Start program. Through active engagement, parents especially gain a better understanding of child development and early childhood education as it relates to their children. Head Start’s vision is to create and maintain a family partnership with all families with goals to:
- Support parents as primary educators, nurturers, and advocates for their child.
- Provide every family with opportunities for a significant experience in Head Start.
- Ensure that parents are involved in making policy and program decisions for their Head Start program.
Our Head Start program reflects this vision through efforts to carry out the following standards:
- Culture – All aspects of the program support the cultures of the families and the community in which the program operates.
- Governance – Parents have opportunities for participation and shared decision making in every area of the program.
- Individualized Family Partnerships – The staff and program meet the expressed interests and needs of each parent through the on-going process of personal and family goal setting and partnering of activities to meet these goals. Discussions to identify interests, needs, and goals are within the first 30 days of enrollment.
- Disabilities – All aspects of the program respond to and support children with disabilities and their families.
- Community Resources – Families build the confidence, skill, and knowledge they need to access community resources on their own behalf.
- Male Involvement – Our program will make efforts to reach out to and include fathers, supportive male family members, and male caregivers in parent involvement activities, especially those activities involving the development of their children.
- Leadership – Parents, staff and Policy Council members work together and provide leadership to communicate with their community about the interests and needs of Head Start; and assist in strengthening existing services or bringing in new services that are needed.
Serving Northwest and Northern Indiana, Regional Health Systems supports programs in Benton, Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke Counties and manages facilities in Cedar Lake, East Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Highland, Hobart, Lake Station, Merrillville, Valparaiso and Whiting, Indiana.
Our network of community-based health care and social services welcomes Indiana residents of all ages and income levels with fully integrated, streamlined services.