Head Start is committed to providing information for current and potential parents of children involved in the Head Start program. Collaboration between families, staff and the community facilitates learning and supports growth in children.
Family support is a critical and vital part of UW Oshkosh Head Start and there are many opportunities for parent/guardian involvement throughout the year. An interest sheet and a participation survey, will be required to be completed by all parents/guardians prior to orientation, are reviewed and acted upon by Family Support staff. These indicate which interests and needs may be met by providing group sessions; providing the information individually; or by making an appropriate referral.
Individual conferences and home visits by teachers and the family support staff are also used to identify other family interests and needs. Parents/guardians are welcomed into each classroom as volunteers and home visits and conferences are done on a regular basis.
Parent Involvement Opportunities
- NEWS AND UPDATES
Parents are provided with written information, one on one training and group training on a variety of subjects. Newsletters and at least one parenting group per center also provide parenting information.
- LITERACY ACTIVITIES
Literacy activities are provided through story hours, home activities, and referrals to literacy tutors, referrals to ESL and Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs (one being on site in Oshkosh). The Appleton-based ABE class is just three blocks from the St. B’s Center.
- STAFF SUPPORT
The Head Start health services manager supports the family support staff in medical and dental follow up as needed. Training events are held on nutrition and mental health for the entire family. Families receive information about free health clinics and assistance is given if necessary in getting health services.
- MONTHLY CENTER MEETINGS
All parents are encouraged to participate in monthly center meetings, as members of the policy council, advisory committees or members of policy council sub-committees.
- POLICY COUNCIL
The policy council offers parents opportunities to serve on community governing boards.
Community partnering is a vital element of the program which takes into account the interests and needs of parents, children and the program as a whole. Connections are made with agencies and services that will meet the needs of our families as well as enhance and strengthen UW Oshkosh Head Start programming for parents and children.
Formal partnership agreements
Formal partnership agreements have been developed with agencies as needed and include area human services programs, public school districts and collaborating project partners. Informal and ongoing partnerships with numerous agencies solidify Head Start as a viable part of each community and ensure the availability and usage of those agencies and services by our families.
A health and family services advisory committee, comprised of Head Start staff, community representatives and program parents helps ensure comprehensive planning and review throughout the program. The group meets at least twice a year to share general information before forming groups in four areas of specialty for follow up. Sub-committees are formed as needs arise.
UW Oshkosh Head Start is an active collaborating partner and leader in all of the communities served and has representatives on most community networking groups including the early childhood groups, the collaboration work group, the poverty coalition, the inter-agency council, ESTHER and other community service organizations.
Public and private school partnerships, as well as work with Fox Valley Technical College and the UW Oshkosh have led to new community initiatives that have benefits beyond those to low income children and their families.
UW OSHKOSH HEAD START
515 E. Parkway Avenue
Oshkosh, WI 54901