- Join Policy Council & Make a Difference!
One of the most unique aspects of Early Head Start, is that parents have a voice in what happens in the program through participating in Policy Council. Together with community members, Policy Council parent representatives help us plan and carry out parent activities including hiring staff, serving on committees, assisting with developing program goals, analyzing the needs in our communities, and ensuring we make progress on our outcomes. Check out some of the items we’ve discussed recently by reading our monthly Policy Council Meeting Minutes here
- No Experience Needed
No experience is needed to join! As a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in our program, you already have the expertise we need because you know what’s important to you and your child. By sharing with us your ideas and feedback, we can continue to meet the needs of the children and families we serve. We even provide the training to help make sure you feel comfortable with your roles and responsibilities.
- Benefits of Joining
Besides being a lot of fun, parents have told us that they love coming to Policy Council meetings because it’s a chance to get involved in their child’s program, they meet other parents and make friends, and they know they are helping us create a stronger program and community. It also helps you develop leadership skills that you can show on your resume when you look for work. Don’t just take our word for it, hear what our parents say by watching this quick video. If you’re interested, talk to your Family Consultant about joining Policy Council. We look forward to hearing from you!!
- Parent Engagement Matters
You may have heard us use the terms “parent involvement” or “parent engagement.” That’s our way of focusing on building relationships with parents that support the family well-being and the relationships between parents and their children. In fact, we have 7 outcomes that we focus on that help us create positive and enduring change for the children and families we serve. They include 1) Family Well-Being, 2) Positive Parent-Child Relationships, 3) Families as Life-Long Educators, 4) Families as Learners, 5) Family Engagement in Transition, 6) Family Connections to Peers and Community, and 7) Families as Advocates and Leaders.
- Your Time Matters
Every time you help your child meet his or her goal and you record your time, you participate in activities at the center or in Policy Council, you recruit other families to join our program, or you help us hire the best staff, you are helping to assure that we stay focused on activities that contribute to family and school success. You do this, in part, by helping us connect your interests, strengths, and priorities with our school readiness and program goals. To be successful as an Early Head Start program, we need you to get involved and help us better help support you, our enrolled children, and the communities we serve!
- Fathers Are Important!
Fathers play a key role in the development of their children and creating a caring family life. In fact, babies as young as 4 weeks can distinguish their father’s voice from that of a stranger.
When fathers are involved with their children, it increases their self-esteem, improves their success in school, helps them resist peer pressure as they get older, and helps children become eager to learn while increasing their sense of humor. All of which helps lead to success in school and in life. That’s why we believe that fathers, and other males important to the child, are equal partners in helping their children, and us, succeed!
- We Need Your Help!
Our program relies on parent and community members so much so, that we are only funded at 80% of the total budget we need. That means, that we have to secure volunteers (from parents and community members) to make up the 20% difference. For our program, that means we have to generate enough time to be equivalent to almost $400,000 a year!
- How You Can Help
We need volunteers to participate on our hiring committees, on our Health and Education committees, and in helping us recruit new children under age 3 and pregnant women to enroll in our program. You can help us spread the word about our program by telling other parents and community members about what you enjoy most about being involved with us. Every share helps us promote our program, so post what you love about our us on your Facebook and other social media sites too. Other ways you can help include assisting us with setting up for events, playgroups, parent-child activities at the center, and by volunteering your time at the center or by participating in Policy Council. Check out our volunteer application here.
- We Love Cash Donations Too!
If you don’t have time, but still want to get involved, we would gladly accept your donation. Click here to donate. Every dollar helps. We thank you, as do our families and their children!