Programs

Overview

Head Start is a federally-funded comprehensive, quality preschool program that provides learning experiences focusing on the domains of learning. Head Start assists in the development of social competence so preschoolers will be ready for and successful in school.

Family Forum, Inc. provides Head Start services and works in partnership with families to provide a strong support network for low-income families of preschool children. Head Start provides preschool children and their families with activities that help them grow cognitively, socially, emotionally, and physically. Head Start helps all children and their families succeed.

Services are offered to meet the special needs of children with disabilities. The Head Start staff recognize that, as parents, you are the first and most important teachers of your children. We welcome your involvement in Head Start activities and will work as partners with you to help your child and family progress.

If you or a family member has a special concern, you can receive help though Head Start. Head Start staff work with and support families in need of medical, nutritional, social, educational, and employment services through identifying and utilizing community resources. We will also follow up to ensure you receive the assistance needed.

Parental Role

The success of Head Start / Early Head Start depends on your continued involvement. The benefits of Head Start / Early Head Start are rooted in change. These changes must take place in the family, the community, and the attitudes of people and institutes that have an impact on them. We cannot do it alone. Your understanding, support, and input are essential to our program. Your volunteer services are a valuable fiscal contribution to us and a great learning opportunity for you. Research indicates that the more you are involved in your child’s learning, the more gains your child will make in social competence and school readiness.

Head Start / Early Head Start has a number of areas in which you may choose to become involved. They are:
– Classroom or center involvement, including volunteering the the classroom
– Acting as a resource person in the classroom
– Volunteering on field trips
– Bus Monitoring
– Office Assistant
– Monthly Parent committee Meetings, which will include you (as a parent) providing input into the center or other Head Start activities
– Policy involvement, which includes being a member of Head Start Policy Council. This is an elected position. Parents from each center meet monthly to provide guidance, input, discussion, and approve or disapprove policies or procedures affecting our Head Start program. Ashland, WI is the central meeting place.
– Home activities that are in coordination with your child’s Head Start classroom or center curriculum.

 

Our Services

Center-based Learning is for children between the ages of 3 and 5. These children participate in learning activities at the Head Start center during either a morning or afternoon session. Nutritional meals and snacks are provided each day. Meals are served family-style to teach children table manners. Children also learn to set tables and clean-up afterwards. To encourage personal hygiene, children wash their hands before each meal and brush their teeth after each meal. You also have the option of having your child picked up and dropped off by the Family Forum, Inc. school bus at no charge when your child is enrolled in the center-based program.

Home-based Learning is available to children (and their families) prenatal to age 3.  A highly trained home-based teacher comes to your home for one and one half hours each week offering family support. Along with the home-based teacher’s support, you receive “The Portage Guide Birth to Six” curriculum to assist you in planning activities that promote the development of your child. Child / parent socializations are held twice a month for group learning opportunities.

Community Preschool Program (4K) is offered for eligible children who are 4 years old by September 1st. DPI licensed teachers use WI Model Early Learning Standards 5 days a week. Parent involvement and training opportunities are offered. This program prepares your child for a lifetime of learning. A parent or legal guardian may choose to dually enroll the child in the 4K program and Head Start in some locations. To do this, the parent needs to complete a child application, sign a permission slip to be dually enrolled, and provide proof of immunizations and show the child’s birth certificate.

Policies

Daily attendance is expected. Please call the center if your child will not be attending. We keep a consistent attendance record of all children.

Family Forum, Inc., a non-profit corporation, assures that no qualified person shall, on the basis of a disability, be excluded from participating in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination of any program, service or activity we sponsor.  Any person who believes he or she is discriminated against, based on the information above, should contact our Affirmative Action/504 Coordinator at 1507 Tower Ave., Suite 312, Superior, WI  54880 or 1-800-392-4473.  Our facilities are operated in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, or national origin.  Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any USDA related facility should write to: Administration Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA  22302

Each staff person, volunteer, or parent working or volunteering in the center must sign a background verification statement that verifies he/she has not been convicted of crimes against children nor have any such cases pending. The outcome will determine if he/she can work with children in the center.

Each center and home-based site must maintain a “Medication and Injury Log Book” to record all child injuries during attendance, medication dispensed to a child during attendance, and any incidents or injuries that are observed by staff that result in the reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect.

All personally identifiable information about children and families we serve must remain confidential at all stages: collection, storage, disclosure and destruction.  We require all staff, volunteers and parents to support this policy though word, action and deed.

The County Public Health Department will be notified of all reportable communicable diseases.  Parents will be notified of all suspected and diagnosed communicable diseases.  Children with a communicable disease will be temporarily excluded from the center during the period when the disease is contagious.  A child can return to school with a signed statement from a physician or county nurse that the child’s condition is no longer contagious or if the absentee time of the child is equal to the longest usual incubation period of the disease.

Head Start believes in the philosophy of Positive Guidance of Children.  The goal of all discipline in Head Start is for children to develop the social competency needed to become independent, well-adjusted individuals.  Through consistent, positive guidance, children develop self-control, self-esteem and respect for others.

Your center is legally licensed to operate. The State of Wisconsin’s Department of Health and Family Services issue the license. This license verifies that the staff, program and facility meet all requirements needed for operating a group day care center. The license is posted in the center.

Only medication prescribed in writing by a physician will be administered to a child attending Head Start.

Foods served to children will be high in nutrients and low in fat, sugar and salt.  It is unacceptable to serve food to children, which has been provided outside the agency food service.

We will release your child only to those adults whom you have designated on the Emergency Information for Infant, Toddler & Preschooler form.  It is the parent’s responsibility to inform staff on ANY changes.  Parents must sign their child in and out of the center for classroom or other center activities when transporting the child.

Parents and staff will partner to carry out program requirements such as home visits, parent / teacher conferences, trainings, and meetings which are part of our regular program.

Head Start staff are required by law to report to the County Department of Human (Social) Services, sheriff or city police all situations in which they know or have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be abused or neglected.  Parents are not notified prior to the report being made.

Complaints or concerns are to be resolved at the point of origin with the minimum number of persons involved.  Steps for resolving need to progress through discussions with:

  • Source of origin of concern
  • Classroom Teacher or Home Visitor
  • Center Manager

If complaint or concern is not resolved at any of above levels, you may direct it in writing to the Executive Director at Family Forum, Inc., 1507 Tower Ave., Suite 312, Superior, WI  54880 or by calling 1-800-392-4473 (Executive Director).

Routine safety drills for fires, tornadoes or severe weather, vehicle evacuations, transportation breakdown or other emergency evacuations at the center or on the bus will be done with your child.

All of our Head Start centers and offices reinforce the smoke and drug free environment policy.  No smoking is permitted in any Head Start facilities or at any Head Start functions.

  • Every rider must wear a seat belt or safety restraint.
  • A bus monitor is required when 10 or more children are being transported.  A bus monitor is required when children are on board unless an exception to this policy has been granted by the Office of Head Start.
  • The driver is in charge at all times.  The driver will remain with the children in case of an emergency.
  • Bus schedules are set up to allow for the maximum number of students to be transported to the center and home safely in the shortest amount of time.
  • Pick up and drop off locations are expected to be consistent.
  • No smoking, eating or drinking is permitted on the bus.
  • All items (including backpacks) carried on the bus or van must be securely fastened so they cannot move about the vehicle.
  • Our buses will not travel down roadways or driveways that the driver considers a potential safety hazard.
  • Children and all adults must walk a minimum of 10 feet away from anywhere around the vehicle for safety purposes.
  • We will not drop off children unless they are met by a parent or other designated adult.  The person accepting a child must be known or identified and visible to the driver.  If no authorized adult is present, we will return the child to the center  and try to contact parents or other authorized persons.  If no one can be located to take responsibility for the child, we will contact the local Department of Human (Social) Services or local sheriff/police department.  The child will then be turned over to their custody.