Head Start and Early Head Start is state and federally funded. Our Head Start Programs are also accredited by a group called NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), and we are licensed by the state. That is a whole lot of groups that we are accountable to, that are assuring we are doing things in the safest, most effective, best ways and that we are being good stewards of the funds that are entrusted to us. We are also accountable to YOU--our NCCDI parents, children and community members.
This week we are in the midst of one of the 5 federal compliance reviews that the Office of Head Start requires all grantees to do. This one is our Comprehensive Services/School Readiness review. This review looks at what we are doing within every element of our programs to make sure that families needs are met, resources are being provided, and families and children are fully prepared to transition to Head Start from Early Head Start and from Head Start to Kindergarten. The reviewer is looking at how we refer people to counseling services, how we encourage goal setting not only in the classroom but also for the family, and how we assist in the process of identifying disabilities and getting services for children who need them.
So far, the reviewer has interviewed Rosie (our Head Start Director) and Tori (our Early Head Start Director), Brian (Executive Director), Tina (Family/Community Outreach Director), and Paige (Health Services Director). She is interviewing a group of parents as well, to see how the program operates from their point of view and will also observe classes in session and look at children's files.
After this week, the information gathered will be assessed and in a month or two we should get back a report assessing how we did and where we might make improvements.
Next month we embark on our next review--this one will be on Leadership, Governance and Management Systems, so our parents and community members who serve on the Policy Council and Governing Board will have the opportunity to be interviewed. More on that to come!