As we approach the 50th anniversary of Head Start, I think about how Head Start began – and it’s evolution over the years. It’s important that Head Start staff is familiar with the history of Head Start – as well as its mission, vision and guiding principles. Understanding the purpose and intent of Head Start provides staff with valuable information – and perspective – as they go about their daily work.
As we all know, Head Start has a language of its own. It’s critical that all staff is familiar with the basics of Head Start – the Performance Standards, the content areas, self-assessment, community assessment and ongoing monitoring, just to name a few. It’s important to understand that everything we do is to ensure that children are school-ready and that families are fully engaged and become self-sufficient. It’s also crucial to understand the importance of accountability – having systems in place and staying Review-ready. These are all functions that are important, not just because we’re required to be in full compliance, but because they are best practices for people working with children and families.
Staff often talk about how much work Head Start is. It’s true – it is. But it’s also very rewarding. The joy that teachers experience when a child learns something because of their efforts… the joy that family services workers feel from linking families to needed services… the joy that we all feel from knowing that we’re making a difference in the lives of children and families – these are the rewards.
Looking for training on “Head Start 101: Getting Back to Basics”? Give us a call at (704) 451-3255 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.