Early Head Start highly values and encourages parent involvement. You will complete a Parent Involvement Opportunities survey soon after starting our program so you can let us know ways you would like to participate in addition to regular attendance at childcare or on home visits and at play groups.
All parents with children enrolled in our Children First Early Head Start program are automatically members of a Parent Committee. Parent Committees meet on a monthly basis so parents can hear program updates and reports from Policy Council (more on Policy Council below). Parent Committees are also a time when parents help plan special events, including our annual Resource Fair/Picnic, and attend parent trainings. Training topics include nutrition, dental, infant mental health, substance abuse, child abuse prevention, domestic violence, child development, literacy, community advocacy, leadership, and more. If you have suggestions for future parent training topics, please let us know.
We have separate Parent Committees based on program option and site. Please ask your home visitor or family advocate for more information on when and where your parent committee meets.
Parent Committee Events
Field trips can be to parks, museums, libraries or other educational community locations. Every year the Policy Council works with staff to hold additional special activities of interest to program facilities. Current special activities include a summer picnic/resource fair. You are encouraged to participate and help with these activities.
The role of the Children First Early Head Start Policy Council is for parents and community members to participate in the decision-making process about the design, operation and management of our Early Head Start program (as defined in 45 CFR 1304.50 and related Head Start guidelines). The Policy Council serves as a link between public and private organizations, parents, parent committees and the Venice Family Clinic Board of Directors. The Policy Council meets monthly to develop, review, approve or disapprove the following: program policies and procedures, funding applications, program goals, Policy Council by-laws, criteria for recruitment, selection, and enrollment, our annual self-assessment, and hiring and firing of staff.
Any parent with a child enrolled in the Children First Early Head Start program can run for Policy Council. All parents in the program vote for parent representatives from each program site and option to ensure that the entire program is represented. Parents also elect Community Representatives with voting rights.
Click here to see our Policy Council Officers/Members list.
Health Services Advisory Committee
The Children First Early Head Start Health Services Advisory Committee (HSAC) is a group of community health professionals—doctors, dentists, therapists, nurses, etc.—and parents from our program who meet three times a year to review program health policies and make recommendations for our program. We discuss ways to make sure that families are receiving the best health education and care. It is very important to for this committee to hear from our parents so please let your home visitor or family advocate know if you are interested in joining.