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Parent Involvement

WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

Volunteer

Please know that you are always welcome in your child’s classroom. Parents are encouraged to volunteer as often as possible, and are always invited to attend field trips and special classroom events. If you want to help out but can’t get to your child’s classroom, ask your teacher if there is anything you can help with from home. Your time and energy is always appreciated! We hope every parent becomes a Head Start volunteer. We rely on your support to meet our In-Kind Donation goals.

Read the Head Start Newsletter

Each week you will receive a newsletter that gives you information about upcoming Head Start activities, community information, and the menu for the week. This will keep you up-to-date on what’s happening at Head Start. If you have information you would like to share with other families, please feel free to give it to your child’s teacher or bus driver to have it put in the newsletter.
Read the latest Early Head Start newsletter
Read the latest Head Start newsletter

participate in Parent & Family Activities

A variety of activities are planned that provide opportunities for parents and families to get involved. Some of our favorites are:
• Movie Night
• Health and Safety FUN Fair
• Sports Night
• Hoosier Daddies (see below)
• Baby Buddy Groups (see below)

Hoosier Daddies

Fathers have a powerful and positive impact on the health and development of children. The Head Start Hoosier Daddies program is designed to celebrate and support the importance of male role models in children’s lives. Hoosier Daddies events include father friendly events like Sports Night and Planes, Trains and Daddymobiles; as well as topic discussion on issues that are important to dads.  Fathers, grandfathers, big brothers, uncles and family friends are encouraged to attend.  The mission of Hoosier Daddies is:
  • To enrich the lives of children in south central Indiana by promoting and facilitating positive father involvement.
  • To encourage the significance of a male role model in the life of a child.
  • To strengthen togetherness of the child and the special male in their life, that will aid in building the self-esteem of the child, and promote a healthy relationship.
  • To increase cooperation in supporting the child’s growth and enhancing the lives of children.
  • To ultimately show the significance of male support in all areas of the child’s life, such as social, emotional, physical, and financial.

Baby Buddy Groups

Your child is building his/her first and most important relationship in his/her life… with you! Your child interacts by making eye contact, smiling, cooing, reaching out, and later by talking.  As you and your child participate in these groups, you can discover how your child responds to you and others. Baby Buddy Groups happen twice a month and are a time for you and your child to meet and play with other children.  Early Head Start staff will prepare activities and discussions to build your relationship and strengthen the bonds of your family.  A snack is always provided.  Check the newsletter or calendar to find out when the next Baby Buddy Group will be.   

Who attends Baby Buddy Groups?  All Head Start and Early Head Start families who have children 0-3 are invited to attend.   Sometimes we will invite members of the community to speak and share information with the group.  If you have other children, they are welcome to attend too! 

Where are Baby Buddy Groups?  Baby Buddy Groups will be held in various locations throughout the community.  Some places we like to meet include Head Start sites, Banneker Community Center, Bloomington Area Birth Services (BABS), Monroe County Public Library, and local parks.   

Why should you come to Baby Buddy Groups?  Get out of the house and meet other parents.  Share what you know and learn from others.  Get more information about safety, nutrition, discipline, and other topics.  Learn that you are not alone in the challenges and joys of raising a young child.  And most importantly, strengthen your relationship with your young child.

attend Parent Workshops

We also offer FREE parent workshops throughout the year. Some of our most popular are:
• Behavior Support
• CPR and First Aid training
• Family Literacy workshops
• Job skills training

attend Parent Group Meetings

You will have the opportunity to meet with other parents at your site several times during the year. Each of these meetings will have a “theme” with some fun activities for your enjoyment. They provide an opportunity for parents at your site to get to know each other, discuss issues/concerns/special events/information related to your Head Start site only. You may want to discuss a special holiday activity, a field trip, fund raising for materials or playground equipment or having a “room parent”, (a parent who calls others with information about their class or site.) This is an opportunity for parents to have ownership of their site and get involved in their child’s education.

make a Donation

Head Start will gladly accept donations of gently used children’s clothing and toys. You can drop them off and the main center in Bloomington, 1502 W. 15th St. or bring them to your child’s classroom. We have a free shelf at the main center where ALL families are welcome to “shop” or drop off useful items to be reused.


Parent Involvement

Parent Involvement is essential to the success of the Head Start program. Parents affect almost every aspect of a child's life: self-esteem, health, values, behavior, readiness for school and success in life. Because parents have so much at stake, they have a lot to offer to the Head Start program serving their children. Parents are encouraged to take an active role in their child’s education by volunteering in the classrooms, participating in family activities and events, and providing valuable feedback to the program. The Council of Involved Families is a group of parents and community members that meet once a month to discuss issues and policies that affect the entire Head Start program. Parent Group meetings provide the opportunity for parents at each site to meet throughout the year to develop family connections and discuss activities and ideas for each site. For more information contact the Parent Involvement Coordinator at (812) 339-3447 ext. 330 or email parent@insccap.org.

There are lots of ways for parents to get involved with the Head Start program. If you have a question about Parent Involvement or have a great idea that you’d like to share, please email parent@insccap.org. The Parent Handbook also has lots of great information that can help.

Download the Early Head Start Parent Handbook
Download the Head Start Parent Handbook