Head Start Performance Standard 1304.51

A communication system ensures that an exchange of information allows individuals to become fully involved in program activities and to make group decisions that promote a quality program. To be effective, information flows to and from parents, staff, governing bodies and community partners. Privacy of Information Procedures (HSA-3) will be signed by: • All staff • Policy Council members • Volunteers including Governing Board

Related Forms:HSA-33 HS3-21 HS4-3 HSA-28HSA-3 HS7-1 HSA-7 HSA-52

Procedure:

1304.51(b)1. GeneralThrough a variety of interagency community networking opportunities, timely and accurate information flows to the community about our Head Start program and our role in the community. Through the involvement of these community groups, Head Start is able to partner with a variety of different agencies and avoid duplication of services. Communication opportunities include:• Face to Face• Health Services Advisory Committee Meetings• Management Level Meetings with the Mental Health Provider• Management Level Meetings with the LEA/COOP• Written Notices • Phone Calls• E-mail: A Computer, E-Mail, Internet and Network Policy (HSA-33) will be signed by all staff and Policy Council members assigned an e-mail account. • Agency Newsletter produced on a quarterly basis• Regular Mail• Agency Web Site• Faxes• Participation/membership with local civic groups• Presentations to local civic groups

1304.51(c)(1)2. Communication with Families Two way timely and accurate communications between staff and parents will be, on a regular basis, in the parent's primary language or through an interpreter to the extent feasible. The Family Involvement/Inclusion Specialist and Local Program Director will ensure a flow of communication between the Agency and parents. • Face to face, talking to parents on a daily basis when leaving and picking up their children at the center or on Home Visits/Socialization Days• Local Program Parent Meetings• Written notices placed in children’s lockers and/or posted on parent bulletin board• Phone Calls• E-mail: A Computer, E-Mail, Internet and Network Policy (HSA-33) will be signed by all staff and Policy Council members assigned an e-mail account. • Home Visits and Parent/Staff Conferences (HS3-21) (HS7-1) (HS4-3)• Agency Web Site• Agency Newsletter produced on a quarterly basis• Interagency Mail System • Regular Mail• Faxes• Parent Handbook

Child information will be exchanged, with a signed permission (HSA-7) by the parent, with relevant community agencies and public school systems.

Parents can request a copy of their child's file with advanced notice.

Site orientation meetings (HSA-28) for the purpose of familiarizing parents with policies (Parent Handbook) affecting them occur immediately upon enrollment. Orientation meeting subjects include reporting suspected child abuse or neglect, component services, and special needs services.

1304.51(c)(2)The Local Program Director will arrange for translation services for welcome visits, parent meetings, etc. • If no interpreter is available, the Local Program Director will be assisted in accessing an outside interpreter. • Translations of common phrases in Spanish on the web site

1304.51(d) 3. Communication with Governing Bodies and Policy Groups

1304.51(d)(1)Governing Board Work PlanPolicy Council Work Plan

1304.51(d)(2)Every month of the program year, other policies, guidelines, and communications from ACYF are shared with the Governing Board and Policy Council via the web site. Appropriate materials are distributed to parents and/or are posted on bulletin boards in centers.

1304.51(d)(3) and 1304.51(d)(4)Governing Board and Policy Council will be given regular communications via: • Committee Meeting Minutes • Training Opportunities • Planning Opportunities• Policies and Procedures • Grant Applications • Policies, Guidelines and other Communication from HHS• National and local information • Agency Web Site• Agency Newsletter produced on a quarterly basis• Weekly Communiqués• Phone Calls• Email: A Computer, E-Mail, Internet and Network Policy (HSA-33) will be signed by all staff and Policy Council members assigned an e-mail account.

Governing Board and Policy Council meeting packets will be provided well in advance of any planned meeting date to allow the governing body time to review and digest the information following the Governing Board and Policy Council Meeting Packet Procedure. • Annual Orientation in October• Monthly Trainings• Monthly Meetings and information in Meeting Packet• Committee Meetings• Monthly Financial and Program Reports• Annual Audit Report• Regular Mail• Reauthorization Communication Requirements:o monthly financial statements, including credit card expenditures;o monthly program information summarieso program enrollment reports, including attendance reports for children whose care is partially subsidized by another public agency;o monthly reports of meals and snacks provided through program of the Department of Agriculture;o the financial audit;o the annual self-assessment, including any findings related to such assessment;o the communitywide strategic planning and needs assessment of the Head Start agency, including any applicable updates;o communication and guidance from the Secretary; ando the program information reports.

Policy Council members are trained to understand their roles and responsibilities in communication to the local program parent committees.

1304.51(e)4. Communication Among StaffAgency staff will employ a variety of communication methods including:• Staff Binders• Management team meets weekly to communicate among each other and facilitate quality outcomes for children and families. Tracking and reporting systems will be used by appropriate personnel to monitor, track and follow up on family and child services.• Local Program Directors meet at least bi-monthly with the management team to communicate/plan among each other and facilitate quality outcomes for children and families. • Local program sites have at least one monthly organized staff meeting (HSA-52) including:o Team Buildingo Leadership o Daily Operationso Planning• Workshops are held at least quarterly including a business meeting with all staff provide forums for staff to comment and share information with management. • Staff Bulletin Board• Suggestion Box in agency sites and via the agency web site• Weekly Communiqués• Phone Calls• E-mail: A Computer, E-Mail, Internet and Network Policy (HSA-33) will be signed by all staff and Policy Council members assigned an e-mail account. • Agency Newsletter produced on a quarterly basis• Interagency Mail System • Regular Mail• Faxes• Agency staff will use the agency web site to keep current on: o Upcoming events/current events o Training opportunities for staff and parentso Job postings, promotion opportunitieso Agency forms, procedures, etc.o Technology/Facility work orderso Supply orderso Commodity Inventoryo Human Resource Information including times sheets and leave datao Child and Family Tracking Information (COPA)o Child Outcomeso Referral Information for familieso Monitoring Resultso Planning