Child Development - Education, Mental Health, Disabilities
EDUCATIONAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
SCFO provides children ages 0-5 center-based and home based program options that support children in developing self-help skills, social-emotional skills and school readiness opportunities.
- Center Based Program- children participate in a classroom environment up to 5 days a week which offers a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and/or snack. Education, health, and nutrition experiences are planned where children learn through play, exploration and experimentation.
- Home Based Program- the home is a natural environment in which children learn. Parents are the most important influence in the education and development of their children. On a weekly basis, staff works with parents to enhance learning opportunities in the home. In addition there are socializations, fieldtrips, and parent training activities.
The High Scope curriculum is used in all of SCFO’s Head Start programs and in our Early Head Start centers. It is our programs goal to create a strong foundation for young children that is rich with experience and opportunity based on a child’s individual need. This foundation is built in an environment that establishes trust and security for both the child and their parent is and focuses on the skills and strengths of each child within a group and/or home setting.
Our developmentally appropriate curriculum is supported by using resource books and training materials provided by the High Scope Curriculum. The vision of this curriculum is to promote active learning among children as well as meeting the individual needs of each child and supporting school readiness. The High Scope curriculum ensures that:
- Children are personally and socially competent.
- Children are effective learners.
- Children show physical and motor competencies.
- Children are safe and healthy.
- Families support their children’s learning and development.
- Families achieve their goals.
For more information on the High Scope curriculum, we welcome you to visit www.highscope.org
Partners for a Healthy Baby is our Early Head Start home visiting curriculum. The Partners for a Healthy Baby series is unique in that focuses on child health and development within the context of the diverse needs of expectant and parenting families. This comprehensive curriculum supports the home visitor’s ability to systematically plan and address key topics with families. Each visit is individually fit to meet the development of the child and family. Resources are provided to families based on their interest and the development of the child. For more information on Partners for a Healthy Baby, visit http://cpeip.fsu.edu/PHB
It is the goal of SCFO to ensure that all children are ready for school both emotionally, socially, and academically. In order to best support children and make sure that typical development is happening, children in both the Early Head Start program and the Head Start program receive developmental assessments and mental health screenings to ensure that all areas of development are being supported for school readiness.
Click here to view SCFO’s School Readiness Goals
Click here to view SCFO’s Written Curriculum Plan
Sierra Cascade Family Opportunities Head Start/Early Head Start program is committed to working with families to ensure that their children, including those with disabilities receive the inclusive services needed to meet each child’s developmental, health, and social needs. The Education Services Manager and educational staff are prideful in the partnerships that have been built between SCFO staff and Local Education Agencies (LEA) to best meet the needs and rights of children with disabilities.
The SCFO curriculum supports active learning and individualizing to meet different learning styles and development levels of all children. Classroom routines, activities and environments are conducive to supporting goals and outcomes on Individual Family Service Plans (IFSP) and Individual Education Plans (IEP).
It is the role of SCFO staff to support and partner with families to ensure the best opportunities and experiences are offered to all children in the Head Start and Early Head Start program.
A child’s mental health is directly related to his/her social emotional development. In order to promote and build strong attachment, resilient, and self-help skills SCFO Head Start and Early Head Start is focused on building collaborative relationships between children and their families, staff, mental health professionals, and the community in order to improve the understanding and recognition of mental wellness.
Positive mental health opportunities are provided to both home based and center base programs and are supported through variety of services including child screenings, classroom on-sites, parent trainings and individual meetings with contracted mental health professionals. Classrooms support children with consistent routines and activities that encourage positive mental health. These activities promote skills in the areas of self-regulation, impulse control and initiative.
Health / Nutrition
Health and Wellness
Because children must be healthy and well nourished in order to thrive and learn, SCFO pays careful attention to health. All enrolled children have timely immunizations and screenings for cognitive development, physical health, mental health, speech and language, hearing, vision, nutrition, and oral health. Once screenings have been completed, SCFO staff work with families to ensure that follow-up services are received for any identified needs.
Beginning at age 6 months, Early Head Start children and parents are encouraged to see a dental professional. At age 2 years and annually thereafter, enrolled children receive a complete dental examination. Treatment needs are promptly addressed and staff support and guide families to the appropriate services.
Nutritional health helps keep children well and enhances the ability to learn.
SCFO staff provide nutritional assessments and education to help families make healthy food choices.
Meals are carefully prepared at each center by the Kitchen Manager. There is a strong emphasis on using whole fresh foods and cooking from scratch. The children are offered a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Weekly classroom nutrition activities help children learn about new foods.
In the home based program snacks are offered periodically at home visits. This provides an opportunity for families to work together, with guidance from the Family Educator, to create an enjoyable dish to share. Home based socialization always feature something tasty to enjoy.
During the SCFO enrollment process, families are given information about the WIC program and are assisted to apply if not already receiving WIC services.
Parent and Family Engagement at SCFO
In the context of the family each child learns how to communicate, express caring, and solve problems and work together to succeed in life. Our strength based programs are focused on all the significant adults in a child’s life. We believe that parents are the first and foremost teachers of their children. SCFO also realizes that both parents and professionals have the knowledge, expertise, experience and resources that re needed d to build and maintain healthy families and prepare children for a successful future. SCFO structures our programs so that each family walks away with new connections and resources that fit their unique interests and support their child’s development and their family’s success.
SCFO believes that children begin learning prenatally and that children develop in the context of relationships with their family, culture, and community. Our programs are effective because our work is inclusive of not only children but everyone in the family system. SCFO is successful in providing comprehensive holistic services that truly make a difference in the lives of children and families.
Parents as Educators
Parents are the primary educators of their child. SCFO supports parents in taking an active role in the development of their children to ensure School Readiness and success. Our program also encourages parents to take a leadership role by engaging parents in many aspects of decision making through their child’s early learning experience. SCFO believes that when parents voice their ideas and concerns early in their child’s schooling, those leadership skills continue long after their children are in preschool.
Parents in the Classroom
SCFO has an open door policy; parents are always welcome to come and join school activities. SCFO recognized that through active partnering, parents and teachers can make the greatest gains towards School Readiness.
SCFO believes all parents have the right and the responsibility to advocate for their child. Our programs offer parents the opportunity to engage in decision making at their local site. Parents take an active role in the ideas regarding curriculum, field trips, and other local site events. Another leadership opportunity is to serve on SCFO’s Policy Council. Here parents give their input into policy and the program direction of SCFO on behalf of all enrolled children and families. Some of the areas that Policy Council makes decision on are the annual budget, program planning and policy and procedures that affect children, families, and staff.