Parent involvement is a critical and vital part of UW Oshkosh Head Start and there are many opportunities for parent involvement throughout the year. A parent interest sheet and a parent participation survey, completed by all parents prior to orientation, are reviewed and acted upon by Family Support staff. These indicate which interests and needs may be met by providing group sessions; providing the information individually; or by making an appropriate referral.
Individual conferences and home visits by teachers and the family support staff are also used to identify other parent and family interests and needs. Parents are welcomed into each classroom as volunteers and home visits and conferences are done on a regular basis.
- Parents are provided with written information, one on one training and group training on a variety of subjects. Newsletters and at least one parenting group per center also provide parenting information.
- Literacy activities are provided through story hours, home activities, and referrals to literacy tutors, referrals to ESL and Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs (one being on site in Oshkosh). The Appleton-based ABE class is just three blocks from the St. B’s Center.
- The Head Start health services manager supports the family support staff in medical and dental follow up as needed. Training events are held on nutrition and mental health for the entire family. Families receive information about free health clinics and assistance is given if necessary in getting health services.
- All parents are encouraged to participate in monthly center meetings, as members of the policy council, advisory committees or members of policy council sub-committees.
- The policy council offers parents opportunities to serve on community governing boards.