Dimock Center Head Start Annual Report 2020-2021 Who Are We
The Dimock Center Early Head Start & Head Start Programs provide comprehensive education and family support services to eligible pregnant women, children birth through age five, and their families living in the Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and Hyde Park. Through our work, we strengthen and support positive outcomes, economic stability, and well-being for children, families, and our community.
In addition to our goal of helping children and families prepare to be successful in school and life, our Child & Family team has identified 4 core commitments we strive to implement in all of our work:
OUR MISSION is to heal and uplift individuals, families, and our community.
Create an organizational culture that utilizes a trauma-informed approach to support and empower staff.
Combat the stigma of mental health through the use of a trauma-informed and culturally-aware approach to program services.
Serve as a leading voice in community advocacy, leveraging health and technology partnerships that dismantle barriers to equitable access and empower families as advocates and leaders.
Implement policies and practices that respond to the unique needs of our community by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
OUR VISION is to redefine the model of a healthy community by creating equitable access to comprehensive health care and education.
Ethnicities of Families Served
Racial Demographics of Families Served
Participants by Neighborhood
Hispanic African American Haitian African
Other Cape Verdean Asian
Black or African American
Other Jamaica Plain Roslindale
Children and Families Served Head Start
Early Head Start Center-Based
Early Head Start Home Visiting
Total Families Served Average Monthly Enrollment
% of Eligible Children Served
Leadership & Governance Parents and guardians are a vital part of Dimock’s Early Head Start and Head Start programs and are supported as the primary educators, nurturers and advocates for their children. As program advocates and leaders, parents have opportunities for participation and shared decision-making in program operations.
Policy Council and Parent Committees Policy Council is composed of community stakeholders and parents who are elected as representatives by their peers. Our policy council works collaboratively under a ‘shared governance model’ with the Community Services Board and program administration to make informed, responsive decisions about current program operations and future strategic directions. Through their efforts on behalf of the program, Policy Council members gain valuable professional, leadership, and advocacy skills while providing essential parent leadership and driving program quality and progress. Parent Committees are site-based and provide opportunities for parents to share their experiences, skills and knowledge and build leadership capacity. All parents and/or guardians of enrolled children are automatically members. Parent Committees have many important responsibilities, including: supporting recruitment efforts, planning educational and social events, facilitating parent meetings, and electing peer representatives to serve on the Policy Council.
Federal and “Non-Federal Share” funding for July 2020-June 2021 Dimock’s Head Start program is generously supported by the Federal Head Start grant and additional Dimock Center Resources.
Federal Non-Federal Share
Early Head Start
Dimock’s Head Start Program budget and expenditures in FY20
Head Start Head Start Early Head Start Early Head Start Budget Actual Budget Actual
Partnership Highlights Our Services and Responding to COVID-19 The Dimock Center’s model of services includes pre-natal home visiting, home visiting for families of children up to age 3 years, socializations, developmental assessments, center-based early education, and a range of supports such as family well-being services, mental health and inclusion services, health & nutrition services, and leadership & advocacy opportunities. The way that the program engaged with families and provided services in 2020-2021 was shaped by the considerable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a temporary statemandated shut-down of all in-person services. Understanding that the needs of children and families don’t pause for pandemic, the Dimock child and family team mobilized through this crisis to develop innovative strategies for responding to the needs of children & families and minimizing disruption of vital services. The program implemented Creative Curriculum Cloud© to provide individualized virtual learning experiences to ensure children continued to receive early education and development services whether in-person or virtually. Teachers and Family Support Specialists worked together with parents to ensure that all children received developmental screening through the online ASQ and ASQSE. Recognizing the impacts of COVID-19 on family well-being, the program developed a schedule of regular family check-ins, diaper drives, family meal distribution, and delivery of learning-at-home materials. Throughout the year, Family Support Specialists continued to provide families with individualized support identifying and building upon existing strengths and connecting families with resources to assist them in setting and achieving personal and family goals.
Health Services Children’s physical health is paramount to their ability to engage in learning. Comprehensive Health Services are provided to all children enrolled in the program through collaborations with Dimock Community Health Medical and Dental providers.
100% of all enrolled children have an identified Dental Home for receiving ongoing dental care
100% of all enrolled children have an identified Medical Home for receiving ongoing health care
Dental Screenings and Exams
40% of enrolled children received dental exams
55% of enrolled children received physical exams
In 2020-2021, enrolled families reported reluctance to schedule & attend routine health maintenance appointments due to fear of potential exposure to COVID-19 in public places. The program continues to work closely with families on catch-up schedules to minimize potential impacts of delayed routine appointments and ensure ongoing access to preventative care.
Dimock recognizes the importance of community and establishes strong partnerships with other community agencies, school districts, and businesses. Through a well-established network, we are able to enhance the quality and level of services offered. Community Partners include: ■ Dimock Community Health Clinic and Dental Services ■ Dimock Community Health Early Intervention services provided on-site ■ Boston Public Schools/Countdown to Kindergarten ■ Raising A Reader Massachusetts ■ Jumpstart ■ Brazelton Touchpoints Institute and Family Connections ■ Jewish Family & Children’s Service Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation ■ Early Childhood Education Coaches ■ Endicott College ■ Various Community and Local Business Volunteers
Family Engagement Highlights Parent and family engagement in Head Start and Early Head Start is about building relationships with families that support family wellbeing; supporting strong relationships between parents and their children; and nurturing ongoing learning and development for both parents and children. The Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework is a road map for progress in achieving the types of outcomes that lead to positive and enduring change for children and families. Despite the challenges posed by physical distancing precautions due to COVID-19, our team utilized outdoor spaces for creative gatherings and leveraged technology to bring members of our community together virtually. Highlights include: ■ Telehealth Home Visiting ■ Outdoor Socializations ■ Monthly Virtual Parent Cafes ■ Virtual Policy Council Meetings ■ Drive-Through Head Start Graduation Celebrations ■ Outdoor End-of-Year Celebrations ■ Virtual Classroom Tours ■ Outdoor transition visits
2020-2021 School Readiness Outcomes The Dimock Center Early Education program is committed to providing the highest quality care and education designed to promote a life-long love of learning and equip all children with the skills they need to successfully enter the school system. As part of this commitment, Dimock uses Teaching Strategies GOLD on-line assessment tool to collect, aggregate and analyze data on children’s progress towards identified School Readiness learning outcomes. The results of these analyses are used to guide program design, program enhancement planning, and staff professional development.
Preparing Children for Kindergarten and Beyond Dimock is committed to preparing children and families for success in school and life. We define “school readiness” as children possessing the interests, skills, and abilities necessary for success in Kindergarten and beyond. Using Teaching Strategies’ Creative Curriculum© as its instructional base, Dimock’s Head Start Program empowers our educators to provide intentional, individualized care and learning during the most critical and formative years of development. This is a whole-child approach is designed to promote school readiness skills through active exploration and play-based learning across 7 key areas of development: Social-Emotional, Physical, Language/Literacy, Math, Science, Technology, and the Arts. As a multi-generational program, another key component of how we prepare children for kindergarten is to recognize and honor parents in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher. Our team partners with parents to incorporate family interests, values, and cultures into the classroom curriculum and to identify home routines and activities that extend the classroom-home connection. The program conducts home visits and family conferences where teachers and parents exchange observations of children’s development and plan together to support the transition to Kindergarten. In addition, Family Support Specialists collaborate with Boston Public School’s “Countdown to Kindergarten” to provide information and enhanced connections and supports for families.
Teaching Strategies GOLD helps us to analyze our students’ progress in relation to “Widely Held Expectations” which are the skills & abilities most children of a particular age or class are likely to demonstrate. These are not expectations for all children but are general statements that show common patterns of development over time. They are frames of reference that help educators and families focus on the development of the individual child and plan responsive learning experiences to meet each child’s individual needs. The following chart shows the percentage of children who met or exceeded widely held expectations in developmental domains associated with school readiness at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year.
Percentage of Early Head Start & Head Start Children Meeting or Exceeding Widely Held School Readiness Expectations Social Emotional
Perceptual, Physical and Motor
Approaches to Learning