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Fall 2017



Where Young Learners Play to Learn

The Story of Otis Growing Great Beginnings Stress & Safety and much more! On the Road to School Readiness 1

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017



Easy-to-use handheld OAE Screener for students of all ages

Quick Guide to TE 1

Turn the unit ON


Visually inspect the ear and select an ear


Place the probe in the ear so it fits snugg


If you would like to use the Child Mode,

Easy touch screen

MADSEN Alpha OAE is a handheld hearing screener for students of all ages. Designed to meet the minimum requirements for hearing screening. The large touch screen; pictured below, is intuitive and simple to navigate. A built-in probe check cavity ensures testing accuracy by allowing the screener to check the probe in an instant. MADSEN Alpha OAE even incorporates an engaging “cartoon” designed to reduce squirming and fidgeting during the testing process. MADSEN Alpha OAE is DPOAE only. It includes a single protocol and a predefined pass/refer criteria that will produce results in seconds. This device has the capability of storing up to 50 tests. An optional label printer is available.

navigation MADSEN Alpha (OAE) Select the Test Ear. The speaker check and calibration will begin. If probe fit is acceptable, the test will automatically begin.

At the end of the test, select one of the following

855.283.7978 ALP1702-SB


The Prob

1 Place Test the other ear

Retest the same ear

2 From prob

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Fall 2017


What’s Inside?

Fall is the best time of year and a welcome break from the heat. Everything begins to change — to transition. Rich colors reveal themselves, and the air feels full and welcoming.

6 Contributors

The little ones you care for each day are also in a transition. They too reveal their rich, full, and welcoming colors. Not without challenge — like Fall. Some days, the chill of winter is too near, and the work of raking seems overwhelming and tedious. Caring for the important things is a big job. You do the hard work with excellence, and the stories in your Fall issue reveal the nature of the Head Start Advantage you provide daily.

10 Say Cheese

Be sure to connect with your Sand Box Partners who believe in the work you do, and want to support your efforts. Building those relationships will have a lasting impact.

20 Emergency Preparedness

If you want to tell your story in an upcoming issue, please call or email me.


Introduction to Monitoring

8 Growing Great Beginnings


The Story of Otis

14 An Intergenerational Relationship 16

Stress & Safety

18 Accelerating Community Engagement


A Cinderella Daycare

24 Early Head Start — Child Care Partnerships 27

Calendar of Events

Happy Reading!

Inspired by you,

Mike Baugher D irector of Executive Services,

and Publisher of the Region VII Head Start Sand Box TM magazine

Contact us at: R7HSA, 312 SW Greenwich Dr., Ste. 105, Lee’s Summit, MO 64082 Phone: 816.550.6388 Email: | The Region VII Head Start Sand Box™ Magazine is published by Region VII Head Start Association. Articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect R7HSA’s opinions. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent. R7HSA does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. Information in the Region VII Head Start Sand Box™ Magazine is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017







Child Care Partnership Site Recruitment/ Relations Administrator Douglass Community Services

Communications Coordinator Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties

Family and Community Partnership Specialist NEICAC Early Childhood Programs




Early Childhood Manager Region VII Head Start TTA

Early Childhood Teacher Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Inc.

Supervisor Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Inc.




Family /Staff Development & Training Manager Sarpy County Cooperative Head Start

Regional Program Manager Administration for Children and Families U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017

Director Missouri Head Start - State Collaboration Office,

Introduction to Monitoring Head Start Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center

Head Start monitoring protocols are used by the Office of Head Start (OHS) to gather data and other information to assess grantee program operation and performance. How does the Office of Head Start monitor grantees? The Office of Head Start (OHS) uses the Aligned Monitoring System 2.0 (AMS 2.0) to review grantees. This approach ensures that monitoring measures the performance and accountability of Head Start programs across the country. It also provides grantees with opportunities for continuous improvement. The AMS 2.0 gives OHS a multi-year perspective on grantee operations with a focus on performance, progress, and compliance. OHS assesses grantee compliance with the Head Start Program Performance Standards, the Head Start Act, and other regulations related to AMS 2.0. This system conducts off- and on-site reviews. It disseminates its findings through formal monitoring reports. The Aligned Monitoring Virtual Expo provides a comprehensive introduction to the Head Start monitoring process and each of the review topics.

What does the AMS 2.0 address? The AMS 2.0 Focus Area Reviews take a systemic view of a grantee’s services and functions across the five-year grant cycle. It creates a more progressive monitoring system that is able to evaluate grantee compliance, progress, and performance across multiple years of program implementation, instead of simply capturing data from grantees at a single place in time.

What kind of reports will a typical grantee receive throughout their five-year monitoring cycle? The monitoring reports will provide grantees with information regarding their performance, including areas of compliance, non-compliances, and deficiencies.

What happens after a review? Once an AMS 2.0 review has been closed out and the grantee has received the resulting report, the OHS Regional Office program specialists begin to work with their grantees to provide support during the corrective action process. When the correction period comes to an end, the Regional Office will conduct a follow-up review to determine if findings identified in the monitoring report have been addressed. Regardless of the findings of the monitoring report and whether any corrective actions must be taken, Regional Offices practice ongoing oversight throughout the five-year grant cycle. The various activities that occur after a review assist grantees in correcting any areas of non-compliance or concern in a systematic and timely manner.

• Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) • Focus Area One and Focus Area Two AMS 2.0 will provide OHS with the performance data needed by year four of the grant cycle. The data is used to determine whether the grantee will need to compete for further Head Start funding according to the Designation Renewal System (DRS). OHS also will better distinguish between compliance and quality, enabling them to identify and track elements that reflect strong performance.

Scan this QR Code with your smart device to view the

FY 2018 Head Start Monitoring Protocols Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017


Seven-year-old Syllas attending to her family’s raised bed garden.

Growing Great Beginnings Community Action Early Head Start and Head Start: Ensuring Child Nutrition and Wellness One Seed at a Time by Sara Bishop Communications Coordinator, Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties


aria is a single mother of two, who – like many parents – has long desired to get her children to eat more fruits and vegetables. But she wasn’t sure where to start. She felt discouraged. Any time she tried to introduce a fruit or vegetable, her children didn’t exactly respond favorably. And adding to the challenge, she was apprehensive navigating the kitchen. Though she had an oven, she had never turned it on. She had also never cracked an egg, as she was afraid of getting shells in the dish. For years, Jess had dreamed about planning a garden. She loved the idea of being able to grow her own food, but wasn’t sure if she had the space in her yard to do so. Her children were excited about the prospect of a garden, too – especially her seven-yearold daughter, Syllas, who had already been helping out with her


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017

church’s garden. The family had a vision – they just needed the knowledge and tools to get started. Maria and Jess are participants of Growing Great Beginnings – a nutrition/wellness education project offered within Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties’ Early Head Start and Head Start programs. Growing Great Beginnings was piloted in 2013 with a grant from the Community Health Endowment of Lincoln, a Lincoln-based foundation whose mission is to make Lincoln the healthiest city in the nation. The project aims to positively impact health behaviors of Early Head Start and Head Start enrolled families by educating them on various topics related to early childhood wellness including nutrition, physical activity, screen time, sleep, and more. The program’s Family Ed-

ucators and Engagement Specialists support families in utilizing their own strengths and resources to make positive changes. Some families, like Maria’s and Jess’s, have also had the opportunity to seek additional supports related to changing health behaviors. That is where the program’s Nutrition and Wellness Coach, Sheila Stratton, has played a significant role. Sheila’s work focuses on supporting families’ efforts to live healthier lifestyles. She helps families set goals and – as a team – they work together on developing a plan to support achievement of those goals. Family goals are typically related to economical meal planning and preparation, increasing fruits and vegetables consumed, and decreasing consumption of sugary beverages. With Sheila’s support, Maria has overcome her apprehension of cracking an egg and finally turned her oven on to make zucchini bread. Her children helped with the preparation, and when the final product was finished, her family raved that it was the best dish she had ever made. This has increased Maria’s confidence tremendously, and she has continued to work on building her skills and incorporating fruits and vegetables into her children’s diets. Sheila has also supported Jess in her goal to construct a garden. After conferring with Sheila, Jess determined that she indeed had the space in her yard to construct raised bed gardens. Sheila provided tips to Jess about where to find seeds and Jess’s family – including her children – assisted with construction of the beds. Recently, the family celebrated their first harvest – everything from tomatoes, to peppers, to green beans. Jess’s daughter, Syllas, has loved spending her summer tending to her family’s new gardens. And each night, she helps her mom decide how to use their bounty in meals. The project also gives families the opportunity to attend socialization events in which activities are facilitated to immerse children in gardening. Research indicates that children are more likely to try fruits and vegetables if they’ve had a part in growing them. But some families may not have the necessary land to garden, which is why Community Action has two raised beds at its main office for parents and children to plant seeds together, and take produce home when it is ready to be harvested. The swiss chard from the garden, for example, was recently used by a family to make dolmas. Another family used the cucumber and mint to make raita. The Growing Great Beginnings project has continued to yield positive outcomes for participating families. Impact is measured using a Behavior Change Questionnaire in which families complete pre- and post-intervention. The program has consistently observed positive behavior changes related to daily fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity, to name just a couple.

Syllas’s little brother also loves to help with gardening activities.

Projects like Growing Great Beginnings are helping to ensure long-term health outcomes for children during their most critical developmental years. For more information about Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties, and its Early Head Start and Head Start programs, visit

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017


Say Cheese! by Denise Tapscott, NEICAC Early Childhood Programs Family and Community Partnership Specialist



hey say a picture is “worth a thousand words”. However, for many families, family portraits are a luxury they cannot

On a cool, fall evening, amateur photographers, Terri Downing and Mary Jo Moore, have set up their backdrops in the local community center and are enthusiastically coaxing smiles from infants and toddlers as their cameras click and their bulbs flash. This will be the fifth year they have volunteered their time and expertise to provide the Northeast Iowa Community Action Early Head Start families with a lasting memory. Terri says she got started with the project because she believes in the importance of pictures. “Life is always changing. You just never know what’s going to happen and who is going to be in your picture.” Each family receives a family portrait, three or four additional photos, and a CD with the rights to print additional copies on


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017

their own. For some families, this is the first time they have had a professional-quality family picture. Susan and George Troendle brought their three young foster children to the event. They framed the portrait and gave it to the children’s mother and grandparents for Christmas. “This is definitely not something the parent could have afforded to do on her own. They were so excited and appreciative of the gift!” Terri and Mary Jo spend approximately 10 minutes taking a combination of family, individual, sibling, and adult photos. “Whatever the family prefers, we try to accommodate,” says Terri. “Some people get really concerned about trying to get the perfect picture. But to me, the important thing is not what they look like or how the children are behaving. The picture is perfect just because it’s their family. Some of the best pictures are the ones that reflect the child’s true personality!” One of the most overlooked but powerful aspects of family

photography is how it can help instill confidence and self-esteem in our children. Researchers and psychologists have done some work in recent decades exploring this connection. David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio says, “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. Additionally, Krauss recommends having photographs of that child with their family placed in the child’s bedroom so it can be among the last things they see before sleep and the first thing they may see before beginning their day. “It says we love you and care about you. You’re important.” (https://designaglow. com/blogs/design-aglow/17493452-how-family-portraits-boost-yourchild-s-self-esteem) About half of the families enrolled in the program attend each year. Families receive a number as they enter the site indicating their turn. While they wait, children and parents participate in a variety of activities together. In the corner are parents holding children and reading books to them, there are children putting on a puppet show for Mom and Dad, and still others making “cookies” with the playdough. At the opposite end of the room, several families converse as they enjoy a light meal. Home Visitor, Jackie Lechtenberg, says, “This is the event many of my families look forward to all year. They start asking me in the summer when we are doing pictures again!” The sense of community is palpable. People of diverse cultures, educational attainment, and economic stability are interacting to achieve a common goal-creating a lasting memory. And that, is priceless! Terri sums up perfectly how many of us feel. “I know some of the families have some incredible challenges in their lives, but when I see their smiles and how proud they are of their family, it is so heartwarming! They are so appreciative that I feel as if I am the one who’s most rewarded.”

Our beautiful NEICAC families enjoyed the opportunity to capture a moment in time they will cherish for years to come.

Families enjoyed playing with playdough while they wait. Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017


Releasing Otis on August 3rd, 2017.

The Story of Otis by Lisa Blake, Early Childhood Teacher Jaina Brandstetter, Supervisor Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Inc.


t the very beginning of July 2017, it came to Lisa’s attention there was a monarch caterpillar adoption event at Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, IA. The intent of the event is to educate the importance of Monarch butterflies in the environment as pollinators and that their numbers are on the verge of being endangered. Lisa is very involved in local nature events and frequently keeps an eye out for interesting things to participate in that she might be able to share with her students. On the off chance there were still caterpillars available, she went to this event where she and Otis began their journey together. She brought Otis to class the following week and shared him with her Head Start kids, who immediately took to the idea of caring for this little creature she had brought them. Raising a butterfly was not part of her original lesson plan for that month at all; however, because the kids were so thrilled with him and eager to learn more about his needs and what would happen as time progressed, it became a lesson for them very organically and gave the children an opportunity to take charge of caring for a living creature. 12

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017

For the next few weeks, they read books and did small activities regarding monarch butterflies, learning what they most love to eat (We joked that we had so much milkweed in our refrigerator, our cook was going to get so annoyed that she’d find a way to prepare and feed it to us in order to get her refrigerator back!) to become big and strong so they could successfully wrap themselves tight in their chrysalis when they were ready and what would happen once they emerged. If you have never heard a three or four year old try to use the word ‘chrysalis’ in a sentence successfully—you’re missing out. For days, they talked about when they thought Otis would get into his “kissalis;” so by the time Lisa had a friend of hers who raises monarchs come in with her granddaughter to talk to the kids about the life cycle of monarch butterflies, they all had a good understanding of what would happen once Otis got a little bigger. They brought in a few more caterpillars (Bebo and Rockstar) and an egg (Dory) for us to raise. Over the course of the next few weeks, Lisa managed to find several more eggs and caterpillars and it began to grow into a summer-long activity.

After weeks of eating and growing, Otis finally got to the point he was ready to put himself in his chrysalis, and the kids waited with bated breath as he hung from the top of his house and worked on becoming something special. It was an incredible opportunity for them to see up close, as he changed from the blue, yellow, and green caterpillar we had all come to know and love, to seeing the outlines of bright orange and black wings with white spots, begin to show through the chrysalis. On July 31st, he emerged as a fully-formed, beautiful, and healthy monarch butterfly. He managed to do this at naptime, so the kids woke up to a huge and happy surprise, as he worked on getting his wings ready to use for flying. A few days after Otis emerged, and had some time to prepare for departure, the kids got an up-close look at a full-grown butterfly, what he ate now that he wasn’t a caterpillar anymore, and what his plans were once they released him. Lisa did an excellent job of preparing the kids for Otis leaving them, as many were very attached, telling them now that he could fly, he needed to go find his friends and family. On August 3rd, we gathered in the field behind the center and said our goodbyes. It was very windy so Otis was a little afraid to leave, but once he realized what was going on, he took off to everyone’s delight, heading for the horizon. Although we were sad to see him go, we were glad to have participated in assuring another monarch was able to find its way into the world, and help the population that’s in decline. We were ready to focus on our new caterpillar friends. Over the course of August and September, we had a few losses along the way; not all caterpillars are as strong as Otis, but we were able to release more monarchs on their way. We discovered that we had at least one butterfly, a female named Nemo, that was born just at the right time to be of the generation of butterflies that would live twice as long as the average monarch, because she would be making her migration to Mexico to meet up with other butterflies from across the country, and continue to support the population with her existence.

Otis preparing to go into his chrysalis.

Because this was such an unexpectedly successful lesson. Lisa has whole-heartedly thrown herself into learning all she can about monarchs and their conservation, so we might continue it into future school years. We are hoping, with the help of local experts that Lisa has been in contact with, that in addition to the garden we already have, we will be able to plant a butterfly garden, with plants that are specifically intended to attract and sustain monarch butterflies, so we might become a conservation spot for a species that needs some help, while giving the kids an opportunity to see them in their natural habitat, and also keep working to help their population become strong. Although we miss Otis very much, he holds a very special place in our hearts, as our very first monarch butterfly friend, and every time the children see a monarch flitting around outside, they all happily proclaim that Otis has come back to say hello! I am so pleased to share the incredible job Lisa has done (and continues to do) as an educator, to find something that was so captivating to little minds, and also opens the door for us to do something good for our environment and community. I am excited to see what next year brings, as Marion Head Start moves forward with Lisa’s butterfly project!

Scan this QR Code with your smart device to view a video about Otis’ time with us!

Otis enjoying a delicious milkweed snack.

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017


Ariella and Gramma Frelon enjoy making a card together.

An Intergenerational Relationship Sarpy County Cooperative Head Start and “Grandfriends” by Patti Estaniqui, Family /Staff Development & Training Manager Sarpy County Cooperative Head Start


arpy County Cooperative Head Start and Hillcrest Health Services together formed a partnership to provide a positive intergenerational companionship between the volunteer residents of Hillcrest Health Services and the children/staff of Sarpy County Cooperative Head Start.


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017

We call our volunteer residents from Hillcrest our “Grandfriends.” They were paired with individual or groups of children to read, play games, and do classroom activities with the children ranging from art projects to dancing to the music. The classrooms buzzed with excitement as the “Grandfriends” were observed inter-

acting with the children and having fun as evidenced by the smiles and laughter shared between the children and their “Grandfriends.” It was delightful to see smiles on the faces of both the children and their “Grandfriend” during those precious visits. One of the many benefits of this partnership is the building of the relationships between the generations. Many of our children do not have a grandparent figure nearby due to families living in other parts of the world or across the country because of military obligations. The “Grandfriends” were able to support this void in the lives of our children. Our “Grandfriend” partnership is valuable to the individual residents as well. It provides them an opportunity to get out and share their expertise and knowledge, and to enhance their own lives through companionship (lots of hugs) with the children and the Head Start staff. We are very excited about building upon this relationship with Hillcrest even further and look forward to expanding this program to include Play Pal dates for the residents to visit an Early Head Start site to rock and/or play with our babies and toddlers!

Top left: Hillcrest Health Services 2017 Prom at

The partnership with Hillcrest Health Services has also grown into a reciprocal relationship, as Head Start staff was able to attend their “2017 Prom” this year, and assist with the event. With “Grandfriends” in the classroom and staff volunteering it clearly is a win, win for both parties!

Mable Rose facility, with Head Staff Patti Estaniqui and Mr. Pete. Top right: Hugs & Smiles bonds Grandfriend Gramma Susie and Emely. Bottom: Fun with Grandfriend Gramma Susie.

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017


Stress & Safety: Something to make you go Hmm ...

by Catherine Swackhamer, Ph.D. Region VII Head Start TTA Early Childhood Manager


s I am working with the Regional Training and Technical Assistance team and sit in State and/or Regional meetings, I often hear of programs struggling with staff stress and burnout. Both seem to go hand in hand, as long periods of stress certainly can lead to job burnout. This topic does not lack resources available to read and explore possible solutions. Just do a Google search and see how many articles pop up! If you would indulge me a bit I, would like to look at this topic, particularly leaning toward safety as it relates to staff stress. We all know how staff ’s physical and mental well-being has an impact on how well our classrooms are run, which influences the outcomes for children. We see it every day. If staff feel better about themselves and are physically healthy, they show more patience with children, and are more active and positive as they do their work. However, what happens when our staff are stressed out, especially when that stress is long term or “chronic?”


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017

According to the, stress over time has obvious physical impact over individuals, with symptoms such as: • Over or under eating • Loss of desire to exercise • Angry outbursts • Drug or alcohol abuse • Social withdrawal Along with the physical impact, these individuals could experience impact to their mood such as: • Anxiety • Restlessness • Lack of motivation or focus • Feeling overwhelmed • Irritability or anger • Sadness or depression

YOUR TM SAND BOX JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER! What sparked my interest in writing this article though was something that I was reading from Be Brain Fit & Blue Sage, LLC that talked about the effect of stress on our brain. In the article 12 Effects of Chronic Stress on Your Brain by Deane Alban, it identified short attention span, memory loss, and impulsive behavior as some of the effects of stress over time on our brain. It also noted memory loss as one of the first signs. Now this got my brain to spinning, as I think about how stress could be impacting our classrooms, specifically around safety of children and safety of staff. There are some questions we might want to consider asking. Could stress be the issue when it comes to staff “forgetting” to count the children as they move from inside to out? Could stress be why the bus monitor forgot to double check under the seats? Could stress be the reason staff can only see removal of a child as a solution for a challenging behavior? Now, I am not making excuses for staff not doing what they should. I am simply raising the question, could the issue be more than simply re-training will solve? I don’t have the answer. I can’t even say that there is a direct relationship between stress and the safety incidents I noted; however, the question is worth raising. Whether there is a relationship or not, stress can have negative impact on programs. It can cause higher than normal absenteeism of staff, lower positive climates within the classroom, and potentially higher negative climates. Staff are less productive and their overall performance is reduced. If you want to do more to support staff with stress reduction, there are resources available through ECLKC, National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW), particularly look for the Mental Health and Social and Emotional Well-Being Newsletter, December 2016. As always, talk to your TTA Early Childhood Specialist if you want to explore staff wellness more.


To find out how to advertise or include a story in upcoming issues of the Region VII Head Start Sand Box magazine, visit Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017


ACCELERATING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT by Clarence Small, M.Ed, Regional Program Manager Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


rom the inception of the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) process, Head Start programs across our Region have embraced and implemented strategies based on the PFCE framework, through professional development trainings, ongoing assessments, and evaluations. Throughout our region, we have witnessed and/or heard about amazing parent and family engagement practices. We know PFCE practices done right have unlocked new opportunities for families, resulting in stronger child and family outcomes. The time has come to emphasize and strengthen Community Engagement. For far too long, Head Start has been a well-kept secret in too many of our communities. Far too many of our communities don’t understand our comprehensive services to children. Far too many of our communities don’t know about our school readiness goals.


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017

Far too many of our city leaders, county officials, and chambers of commerce have no idea of the economic impact of our programs. Far too many of our school officials, faith-based leaders, and social service directors have limited knowledge of what we do, in regards to strengthening families, staff professional development, and parent empowerment. The Office of Head Start has always, and will continue to promote high quality. High quality programs and services are essential to the sustainability of Head Start and Early Head Start services. But, high quality comes with a cost, and the trend of keeping up with increasing cost demands by reducing slots cannot continue to be the only option.

Moving forward, in order to maintain the consistently-growing demands of high-quality services, Head Start programs must step up their efforts of community engagement. We have several programs within our region with very successful community engagement models to generate support and additional resources. Other benefits include: • building community trust • enlisting new resources and allies • creating better communication and understanding • improving overall organizational objectives and outcomes • creating successful projects which evolve into lasting collaborations Community engagement can be complex, challenging, and labor-intensive; however, when done right, the payout can be significant. Efforts to engage communities require skill sets that Head Start Leaders may not all have. These are skills we all need

to develop. I encourage Head Start to seek out local expertise (non-profit organizations) with sustainable community engagement practices and strategies. I would also encourage our State Associations to provide community engagement trainings, webinars, and workshops. Head Start is the national leader in Early Childhood Education (ECE), which means your program is the local representative of ECE leadership. It’s time for us to be sure our communities fully understand us, know about us, and support us with their TIME, TALENTS, and TREASURES. The forever-changing climate of federal resources and revenues should become a motivating factor in developing your community engagement strategy, to inspire and to guide. When our communities understand our work and see our results, they will be engaged with us to provide our children and families with the highest quality education and support.

Scan this QR Code with your smart device to view the PFCE PD Guide

Learn more at

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017


Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. YOU CAN. Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC)


trong emergency preparedness practices in Head Start and Early Head Start programs can save lives. September is National Preparedness Month. It is an opportunity for Head Start programs and families to strengthen their readiness and response capacity. Programs can also promote a better understanding of how children might respond to tragic events and share their plans to provide support. We hope you will use National Preparedness Month to engage in planning and conduct drills. This is an ideal time to update agreements with community partners (e.g., fire and police de-


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017

partment personnel and off-site shelter-in-place locations) and to ensure they are aware of any changes in your programs’ preparedness activities. Talk with children and families about what it means to be prepared. Make sure children and parents know how the program responds to emergency situations. Ask about preparedness plans they have at home. And in cases where there has been a previous disaster, talk with parents about their children’s responses to crises and tragic events.

Use the resources below, as well as state and community resources, to plan, prepare, and deepen your understanding of emergency situations that may affect your program.

Emergency Preparedness Resources Scan these QR Codes with your smart device to access content. Head Start Emergency Preparedness Manual: 2015 Edition This manual supports Head Start program administrators and staff in implementing or revising emergency preparedness plans. The manual includes information on the four phases of preparedness: Planning, Impact, Relief, and Recovery. It also contains strategies on preparing for specific emergencies.

Emergency Preparedness in Head Start and Early Childhood Settings Webinar The webinar identifies strategies Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care programs can use to improve their emergency preparedness efforts. Staff will learn how they can help children and families prepare. Key resources and information may be used to assist programs in their emergency preparedness planning.

Emergency Preparedness Tip Sheets Written for families and staff, these tip sheets focus on children’s responses to crises and tragic events, as well as ways to help children cope. The resources are available in both English and Spanish.

Other Resources National Preparedness Month 2017 Make a Plan Emergency Financial First Aid Kit Call a Family Meeting and Make a Plan America’s PrepareAthon

We Want to Hear from You! Log on to the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) and share your stories about how Head Start has supported communities in previous emergencies. We also want to hear about the activities and events held in your community throughout the month of September.

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017


Candi and her class enjoy their wonderful new light table from Lakeshore.

A Cinderella Daycare

Douglass Community Services Child Care Partnership by Lisa Eisenberg Child Care Partnership Site Recruitment/Relations Administrator


andi Clements is the proud owner of a licensed family child care, providing services in her family’s home. Candi sent an application to Douglass Community Services to be considered for the Child Care Partnership Program. This is when I first found out about Candi’s daycare. Initially, Candi and I had several discussions over the phone talking about the program, etc. Candi shared that her mother had worked with children, and everything she knew she had learned from her. You could tell she was very proud of her mother and wanted to follow in her footsteps. She described her daycare as a fun and exciting place to be but shared that most of her time was spent managing behaviors and putting out fires. However, Candi was head strong and determined to make her daycare work. I finally got to meet Candi in person in April of 2015. You could tell Candi’s home was a daycare by evidence of countless toys in


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017

the yard and the like. However, the yard was not fenced, and the daycare set just yards from the highway. When I went inside, Candi was loud, the children were loud, and by the end of the day Candi was visibly exhausted, and so was I. You could look at Candi and see that she felt like she was chasing her own tail. (I think some days she actually did.) Candi’s daycare could be compared to an old house with good bones. Candi was young and was filled with good ideas. It just wasn’t that pretty to watch. Candi definitely had the desire to run a great daycare, but lacked direction, and the appropriate skill set. In August of 2015, Candi agreed to partner with Douglass Community Services, Early Head Start Child Care Partnership program. (This is where the Cinderella story really takes off.) Candi was not only head strong, she was downright stubborn. She had an administrative team ready to help her soar, but like most people

she was afraid of change. However, with time, patience and sheer determination, Candi began to learn more about, and buy into Conscious Discipline, the importance of daily structure, and how important it is to know the children’s interests and capabilities. Candi started working on her CDA for family child cares. She began attending monthly CCP meetings, where she learned to advocate for her daycare, create business documents to protect her daycare, and provide consistency for the families she was serving. At the meetings, Candi also began making relationships with fellow daycare providers — learning and sharing together.

Candi has been able to find the time to attend a couple of national training events, along with some of the other providers. With the monies provided by the CCP grant, Candi has been able to invest in daycare-appropriate toys and furniture, improve the safety conditions of her playground, hire an assistant, and provide a more consistent income to help her family. Candi spends much less time “chasing her tail,” and is able to confidently enjoy teaching and interacting with the children and families that she serves. Candi is our Cinderella Daycare.

With the partnership my confidence has grown tremendously. I went from being a daycare just getting by doing what I thought was best for the little kids I care for daily, to a daycare where I have learned to better myself in ways that have grown my daycare by leaps and bounds. I never thought I had the ability to make myself better, let alone get my daycare to the point it is at today. With the CCP program, I have started and finished my CDA, taken many classes that have helped guide me in how I teach the kids, and how to address different children’s needs based on where they are at. This program has been a huge life saver to my daycare, and I do believe the children and parents would agree that all the changes have been so much for the better.” – Candi Clements

BEFORE: Candi’s play yard before partnering with

AFTER: Candi’s play yard after partnering with

Douglass Community Services

Douglass Community Services

Bentley the builder.

Candi loving on her class!

Candi, her husband Jeremy, and their kids, Mariah and Treyton.

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017


Early Head Start — Child Care Partnership Grants A National Collaboration Initiative provided by Missouri Head Start — State Collaboration Office, Stacey O. Wright, Director Strategic Collaboration: Establishing State and Community-Based Partnerships, Sixth Edition Developed by LeFebvre Consulting, LLC with Funding from the Missouri Department of Social Services, Children’s Division, Early Childhood and Prevention Services Section


n 2014, as part of President Obama’s Early Learning Initiative, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) set aside $500 million in competitive awards for new Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships. The Initiative called for an expansion of high-quality early learning opportunities for young infants and toddlers living in poverty. With funds designated by the Appropriations Act of 2014, the Administration awarded five-year EHS-CCP grants to organizations across the country. The grants went to entities that could demonstrate their current capacity or proposed capacity to be a high-quality Early Head Start program that partners with existing regulated child care centers and family child care homes. Funds were awarded through the Early Head Start program, thus all grantees and partners must meet the Head Start Program Performance Standards. Alone, EHS does not have the resources to provide full-day, full-year care that meets the needs of many income-eligible working families. Similarly, child care does not have the resources to provide the comprehensive services that are prerequisites of better outcomes for the most vulnerable children. Integrating comprehensive services into the array of traditional child care settings creates new worlds of opportunity for infants, toddlers, and families. Anticipated outcomes for the EHS-CC Partnership program, as stated by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) are: 24

Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017

• S  ustained, mutually respectful, and collaborative EHS-CC partnerships • A more highly educated and fully qualified workforce to provide high-quality infant/toddler care and education • I ncreased community supply of high-quality early learning environments and infant/toddler care and education • Well-aligned early childhood policies, regulations, resources, and quality improvement support at national, state, and local levels • I mproved family and child well-being and progress toward school readiness The EHS-CC program remains in the forefront in terms of increasing access and improving the quality of early care and education for more infants and toddlers and their families in Missouri and throughout the nation. It takes aim at enhancing and supporting early learning settings, providing full-day-full year, seamless, and comprehensive services that meet the needs of low-income working families and those in school. It is a unique opportunity that can serve as a learning laboratory for the future of high-quality infant/toddler care and brings together the best of Early Head Start and child care through layering of funding to provide comprehensive and continuous services.


2016 Collaboration Manual EHS-CC Grantees — Agency Interviews Where do you see your agency in relationship to being fully operational — fully implementing the program? “We have two centers that are already serving children. Kreative Kiddos has a state-funded EHS classroom, and a federally-funded EHS classroom, and they are fully operational. The home provider is serving the EHS slots, and has hired staff. So, we are fully operational in both. We have teachers in the CDA credential process to meet the deadline. At Honey Bear, we have two slots that aren’t filled yet, but will be filled once the classroom renovation is complete, and we get supplies and equipment in there. Then we will be able to place the children there. They have one credentialed staff already, and teachers who have completed our training, and are starting the CDA process.”

Kreative Kiddos AfterKreative FCCP Classroom Kiddos #2 After FCCP Classroom #2

— Loletta Combs, Director of Family and Child Development, Children’s Therapy Center

Kreative Kiddos Early Head Start Classrooms had a wall that didEarly not go Kreative Kiddos all way to the ceiling and Head Start Classrooms only one door to enter had a wall that did not to go walk through getand to all way to the and ceiling second They only one classroom. door to enter to now through have a wall the walk andto get to ceiling and separateThey entry second classroom. doors to each classroom. now have a wall to the This reduces the noise ceiling and separate entry level in both classrooms doors to each classroom. and now have entry doors This reduces the noise to each classroom. level in both classrooms and now have entry doors to each classroom.

Honey Bear Daycare Before/After of FCCP Classroom #2

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TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL COLLABORATION • Build support from the inside of your organization. • Spread the word. Let it be known in the community that your agency is interested in partnering. • Know where the dollars are. • Scan the entire environment for partners. • Choose partners well; you will have to work with them through thick and thin. • Determine very early on what’s in it for all partners. Establish a common vision and goals that are clearly defined and supported by all. • Don’t forget to get input and feedback from those you hope to serve. • Solid management practices are essential.

For more information, contact: Stacey O. Wright, Director Missouri Head Start - State Collaboration Office Center for Family Policy & Research Department of Human Development and Family Science University of Missouri 1400 Rock Quarry Rd., Columbia, MO 65211-3280 573-884-3080 (p) • 573-884-0598 (f)

A Handbook

Strategic Collabora

Establishing State an Sixth Edition


d Community-Base

d Partnerships

Scan this QR Code with your smart device to view the Strategic Collaboration Handbook.

Developed by LeFeb vre Consu

lting, LLC with Fund ing from the Misso Children's Division, uri Department of Socia Early Childhood and l Services, Prevention Services Section


Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017

CALENDAR OF EVENTS REGIONAL TRAINING Directors’ Caucus — Leadership & Reflective Practice October 23 – 25, 2017 • Stoney Creek Hotel and Event Center, Independence, MO

Practice-Based Coaching November 29 – December 1, 2017 • Harrahs North Kansas City

Planned Language Approach March 6 – 8, 2018 • Location TBD

Management Acceleration Program April 16 – 20, 2018 • Location TBD

Fiscal Institute May 8 – 10, 2018 • Regional Office, KCMO

STATE EVENTS IOWA IHSA Annual Meeting September 22 Iowa Early Care and Education Fall Institute September 22-23 Parent Leadership Conference October 28 CLASS training October 17-18 KANSAS Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool Training October 11-12 PIWI training - Parents Interacting With Infants November 8-9 MISSOURI For more information contact: Tina Bernskoetter at Family & Community Engagement Community of Practice October 13 Head Start Trauma Learning Collaborative Webinar October 18 Teachers Learning & Collaborating Training November 8-9 Early Head Start & Child Care Partnerships Community of Practice November 10 Head Start Directors’ Discussion November 14 Head Start Trauma Learning Collaborative Training November 15 Education Coordinators Community of Practice December 8 Parents Interacting with Infants Training December 12-13 MHSA Council Meeting December 14 Head Start Trauma Learning Collaborative Webinar December 20 NEBRASKA 2017 Annual Conference November 15-17 Region VII Head Start Sand BoxTM | Fall 2017


Region 7 Head Start Sand Box FALL 2017