Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians Head Start & Early Head Start How do we meet the requirements of ERSEA? Eligibility--How do we meet this Standard? • All information that is posted, published and mailed to families includes information on the age requirements for Head Start and Early Head Start, and clearly states that these programs are designed to first serve children from low-income families . • Families are asked how old their children are upon picking up an application. • Families are required to submit income verification with their application (preferably a tax form from the previous year, however families will be asked about their income for the previous 12 months when a tax form is not available). Recruitment--How do we meet this Standard? • We have a Recruitment Plan in place that has been approved by Policy Council. This plan will be updated this fall and re-submitted to Policy Council for their recommendations and approval. • Recruitment for the upcoming school year begins in the end of February. • A list of age-eligible Tribal Members living in the Service Area is obtained from the Membership Listing on the Network. • Mailings are sent to those Tribal Members listed above, as well as income and age-eligible children whose names are provided by FIA. Mailings are also sent to families of returning students and siblings of past students, if applicable. • All information that is mailed and/or posted includes a brief description of the services offered and clearly states that we provide services to children with disabilities. • Flyers describing the programs and requirements are distributed and/or posted in Tribal buildings. • Flyers describing the programs and requirements are posted in the community at locations families may frequent. • Information regarding the Head Start and Early Head Start programs is sent to the Tribal Newsletter for publication on a monthly basis. • Information regarding recruitment and openings in the programs is shared with community partners who may be able to make referrals. • Policy Council members and current Head Start/Early Head Start parents are encouraged to spread the word about the programs to other families. • Head Start and Early Head Start have information and applications available at the Health Fair, Family Fun Fair/Parenting Awareness Fair, and any other events that may take place. • Staff is available daily to distribute and accept enrollment packets. • Specific evenings (after traditional business hours) are designated to distribute and accept applications, and to answer questions that families may have regarding the program. • Staff will walk through GTB Housing to distribute flyers about the Head Start/Early Head Start programs and distribute application packets as appropriate. • All staff will be encouraged to spread the word about the Head Start/Early Head Start program to families they know. • Recruitment is an on-going process. What is the Selection Criteria? • The selection criteria is the system used to screen all children for eligibility into Head Start or Early Head Start. • The selection criteria that a program develops MUST include the following, at a minimum: – Family Income – Age of Child – Other Factors – Disability • All criteria are equally important in selecting a child/family for the program. • There cannot be more than 10 criteria because it reduces the enrollment opportunity for children with disabilities. What does our Selection Criteria look like? A few notes about the Selection Criteria • The only children who can get the total maximum points are children with disabilities, thus ensuring at least 10% of our enrollment opportunities are being made available to children with disabilities. (Currently with our criteria, children with disabilities are given 11% enrollment opportunity.) • The selection criteria will be revised this fall to ensure that the most eligible children are able to receive services. • A waiting list must be established and maintained before and throughout the school year. Enrollment--What does this mean? • All children must re-apply and be assigned new points based on the selection criteria every year. Children are NOT automatically accepted after they have been enrolled one year (starting next school year for us…) The selection criteria is the only way to determine if a new child has a greater need than a child who is already enrolled. • Family Income Eligibility: If a family is income eligible one year, they are automatically income eligible the next year, regardless of the family income. We collect income every year for tracking purposes, and to ensure that those that are income eligible get noted as so. How do we meet this Standard? • Each child is assigned a number of points based on the selection criteria. Children are selected at a management team meeting based on the points they received. Names of children are not revealed until AFTER the selection has been made. • Accepted children are sent a letter identifying the requirements that must be met before entry into the program. • Children who are not accepted are placed on the waiting list, and will be selected as vacancies occur, based on their eligibility from the selection criteria— regardless of when the application was submitted. Attendance • Applies only to the Center Based setting. • Children who are absent due to appointments (doctor—not for illness, dental, assessments, medical services, mental health) are considered to be present. • All absences must be recorded, whether excused or unexcused ADA= # of children Present Funded Enrollment (55) What will be different next year? • The Selection Criteria will be revised to include more details that may influence a family’s eligibility. • There will be a pre-application available to families rather than the entire enrollment packet. The remainder of the forms will be completed by parents with staff at the center. • Recruitment will begin earlier in the year.
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