The Policy Council consists of at least 51% Head Start-Early Head Start parents elected from the Cluster Committees and the Early Head Start Program with children currently enrolled in the program. Other members of the Council are community representatives who must be approved by the parent members of the Policy Council.
Policy Council members receive training and must be willing to give their time, make decisions based on facts, and work well with other parents and staff.
Each Head Start-Early Head Start center has a Parent Committee made up of all the parents with children in that center. Soon after the beginning of the program year, meetings are held at each center to elect Parent Committee Officers. The Parent Committee meets every six weeks at the center. A certain day and time for the meetings are voted on by the parents.
JCCEO Head Start-Early Head Start centers are divided into clusters with seven to twelve classrooms in each. Cluster Committees meet every eight weeks, for a total of at least four meetings per program year. The purpose of the Head Start-Early Head Start Cluster Committee is to periodically report back to parents at their individual centers any information about the program of interest to parents and Parent Committees. Parents are elected or volunteer to be part of a Cluster Committee. Two representatives and two alternates are elected by parents to represent that cluster on the Policy Council.
Fatherhood Involvement Project
The Fatherhood Involvement Project is a program designed to encourage fathers and/or significant male role models to participate in the JCCEO Head Start-Early Head Start Program activities with their children. Each year, the JCCEO Parent Involvement and Volunteer staff facilitates a brunch, an "Evening Out With Dad," and a retreat for participants. Each event features a motivational speaker, as well as support and educational information for the participants.
Throughout the program year, the participants are welcomed into each program center and encouraged to volunteer in the classrooms, read to the children, or lend their time in other ways. The Fatherhood Involvement Project also includes a "Story Telling Project," during which the participants come into the classrooms and read to the children.
JCCEO is committed to ensuring the JCCEO Head Start-Early Head Start Program is conducive to the critically-needed father/male involvement.
Grandparent Support Group
The Grandparent Support Group is comprised of grandparents who are rearing their children. The group meets the 2nd Thursday of each month for group support sessions. These support meetings feature a speaker who shares resources and information to our participating grandparents as they navigate the challenges of rearing grandchildren. The meetings are open to other elders who are also providing kinship care. Grandparents are encouraged during this time to share their concerns with the group. The participants gain knowledge and insight about issues affecting them as seniors and as senior parents. Invited speakers explore topics determined by the expressed needs of the participating grandparents.