Parent Handbook, Policies & Procedures
1. Submit an Application
2. Be contacted by a HCAP Head Start Family Advocate
Parent Handbook > Policies & Procedures
- Home visits are valuable in building respectful relationships with parents and in developing a broad understanding of every child in the program.
- Teachers are required to make two visits to the home of each child in addition to the two staff-parent conferences.
- There is some flexibility in allowing visits to be conducted outside the home. Every effort is make to conduct the visit in the home.
- Services in the home-based option must be provided in the family's home, because the home setting is integral to the success of this option.
Head Start maintains a yearly recruitment process. Applications are available online here, at all Head Start classrooms or by mail by calling 847-1000.
Head Start can currently serve 1,650 children island-wide. Therefore enrollment in the program is limited. Registration does not ensure that the child will be enrolled. Selection of the children to be enrolled is made using age, income, children's disabilities, and family needs as criteria. Those children who are not selected for enrollment are placed on a waiting list in their attendance area. After selection is made, parents are notified of their child's status.
A parent / guardian planning to drop their child from the Head Start Program must notify staff and sign a drop form at the Head Start classroom and should inform the Family Advocate of the drop.
A parent / guardian wishing to transfer their child to another center must contact their Family Advocate and Teacher. The child may be admitted into another center or placed on the waiting list in the requested center. Admission to another classroom is dependent on whether there is a vacancy in the requested center.
IF YOUR ADDRESS OR TELEPHONE NUMBER CHANGES, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU INFORM YOUR FAMILY ADVOCATE AND YOUR CHILD'S TEACHER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Regular attendance is important. Through consistent attendance, children and families are able to make maximum use of Head Start services; children learn the importance and value of being in school and children develop responsibility early.
Center Based Program
Federal Guidelines mandate that an 85% attendance rate should be maintained for children and families to receive the maximum benefit from the Head Start experiences.
The following are procedures for parents to follow to ensure the safety and well-being of each child in the Head Start program.
- An adult (a person 18 years or older), must accompany and "sign-in" the child when dropping off the child in the morning. At pick-up time an adult must "sign-out" the child.
- If your child is unable to attend school that day, you must call the teacher no later than 15 minutes from the start of the school day.*
- If you are running late, you must call the teacher to notify him/her of your approximate arrival time. This will assist the teacher to determine if a breakfast and/or lunch is ordered for your child.
* Note: If a child is absent five (5) days out of the month or drop off/ pick up is consistently late, the classroom team will assist the parent in developing a service plan. A service plan is used to resolve problems preventing regular attendance or to support the parent in complying with the pick up/drop off schedule. The child may be dropped from the program if the family does not comply with the service plan. A recommendation may be made to the Head Start Director to drop the child from the program if the family does not comply with the service plan.
Late Pick-up Policy
The following procedures are currently in place:
- Staff will counsel parent about the pick-up policy after the first incident.
- Parents will notify staff immediately of any changes in authorization for pick-up, emergency contact numbers, and personal information (phone numbers, address, etc.).
- For unforeseen circumstances, parents will call staff to inform them that they will be late and should indicate an anticipated arrival time at the classroom.
- If parents do not call and / or designated contact persons are not available to pick up child, child may be taken to the nearest police station. If this occurs, the Honolulu Police Department will consider the child to be "abandoned" and will call Child Protective Services (CPS) to initiate a temporary custody process.
Absence due to Illness
Notify your child's teacher if your child is ill, especially if your child is out for more than (3) consecutive days. Please report how your child is doing and when you think he/she will be returning to the classroom. Please contact the Head Start Nurse if you have any concerns or questions.
Home Base Program
Regular attendance in the Home Base program is critical in order for families to receive the maximum benefit from their Head Start experience. Weekly home visits and group socialization activities twice a month are planned for each home base family. Families are expected to attend all planned activities. In the event an emergency situation arises that prevents parents/children from attending an activity, parents are expected to notify the home visitor. No contact will constitute an unexcused absence.
- If a child/parent has two unexcused absences for either home visits or cluster activities, staff may recommend to the Head Start Director that the child be dropped from the program.
- If there are repeated absences, which the home visitor feels are forming a chronic pattern, staff will help the parent/guardian to resolve the problem preventing regular attendance. If poor attendance persists, staff may recommend to the Head Start Director that the child be dropped from the program.
For extended absences due to vacations, trips, etc., the parent must submit a written request to the Head Start Director prior to the absence to avoid child being dropped from the program. The request must include the period of absence and the date of return. Parents will be asked to sign a drop form. In the event that they do not return on the designated date or if they do not notify staff to extend the leave period, the child will be dropped from the program.