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Head Start

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So my stepson is four he will be going back to head start here in a few weeks, My daughter is three so she can start too, My thing is I'm home with the kids all the time, I barely leave them with anyone to go anywhere, that's why I chose to stay at home is so that I could spend as much time as possible with them because I don't want to miss anything and because I want them to know that I am there for them. And I love spending time with them. I don't want to send her to head start but my husband does. I know it would be good for her, but at the same time I just don't think I can let go right now. Does this sound like I'm being selfish? My husband thinks I'm being selfish about it, I am not trying to be but at the same time It is very difficult for me to let her go, and I don't know how she would react and feel being dropped off with people she doesn't know for the day and seeing me leave. She freaks out and panics when I leave them with my husband for a few hours here and there. I know "Seperation Anxiety" Is normal but the reaction she has is not normal seperation anxiety. I am just stuck on what to do.

post #2 of 11

I am in PA and I know spaces in certain areas can be tight- If I can ask how did you get both in? Is there a real need for it? If you stay at home and there really is no issue with them behind, or you working, I don't get why they are going? Is it strictly for social, again it usually is for need based (or in some cases at risk)etc, so if you are at home, I don't get it?

 

There are many free or very low cost socializing programs they could attend- most every library has a story hour for starters. If you post in the PA tribe section I'm sure you can find other activities for them as well.

post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

I am in PA and I know spaces in certain areas can be tight- If I can ask how did you get both in? Is there a real need for it? If you stay at home and there really is no issue with them behind, or you working, I don't get why they are going? Is it strictly for social, again it usually is for need based (or in some cases at risk)etc, so if you are at home, I don't get it?

 

There are many free or very low cost socializing programs they could attend- most every library has a story hour for starters. If you post in the PA tribe section I'm sure you can find other activities for them as well.

I'm under the impression Head Start eligibility is primarily based on income level. I'm not sure why you're quizzing her on her motives and need.

 

But yes, Pr3ttyPrincess, you can take your daughter to story time at the library and other free or inexpensive things that will be less stressful for her. You can see how she does with those and think about whether she will be ready for preschool next year when she is 4. You can do interesting activities at home.

 

The main thing a child with an involved stay at home parent will get out of preschool programs is practicing the routines common in schools. Your dd will pick those up quickly enough at age 5 in kindergarten. No need to practice them for two years.

 

It sounds more like you are being in tune with your dd than that you are being selfish. Other people outside of the mother child relationship don't always realize the mother's anxiety can be based on her child's anxiety. They assume it is always the other way around, that the child is taking cues from the mother. That can happen, of course, but sometimes it's just that the mother knows the child isn't emotionally ready for a situation. No harm comes from keeping a young child in a loving home. 

post #4 of 11
Quote:
I'm under the impression Head Start eligibility is primarily based on income level. I'm not sure why you're quizzing her on her motives and need.

you are incorrect, I know a child that meet the need requirement (financial)-which you must meet,  but did not meet the testing and was denied, the mother was a stay at home and did not need child care

 

you can't simply say I meet the financial therefor let my child in-doesn't work that way in all areas

 

just because someone is of low income doesn't mean HeadStart is right for each child and that low income means you need HS

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

you are incorrect, I know a child that meet the need requirement (financial)-which you must meet,  but did not meet the testing and was denied, the mother was a stay at home and did not need child care

 

As PP said HS - is primarily income based, but that is not the only requirement. No one gets in automatically based on income, rather it is income requirement that makes a child eligible and then they triage the applicants by need (need based on meeting a certain number of characteristics on a federally mandated list, the more  risk factors a child has the more likely they will be approved for a spot ) Risk factors included  income level, job loss, serious medical illness in the family, developmental delays, low birth weight, prematurity, multiple birth, homelessness, non-English speaking household, sibling with history of school concerns, incarcerated parent, etc. Often there are a set amount of slots in HS for 'over-income' and/or special needs children (at least in our state there was). Students that apply, but do not get into HS often get on a wait-list as openings occur.

 

Staying at home parent and a need for child care is totally irrelevant in qualification. In our area the HS has both an all day program and a 1/2 day program depending on the child and situation. 

 

 Many other states offer  tiered programs (in our area it is Great Start Readiness Program) for kids that would benefit from HS but dont otherwise qualify ( usually above the income level cut-off) and have factors that may be considered 'at risk' (many are the same as HS) for school success. It does not mean that kids with those risk factors wont be successful, just that statistically certain factors have been proven to impact success and therefore add a 'risk' that the student may not be successful in school. HS and those other programs are offered to help those students succeed when they enter K.

 

My DDs did such a program and it was fantastic- yes, I has serious reservations since they were still 3 (turning 4), but it was wonderful. It was a 12 hour  a week ( 4 days and 3 hours a day) program that really helped my DDs with independence, social skills, and gross motor. One DD also received PT and OT alongside her non-physically challenged peers at school. I was a stay at home parent at that time. Now DDs are headed to 2nd grade and I still think it was a fabulous option for our family that really really made a difference. There is no way we could have had access to a preschool program, Special Education services, and the associated other supports for our children on our income at that time (we did not fit the HS criteria for income, but this program still had income requirements- they were just allowed for higher income brackets). Both my DDs would not have been accepted in to traditional preschools due to Special Needs. (neither of which were severe, but did impact their ability to function in a preschool setting).

 

Some states (such as IA) offer free preschool to all PreK students regardless of income or risk factors.

 

 

As for the OP, I dont think you are being selfish. If HS is not right for your family right now can you see if your DD would be eligible for in-home services through the school? I know often (but not always) a child that is qualifies for HS also has qualifying factors that would make them eligible for school-bases services such as Speech, Social skills, Physical Therapy, or Occupational Therapy. Our local schools offer eligible children Speech and PT in a preschool like setting that does not mandate attendence to HS or any other program, just as stand alone Special Education services.

 

I , too, would access the free community services such as library storytime or a Parents As Teachers program and make a commitment to attend regularly. This will help your DD adjust to group settings skills that will help ease the transition in Kindergarten.

 

Another option is to start HS, see how it goes. See if your DD can attend part-time or do a gradual entrance (one hour for awhile than two hours, etc).  That way you can get the benefits of HS and still see what time-limits you and your DD can handle at this time. DD may do well if her brother is there as well.

 

edited to add:

 

* in our state K is also not mandatory. But HS still is offered as a preschool and PreK program.

 

*Some areas have waitlists for HS, other areas are advertising heavily to recruit children to fill allotted spots. Spots are determined by demographics of the area,but some areas that dont have enough income eligible families there are more HS spots than applicants.

 

At the time we applied (which was 3 years ago), there was no waitlist for HS due to more spots than eligible applicants. But there was a long waitlist for Great Start Readiness Program (which had a higher income cut-off). They used a risk-factor/need assessment to place students, then they were wait-listed accordingly.

 

Not only 15 miles away in another city the HS waitlist was almost a year long.


Edited by KCMichigan - 8/11/12 at 11:01am
post #6 of 11

some FYI - in PA preschool is not what most do (certain sections of the state most do go others not in the numbers most would assume) also PA does not require Kindergarden, it is NOT a state mandate and many schools (if the do offer it!!)  are cutting it- some to full day some only half

 

many children in PA do not have the means to attend private preschools and that is where HS come into play (given the area)

 

 

if the child as the PP stated

 

Quote:

No one get in automatically based on income, rather it is income requirement and then they triage the applicants by need (need based on meeting a certain number of characteristics on a Federally mandated list, the more needs a child has the more likely they will be approved for a spot). 

 

really needs it, most likely they can attend

 

I asked because most do not know they do not need to send their child-it was a simple question as to why (the OP did not state the reason)

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm a stay at home mom, so I am here all the time. I'm not sure if my daughter got in too or not I haven't heard anything back yet. I have to call on Monday to find out when it starts for my four year old son. I don't know why he is going really, He is techinacally my stepson his mother had him going when he was three so he is automatically good to go for this year too. I don't feel like there is a need for it either, My husband believes it would benefit her, but I don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

I am in PA and I know spaces in certain areas can be tight- If I can ask how did you get both in? Is there a real need for it? If you stay at home and there really is no issue with them behind, or you working, I don't get why they are going? Is it strictly for social, again it usually is for need based (or in some cases at risk)etc, so if you are at home, I don't get it?

 

There are many free or very low cost socializing programs they could attend- most every library has a story hour for starters. If you post in the PA tribe section I'm sure you can find other activities for them as well.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
I'm a stay at home mom, so I am here all the time. I'm not sure if my daughter got in too or not I haven't heard anything back yet. I have to call on Monday to find out when it starts for my four year old son. I don't know why he is going really, He is techinacally my stepson his mother had him going when he was three so he is automatically good to go for this year too. I don't feel like there is a need for it either, My husband believes it would benefit her, but I don't.
 

 

 

as the PP stated, it really should be for a REAL need (determined after testing), to help the child and not all children need HS- they should be properly assessed and you have every right to know the results of the testing for your DD and still it is up to the parents if it is what is really needed

 

as with your SDS- your DH should know the reason he was accepted and just because it is right for one does not make it so for the other, a good HS program reassesses the need each year for the child

 

personally I would want to know all the facts, if a delay was determined (for example), you should know and make the decision based on speaking with the director and seeing if the HS program by itself is enough - but really without knowing why the child was excepted you don't know the whole story

 

good luck 

post #9 of 11

Head Start here is different than in most locations (open to all comers - the only preschool in a very small town and usually <10 kids total). I didn't NEED to send my son. And I was nervous about sending him - he was so little! But the teacher is awesome, and my husband thought it was a good idea, so we started sending him 3 mornings a week when he was 3, and he really enjoyed it. I figure it gave me extra time at home to get other stuff done and focus on his little sister, while he got exposed to a variety of neat and interesting things I'd never have thought of, along with other kids. And it was only mornings, so we had plenty of time afterwards. We'll probably do all 4 mornings this year.

 

If you don't want her to go, don't send her. But it does no harm to give it a try (maybe part time) and reevaluate later.

post #10 of 11

I, too, live in PA and there was no testing or assessment to get dd1 into the local HS preschool. Our city schools offer free full-time preschool, some of which are HS, some of which are Pre-K Counts, and some of which are other. I picked the one I did b/c it is the closest to my house. I did not realize it was HS and she was waitlisted due to it being "full" even though they had told me there were "several" slots. I called after receiving that letter and they told me it was really b/c we didn't meet the income eligibility, which I completely understood, but was not told up front. At any rate, many HS programs allow for 10% of their students to be outside the income guidelines, so dd1 was still immediately accepted. No testing, no evaluation. Preschool is preschool, why should my child NEED to be tested in? Either her father and I want her to go or we don't. If we didn't meet the income guidelines, so be it, we'd pick a different location.

 

To the OP: Talk to your dh about waiting until your daughter is four. Kids are not always ready for things at the same time. DD1 has anxiety disorder and does not like for us to leave her. This is the part about school that she does not like, but she can understand it now in a way that she would not have been able to at age three. Our reasons for sending her have to do with behavioral problems and her needing to receive instruction from other adults. Does a local church have a preschool? These are usually just a couple hours per week. It would be a good way to compromise or test ps out if your dh is determined.

 

Mckittre, we plan on doing 4 days per week out of the 5 offered. There is no half-day option here, only full.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
 No testing, no evaluation. Preschool is preschool, why should my child NEED to be tested in?

with HS, it is designed for those children who are at NEED who without may not succeed and who have no other means (because of cost) to provide assistance

 

taking up a slot for a child who truly needs it just wrong, that can mean one less that gets the needed help

 

the program aims to help low income families (and some with disabilities) who might otherwise not have access for their child and help with nutritional assistance who might also not get 

 

evaluations are done to assess where the child may need additional help and to determine what their needs are

 

 

 

Quote:
Talk to your dh about waiting until your daughter is four.

actually 3 is the best age for HS, waiting has shown to be of less use- per the study done in 2010-the study didn't compare those who do not send and keep their children at home vs just a private preschool

 

3 is views as best to keep them in the program longer and for maximum benefit for long term 


Edited by serenbat - 8/14/12 at 8:12am
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