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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had a good experience with this program?? Based on my experiences, it's only upside is that it is free childcare. In fact, I am so fed up with it that I am pulling my daughter out of it this week - if they let me. I kept her home for no reason other than wanting to see her (she is 4) and they are now threatening to call DCF on me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">
 

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I refused to put Dd in headstart even though she's eligible, I pay for two days, in the program in the next building, same playground and even some of the same teachers.<br>
I didn't want the level of interference that comes with headstart, here they even do home visits. My friend was always being asked about spousal abuse, and her husband would get looks when he picked up (he's tall and muscles and she's 5' and light as a feather)<br>
It just rubs me the wrong way, they are so suspicious. Yet with the two days I do, I tell them, she's here to play with kids her own age and allow me to clean the house and get the groceries on my own. they don't care if I pick up early or miss a day at all.<br>
I'd write them a letter saying why you are pulling her and keep a copy. Put it in writing, you wanted to spend a day with her, and don't appreciate being threatened with a CPS call for spending time with your own child.
 

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I think the programs have a lot of variance.<br><br>
Here, the teachers are phenomenal. My children do fun activities and have fun with their peers.<br><br>
But the administration has been a nightmare for reasons I cannot go into here.<br><br>
If I was you, though, I would write a letter documenting their threat to call CPS for taking your daughter out of school to have a mommy day and promptly pull her out. I would write that I was pulling her out because the threat was so inappropriate and baseless and you could not allow your child to be in an environment with that type of bullying. (something along that line).<br><br>
I would then file a complaint with the federal Office of Head Start Monitoring and anybody else I could think of. I understand monitoring of those types of bullying and misuse have been increased.
 

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I agree with the pp. That was a blatant abuse of power to threaten reporting you simply because you wanted to keep your daughter home one day. Even public schools wouldn't do that for keeping a child home one stinking day. Unfortunately some teachers and administrators believe that our children belong to them during school hours and it's for that reason that I removed my children from a private school and began homeschooling them. I was accused of various parental failures and mentally bullied by two or my daughter's teachers simply because I wanted to accompany my child on field trips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the responses. I really do think it is very invasive. They have actually done 2 home visits - first the teacher and asst. and then the "parent advocate." They ask all sorts of questions about my personal life as well, which is frankly pretty boring. But it's really an attitude like they own my child and allow me to care for her when she isn't there. This threat has really pushed me over the edge though. I will definitely be removing her.<br><br>
Thanks again. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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What?!? I actually worked for HS briefly and it wasn't like this at all. I'd be calling the head of the program in your area and complaining and writing a letter as well.
 

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We had the kids in HS for a couple years and I would've brought DS's teacher with him to kindy if I could have - they were really fantastic there. Except for an issue with the school nurse, she was a bit militant (though she was a nice person interestingly enough). We had awesome experiences with them! Plus the only home visits required were by the teacher and her assistant twice a year, you do not have to see the parent advocate or whatever. Definitely write a formal letter of complaint, that is so unacceptable!
 

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I agree with the others- remove your daughter immediately, send them a letter stating why, and lodge a formal complaint. I personally think Head Start is way to invasive to justify being free, but I understand for some it's a necessary "evil", if you will, and in some places it's a terrific program. I tossed around the idea of putting my daughter in half-time but in the end decided against because I was very wary of all the health screenings and personal questions. Maybe it's okay for some, but for me it just wasn't worth the trade.
 

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Here, they require you to sign a consent for all the health screenings. I simply refused to sign them. I got the impression that no one had ever done that before, but I just said no . . .<br><br>
I researched Head Start's regulations, etc., because of disability issues. A heavy emphasis is placed on cultivating positive school-parent relationships. Seriously, write a letter of complaint. Don't let the school simply bully you and continue to bully others. They need to be held accountable, but they won't be unless you speak up.
 

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I have worked in a public school early childhood program that is run on the Head Start model, and my child currently attends the same program. (Basically what it is, the entire school district where i live runs all their preschool classrooms on the Head Start model, with their curriculum and the home visits. A few years ago, when I worked there, there were still some classrooms that were just special education for dev. delays, now I THINK they are ALL integrated with HeadStart except for a few very specialized rooms for kids with intense/multiple needs--think non-verbal, many medical needs, severly disabled.)<br><br>
Anyway, I have been on both ends, I was a classroom assistant and I went with the teacher on home visits to new people occasionally. It was a COMMON SENSE move--any new family, 2 people *always* went, after that I think it was pretty much teacher's call. (I know at the school I worked at sometimes teachers of siblings would just go together and do one visit.)<br><br>
And I have had now I think 3 home visits? by two different teachers.<br><br>
I have never heard, nor have I been asked, anything about spousal abuse or abuse in my home. In fact, I have never been asked, nor have i heard asked, anything that would make me uncomfortable.<br><br>
I've heard--and been asked--very basic stuff. What kind of stuff does your child enjoy doing? (asked to parent or child) They do ask if you have a family goal. (Can be anything from wanting to learn about more quality fun activities for the family or anything really. Mine before we moved here was to move to a bigger/better place because DH, me, ds, dd and I was pregnant, lived in a little 2 BR apt. with no real area for kids to play outside.)<br>
What do you think your child needs to work on? What would you like them to learn in school this year? Anything we should know about your child? Any allergies?<br><br>
Neither of my son's teachers have gone anywhere in my house but the living room and the dining room table. When I went on one, we went in the little girl's room, but only because she *really* wanted to show us her princess dress-up stuff and the mom was totally fine with that.<br><br>
IN FACT AS I JUST RECALLED---the teacher I worked with used to even give the option to meet with the parent somewhere else or let them come to the school. She did not REQUIRE it to be AT HOME absolutely. (to my knowledge, nobody took her up on it, but they could've.)<br><br>
I've kept my child out of school a few times for sick, when his great-grandma passed away, etc. and nobody said anything to me about it at all except "Sorry to hear your grandma died".....<br><br>
In your situation, I would ABSOLUTLEY complain to somebody higher up and higher up until you get a response you need. What they have done is NOT normal HS policy.<br><br>
(though I don't get either why anybody would be worried about them coming to your home.....I just figure I have nothing to hide.)
 

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OH and in response to all the "health screening' stuff<br><br>
In my experience, it is stuff I'm doing anyway, so I really don't care if they have a note saying I took my kid to a dentist. I really don't see much point to the physical they want yearly, but since it's free for me, I let them have their little record that somebody weighed and measured him and said he is fine.<br><br><br>
My son's school has a lot of stuff because they have a free clinic right in the school. I just decline all of it. I told them I have a doctor and a dentist that I use and I'm happy with what I have. THey're fine with it. They can see he's taken care of.<br><br>
My child is also unvaccinated after 6 months. I signed a waiver, nobody has said a word since then.<br>
They still sent home the H1N1 junk but his teacher said "I know you don't want it, it's fine." That's it.<br><br>
I don't know maybe they think privately that I'm a little nutty but nobody has said or done anything to make me at all uncomfortable or offended or anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you so much for the advice/information. I have decided to pull DD out of the program, as we are staying with my father right now (temporarily) and before I start a new job and we move to a new area (inevitable), we will get some mommy/kiddo time in. It's working out great so far. As soon as I have access to a printer, I will print out and then mail a letter outlining my issues with the local HS program. I think it needs to be said, even if it just affects future students and parents and not me and DD.<br><br>
peaceful_mama, thank you for your unique perspective as both an employee and parent. I just want to explain that I am not and was not <i>worried</i> about the home visits, as I certainly have nothing to hide. It was inconvenient scheduling the visits, but even that is not my issue. The fact that these extra measures are taken solely with low-income families and would never be required of higher-income families is what bothers me.
 

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I guess I never thought about it as a lower-higher income issue simply because in my district, ALL of the public-school preschool has home visits. They are certified Head Start, the classrooms also have students on IEP's who are integrated, and some schools have a "Title" program for people with higher income than HeadStart but there is still a cap, and you have to live in that neighborhood.<br>
They all get home visits, whether you are a couple of high-income professionals who happen to have a child with a delay or disability or a single Head-Start qualifiying parent.<br><br>
Would be nice if *all* districts did this so that it wasn't a stigma for *anyone.*
 

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We're another one not doing head start - I looked into it here and talked with other parents and decided against it.<br><br>
Several parents in my area reported issues with children and their father's after starting head start here - Head start basically told the kids if your dad or another male touches you at all, even a hug, it's abuse and call the cops. While my DD's dad isn't in the picture, she has a very loving grandfather and if that is their prerogative I don't want to even think about what else they are teaching.<br><br><br>
I catch flack every time we recertify for WIC & food stamps because DD isn't in head start, and they try to sign me up for it. Once they did without my permission even!
 

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I had my dd in headstart and hated it.They spent more time testing for learning and physical issues than doing fun stuff.Acted like they owned her and could do whatever they wanted.More like a *big govt. watching over the family* type scenario.Last straw was seeing a kid trying to push my dd off a 5 foot play structure and none of the 3 teachers noticed.Formally unenroll and move on.Free is not always best...nor is paid but that is another thread!
 

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OMG I can't, I mean, I DO, but I can't believe all this junk goes on with something that I've had such a good experience with! I mean, I DO believe all of you, I don't think it's a pack of lies or anything but WOW it just so goes to show what a HUGE difference there can be--the teachers and the admin of your particular school or district really DO make a HUGE difference.<br><br>
I cannot IMAGINE *anything* being said about dads hugging kids in any classroom I've been in--as a parent or as part of the staff. Wow. (or uncles or granddads or anyone else for that matter) I don't even recall doing anything with "stranger danger." I think the general theory for us with kids age 3-5 was that well, uh, they shouldn't be without an adult. The most we ever did was help the older ones learn their full name and their parents' names. But even then, even though in the back of our minds we thought if they ever got lost in a store or something, this would be useful, we didn't talk about that with them much. (I won't say it was NEVER EVER mentioned, I will say I don't recall it.)
 
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