News from Children & Families First Head Start Program

 In September 2020, Children & Families First started the process of making its mark as the new interim grantee of the Head Start program located in Kent and Sussex counties. At the end of October, we had two home visitors trained and were ready to start serving families. We are now fully staffed with two bilingual Spanish-speaking home visitors and two English-speaking home visitors.

At full enrollment, we can serve 48 children throughout Sussex County. Currently, we have openings for children, so right now, our focus has been on recruiting families. We have been attending a variety of events and are in the process of establishing community partnerships.

Since October, we have completed weekly visits and virtual socializations twice a month. If families need technology to complete their visits, we can provide them with a tablet. During the visits, the home visitors support families with engaging parent-child activities, discussion on parenting topics, and help to provide resources to support any need they have. During our socializations, we engage the families in a variety of activities. The activities we have completed so far range from gross motor to sensory to science. We have made playdough, edible finger paint, and maracas — and even tried tornadoes in a bottle. Each of these activities has allowed the parents, the children, and the home visitors the opportunity to engage with each other, even if it is only in a virtual setting. We have also started to implement a snack during our socializations. During each socialization, we do an easy food activity that the families and staff make and eat during the event. Some of the snacks we have made so far are banana sushi, frozen blueberries and yogurt skewers, and a fruit and yogurt parfait. We have also been able to do various drop-offs for the families throughout the last few months. We are currently in the process of dropping off safety bags for families who have completed six visits. The incentive bags contain outlet covers, band-aids, paper towels, a spray bottle, and a thermometer.

As we continue our work as home visitors during this pandemic, we look forward to opportunities that allow us to learn new information, find additional resources, and improve the work we do with our families. 

Submitted by
Heather Hafer
Home-Based Coordinator
Children & Families First Head Start