Programs and Management
Head Start Program Options
Minnesota Valley Action Council offers a Head Start Program for preschool children ages 3 to 5 in our nine-county service area which includes the counties of Blue Earth, Brown, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan. Click here for locations.
Our Head Start Program offers 3 program options:
- Home-Based parents and children have a weekly 1½ hour home visit. Parents and children also meet for a school time experience with other children and parents at a Head Start site 24 times during the school year.
- Center-Based children meet at a Head Start site for a 3½ hour center day four days a week or for a 6 ½ hour center day five days a week.
- Combination parents and children have a 1½ hour home visit two times a month. Children meet for a 3½ hour center day two days or three days a week.
Pregnant Women, Infants, Toddlers
Our Head Start Program also serves pregnant women and children ages birth to 3 in a Home-Based option. The Home Visiting option is available in all nine counties of Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan. All Home Visitors will have a mix of children in their class ages birth – 5 yrs old.
Children Ages Birth to Three
In our home visiting option, the Home Visitor will conduct a weekly home visit, while supporting you through your pregnancy and the early years of your baby’s life. The program will help you strengthen parent/child interactions; provide experiences to boost your child’s growth and development; create a learning environment; evaluate your child’s health, mental health, and developmental progress; gain community support for nutrition, health, employment, housing, and educational programs; make your home safer for your child; and gain information on how to care for and support your child. “School Time” is a learning and interaction time for you and your child and a positive environment to help your child develop social and play skills. Parent education and interaction is also provided. Please call the Head Start office in your area to apply.
With our services to pregnant women, you will meet with a Home Visitor and Health Consultant to discuss topics such as pregnancy and childbirth education, nutrition for pregnant women and newborns, fetal growth and development, how to care for your newborn, benefits of breastfeeding, and postpartum recovery and depression. The Home Visitor will also assist you with finding a doctor and scheduling appointments for prenatal care. Support for gaining access to community resources, such as WIC, will also be provided. Please call the Head Start office in your area to apply.
Every part of how the program works is planned. Programs are designed to meet the community’s needs and the regulations. A solid design and strong, thoughtful management help a program reach its goals. With a solid foundation, the program manages its finances, supports the staff, and improves the lives of children and families.
We plan for continuous program improvement with input from our Head Start parents, Policy Council members, staff and Board members. We strive to achieve program goals each year. Our current long-term program goals and short-term objectives can be found here: 2019-2020 Long Range Goals Short Term Objs
Parent Committee Meetings
- All parents who have children enrolled in the program are members of their local Parent Committee.
- The meetings happen 5 times during the school year in September, November, January, March, and April.
- Parent Committees work together with the staff in planning activities for the children.
- Parenting related topics and Policy Council Meeting minutes and information are discussed at Parent Committee Meetings.
- Training will be made available to parents throughout the school year. (Example of Topics: Discipline, Challenging Behavior, Child Personal Safety, Nutrition, Health, Mental Health, and Kindergarten School Readiness)
- Policy Council reviews policies, approves, advises and makes recommendations to the MVAC Board of Directors.
- Each local Parent Committee elects a representative and an alternate from their classroom to serve on the Policy Council.
- Representatives from each classroom keep information flowing back and forth between Parent Committees and the Policy Council.
- Policy Council meetings are held once a month at the Mankato Head Start classroom site in Mankato.