This virtual conference was designed for Head Start Health Managers and Family Advocates because both target audiences work directly with families regarding health, mental health, and other family-related issues. The 2-part conference, Part 1 in December “Finishing out 2020 with Self-Care” and Part 2 in January “Healthy Goals for 2021” consisted of workshops related to self-care practices for adults and children, increasing physical fitness in early childhood (especially in a virtual world), parent education for healthy nutrition, and ways to reduce stress.
Head Start adopts the “it takes a village approach” for offering comprehensive services to children and families. Much of our support covers a large scope of issues that can be quite wide-ranging. Head Start staff wear many hats, and often our roles overlap, to create a collaborative effort with the family’s goals in mind. Therefore our annual Health Institute also includes workshops designed for Family Services Staff to help foster this collaborative approach.
DoubleTree Midlothian, Richmond, VA 23235 November 13-15, 2019
This year’s conference theme, “A Quest for Healthier Children and Families” which focused on reducing BMI levels as a statewide challenge, was designed for Head Start Directors, Health Managers and Family Services Staff. Head Start data captures the BMI levels according to the CDC BMI-for-age growth charts, noted as underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese.
Some other topics also included: nutrition and healthy cooking strategies, farm-to-table demonstrations, how to use SNAP benefits at farmer’s markets, and other relevant topics such as: infection control in the classroom, immunizations, HIPAA/FERPA laws, family engagement and mental health support.
The National Center for Parent Family & Community Engagement (NCPFCE) built our discussion around the Head Start Performance Standards (HSPPS) requirement regarding parenting curricula. Participants had the opportunity to discuss their experiences as we expanded our collective knowledge. We focused on exploring NEW resources that offered guidance for consideration when choosing, confirming, and implementing an appropriate parenting curriculum. This full-day workshop was intended for any Region 3 Head Start Family Engagement Staff and Managers.
Some other topics also included: how the Opioid Epidemic affects the whole family and community deterring emergencies in early childhood settings, safe sleep environments for infants, food allergens in the classroom, brain development from birth to age 5, oral health information and strategies for young children, fatherhood engagement, and more.
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