Supporting Full Enrollment Webinar
Karen Surprenant: Okay, good afternoon, everyone, well, for those of you that it is afternoon. It's nice to see people from all over the country, and I see lots of names from Region One, which is my home region. Welcome. As John said, my name is Karen Surprenant from PMFO. I work in the area of program management and governance, and I'm just gonna let Tim and Brandi say hello real quick before we get started. Tim?
Tim Adams: Well, good morning or good afternoon, everyone, depending on where you're from. It's great to see everyone. I'm excited to present to you, and thank you all for being here.
Brandi Black Thacker: Hey, everybody. What an honor and a pleasure to get to be cavorting about with my PMFO colleagues. This is Brandi Black Thacker. I'm the director of training, technical assistance, and collaboration at the National Center on Parent, Family, Community Engagement. And we can't wait to think about this with you guys today. And we have a lot of opportunities, not only for you to share with each other, but for us to offer ideas for you to consider, and I feel like the time's gonna fly by. So, I wanna turn it back over to my colleagues at PMFO, and let's jump in.
Karen: Okay, we're gonna get down to business and start this show here. So, today, what we hope to accomplish, our learning objectives for this session this afternoon, is to identify strategies for achieving and maintaining full enrollment. Brandi will talk to us about the elements of effective outreach and recruitment. We're gonna spend some time talking about outreach and recruitment for families experiencing homelessness. And lastly, we'll give you a sampling of resources that support the full enrollment effort. And John had mentioned the ability to download them before we all got started, so you can feel free to do that.
But we'd like to begin by setting the stage for this conversation about enrollment, and why it's so important. According to the Office of Head Start, we enrolled 887,125 children in fiscal year 2018, and you can see these figures up on your screen.
According to the National Head Start Association's profile, they do a national profile on Head Start, on the national level, we're serving less than 40 percent of preschoolers living in poverty, and less than 10 percent of infants in poverty, and that's just the data from 2017. So, it's really in our best interest as a national program to use our funds efficiently, by maintaining funded enrollment levels, so we can reach as many children as possible, and so that we can be good stewards of federal dollars. We don't have sufficient funding to serve all in need, as we can see from this data, which makes it really critical that we direct the funds that we do have to the right places, and that we not waste any of our limited resources that we do have at our disposal.
I want to spend a little time looking at the elements of Head Start Act Section 641A. And this section is where you'll find requirements around enrollment, including the requirements for the monthly reporting that you're all doing on the enterprise system, the Head Start Enterprise System. It's important to understand these requirements and the process for supporting programs who might be having trouble reaching or maintaining, or are having trouble reaching and retaining that full enrollment level.
The Act sets forth requirements for maintaining full enrollment and actions that need to be taken to address under enrollment. So, you see in this section, specifically, the 641A(h)(3), if you're looking at it on ECLKC, then you have to scroll way down to section H of the Act, and that's where you'll see the required programs with four or more consecutive months of less than 97 percent enrollment.
So, they must develop, in collaboration with the regional office, a plan and a timetable for reducing or eliminating under enrollment. And, if after that 12 months of technical assistance, the implementation of that plan doesn't result in at least 97 percent enrollment, the program can then be designated as chronically under enrolled. And the Office of Head Start has the authority to take actions, which may include recapturing, withholding, or reducing the annual grant enrollment and funding. We do so withheld funds that have been redistributed, by the end of the following fiscal year.
And you can see some specific language about how this redistributing happens. The Office of Head Start sees this as a way of directing resources where they're most needed, just like you do in your individual programs. They need to do it on a national level. And really, we don't want to see enrollment plans as a negative thing. We want to see them as an opportunity to work collaboratively with the regional office and with the TA network, and together, to look at data and strategize and really come up with ways that you can think you can address some of the challenges that you have around under enrollment.
So, while enrollment plans aren't meant to be a punitive measure, it is really important that they're data-informed, that they're well thought out, and that they can be implemented, carried out, with a successful end result, which is, of course, that of reaching and maintaining full enrollment.
So, as we think about enrollment, and the systems that we have in place, and I know many of you have all kinds of systems for enrollment and recruiting, we want to provide you with an opportunity to share these strategies among your colleagues.
So, we wanted to give you a chance to write in the chat box, the answer to the question, "What do you see as the key to maintaining full enrollment?" What are the systems that you have in place, or the activities that you engage in regularly, to be sure that you meet your funded enrollment? And things that might help you to maintain those enrollment levels on an ongoing basis.
So, I see we have multiple attendees that are typing, ready to tell us about some of their enrollment strategies. So, we'll give them a minute for that to happen. I think they're all gonna pop up at one time. There we go! Yeah, they did. For me, they did. "Family engagement," we see. "Staying in touch with the parents." "Keeping people focusing on the importance of making that communication with families," I'm sure Brandi's happy to see that."Working with the community." "The importance of partnerships with referral agencies." "Spreading the word." I see social media, advertising. "Relationships with the public schools." "Recruitment every day, recruitment by all staff." Tracy, we like to say that recruitment is everybody's business, so you're right on board with that.
Let's see what some others have to say. "The importance of the community assessment." "And the updates, specifically, so keeping abreast of those changes as they happen." "Working with local homeless shelters, and changing the room."
John Williams: Karen and Brandi, I also saw somebody reference staying in touch with homeless agencies as well.
Karen: Yes, yeah.
Brandi: Yes, this is going to be a perfect tie. You have your conversation today both in virtual, sort of, conversations around how we can support enrollment, full enrollment, and even recruitment strategies for all families. But John, I picked up on that too. I'm seeing a bunch of trends and patterns also around partnerships and relationships, and that occurs to me not only with the one-on-one connections to and with our families, but, certainly, the tendrils that we have in the community. So, it's just, we're with the right herd. [Laughs]
Karen: David talks about ongoing training to all staff regarding full enrollment goals, including governing body, governing board, and Policy Council. So, much of our message today is about data-informed goal setting, to be strategic, to be forward-thinking about what you need to do to be responsive to your community. So, absolutely, making sure people are trained and making sure that everybody is on board with the direction that you want to be going in. Let's see.
Tim: Yeah, Karen, this is Tim. You see this constant outreach to underserved and isolated communities. And I think about those vulnerable populations that we're really charged with serving. So, that can, I like that constant outreach. You know, in my mind, it's really never resting on our laurels, but really going out to those folks.
Karen: Constant outreach to underserved and isolated communities, and high-quality services, so families are less likely to opt for public, okay. That's right. Families have a choice as to where they want to go. So, it's our, part of the work that we do, the new kind of work that we do, is making sure that we are providing places where people wanna be. "Issues getting people into home-based." And that's something that you might want to talk with your colleagues about, the extended outreach as the program director.
We found that once they are in, they absolutely love it. And videos, social media advertising. "The community relationships." "Appropriate compensation." That's always a huge issue. And it's an important part of the work we do in determining how to best use our resources and determine what kinds of changes that we need to make, so that we can work towards that, even though it might not be exactly where we wanna be, we still have opportunities to work toward it. Okay.
I hope that you all had the chance to look at the, look at what your colleagues have said, if we haven't highlighted them. We're gonna give time for a couple more. I'm sure that we have home-based resources on ECLKC, which might be something that folks can look into.
And Christy works hand in hand with the foster community, absolutely. We wanna make sure that we target our vulnerable populations, which could include foster children, our special needs children, children experiencing homelessness, and think about the strategies that we can build to support their enrollment.
Okay, I'm gonna let those two minutes finish. Before we move on, "Reach out and partner with your local works department." Good communication and its consistency. Existing family centers. Okay.
I'd like to share with you some of the elements, or the opportunities, so to speak, that the Office of Head Start has identified as critical to maintaining full enrollment. And you've talked about them, but you can see there's a wide range of topics. Based on data from grantee's own enrollment plan, the Office of Head Start has identified these elements as essential for keeping and maintaining full enrollment. And I'm gonna talk a little bit about them.
Managing transitions, in this context, refers to the ability to support families throughout the program entry process, so as not to lose them, particularly in the summer months. The program is going to pay special attention to supporting that transition through to the summer. And maybe that's something that you have addressed in your own program. What can you do to keep that information up to date?
Keep families engaged and interested as they wait for the new program year to start, so you're not opening up on day one and finding lots of no-shows, that if you were in a precarious situation over enrollment that's really not going to help your case. So, you really want to pay attention to those transitions.
Recruiting and retaining qualified staff, I think came up as an issue of being able to hire staff based on compensation. If you don't have the staff, you certainly can't open the classroom.
Collaborating, partnering with state funded pre-K. We saw that, we saw partnerships in some of the answers. But having good data on the pre-K in your community is important, so you can be aware, you can establish or have a sense of how it's going to impact your recruitment enrollment, as well as identify who you might be able to partner with so that you can meet the needs of children and families in your community. And I know lots of you have wonderful partnerships out there.
Transportation is a critical issue. Lack of transportation can prevent families from accessing services. It's important to determine if that's a factor for them in maintaining enrollment, and to plan for the future. So, lots of good things. They're not just things that happen overnight. They're things that involve long-range planning and goal-setting. Adapting to changing community needs. Someone mentioned a community assessment. You know that that community assessment is an essential data source that supports program trends.
It's important to have up to date, relevant data, to guide decisions around program design, around equipment selection, and around your service delivery. What kinds of services are we gonna offer based on who's there in that community? And this data should also guide the development of culturally-responsive services, and a coordinated approach to service delivery.
And lastly, but a huge one, planning for facilities. Programs can't be fully involved without the right facilities in the right location. Strong program leadership and long-term planning is necessary for acquiring and maintaining facilities that meet those diverse and changing needs, for current and future of your population.
So, you can see this covers lots of different topic areas. And we have provided you, one of the handouts is a sample of resources on ECLKC that address these topic areas. But it really, it's just a small sample of what's out there for you. And as John mentioned, we have a tip sheet on each
of the ERSEA letters, so to speak, with eligibility, recruitment, selection, enrollment, attendance. So, we hope you'll take some time to look at those.
But as I said, one thing that all of these things have in common is that they require solid planning and use of data. And we need to have systems in place for both long-term and shortterm planning. Tim's going to talk to us some more about the management systems approach that we use in Head Start.
Tim: Thanks, Karen. Karen, I'm just thrilled with all the ideas and what people are doing. And I hope after this webinar, that they gain even more strategies. But, you know, it wouldn't be a Head Start webinar if we didn't address the big, blue book in the room, or on the screen, right?
We need to address the Head Start Program Performance Standards. And we know that these are built on expectations of progress and continuous improvement. And of course, programs are expected to design and implement management systems that enable them to adapt to a
dynamic environment on an ongoing basis.
Now, I think we all know that adaptation, it can't be reactive or shortsighted. But rather, these adaptations must be thoughtful and analytical and based on solid planning and good data. I think the current Head Start Program Performance Standards support making these adaptations, as they have really, the standards have given programs the greater flexibility to determine how best to achieve their goals, and then administer a high-quality Head Start program at the local level, without reducing expectations for children and families.
So, program planning to support full enrollment is important, and it's gotta consider, like someone's already shared, the community assessment data, the organizational program planning, the ongoing communication with all staff, just like we just said, all staff. Really, enrollment should be everyone's business at the program.
Other critical planning elements would include ongoing monitoring, data analysis, as well as, don't forget, your regional office, and your training and technical assistance regional support. Another side of this coin, really, is adaptations must be responsive to timely and reliable data. So, for example, continuing to use, the use and monitoring of data. Maybe ensuring accurate data entry and interpretation, observing trends, analyzing that data, sharing that data and verifying the story that the data tells. Maybe, framing the data in terms of your program goals and priorities, using data and communication and reporting with the regional office. And again, with your regional TA support.
In a nutshell, it's all about developing and refining responsive, is the key word here, responsive plans, supported and justified by your data. So, kind of to wrap that all up, you know, a management systems approach as outlined, again, in the Head Start Program Performance Standards, is really critical for supporting and maintaining full enrollment.
We like to say that strong management systems allow programs to adapt and be flexible to what is happening in the programs in order to most effectively meet the needs of the Head Start families of today and tomorrow. And successful programs will use management systems approach and practices for identifying and recruiting families.
So, let's talk about meeting the needs of children and families. Program location, design, and services, they need to meet the needs of the intended population in order to attract, that's an important word when we're talking about enrollment. Because there's a lot of players in the early childhood field. We want to attract and maintain the enrollment of the eligible families.
So, how do you ensure that you're meeting the needs of children and families? Well, planning and data will help programs answer important questions like these on the screen that are gonna pop up here for us. That's probably my fault. Thank you. [Laughs] Like you see on the screen here, I'd like to take a moment and ask you to consider these questions and provide some feedbacks to the right of the slide.
So, the first question is, "How do you know if your options are meeting the needs of children and families?" And the second question, below in the question two pod, would be, "What are the other modifications that programs can make," because we said that you can, you know, the Head Start Program Performance Standards, you know, they give you that flexibility. So, what can you do to better meet the needs of the children and families? And I see we have some folks already getting ready to share with us. So that's, I mean --
Karen: A what?
Tim: That's a great. Yeah, full enrollment is what he's, yeah. It's like we're meeting the needs because we're full, and we're fully enrolled, I mean, that, I understand that. The size of the wait list might be one way. Feedback from the families, hopefully. Parent surveys.
Karen: I was just thinking, Tim, how you talked about the standards providing the flexibility to make changes to your program. But with that flexibility comes the challenge of making sure that you have the right data, that you know what it is you have to do around options, that you know what it is that you have to do about modifications, and then the long-range planning to work towards them. So, it's opportunity but it's also the work that we do.
Tim: And not only your parent feedback here, but I'm seeing things like your leadership feedback, the parent committees, the Policy Council. Those are important people to listen to.
I'm also starting to see some things in question number two about modifications people are doing. So, after-hours home visits, the extended care after Head Start hours, a couple of extended care, extended hours. Changing hours.
You know, I'm thinking back, about a slide back when Karen was saying, and I saw someone saying they were struggling with home visits, so, you know, or home-based program enrollment. So again, you know, looking at that data, maybe that home-based option might need to change in some way. Maybe that's just not as needed as maybe it used to be. Changing program time.
Karen: One of the ways –
Tim: They started offering Saturdays here –
Karen: To know if their options, that their options are meeting the needs, is by surveying parents as to why they have dropped from the program, because sometimes their hours aren't meeting needs, and our families have to leave to find other resources.
Tim: Right, kind of an exit interview if you will, right.
Karen: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And we also have a requirement in our community assessment to look at what the work schedules are of families in the community. So, that could be helpful, in determining options. So, we have lots of program modifications listed here, too. You said, local designs --
Karen: For families experiencing homelessness. Change your scope based on community needs. Absolutely.
Tim: Now Pedro said, ensuring culturally diverse staff, you know, kind of mirroring the families, the children and families in our program, the local program. We have the bilingual and qualified staff. Important modifications. Again, all for making sure that we're at that local, really local level.
We're really truly meeting the needs of the most vulnerable, our target population. So, people can still keep chatting, but I'm going to wrap up this slide and just kind of remind you about the Head Start grant application, and the narrative instructions. According to those, the Office of Head Start really analyzes each application to understand whether the grantee's proposed program design, services, and resources are aligned to meet the needs of the children and families in their community.
And OHS also analyzes the application to understand the program's goals, and the program's progress toward meeting those goals, as well as the outcomes throughout the grant's project period. So, you know, really because of that, it's really, really important that programs remember to include program leadership in the planning and decision-making, which we've seen an example here in the chat. Really know how to articulate and tell their story about people, about program options, and meeting the needs of the children and families, conducting an analysis of enrollment drops on a regular basis, really looking and studying those and digging deep to find out what might be going on.
And finally, identifying the modifications that the program can make to better meet the needs of children and families. And those modifications might be a change of scope, a change in service area. It could even mean a location, a change in location of centers. A change in the target population, because sometimes, you know, different people might be moving into the area, and they have different needs. It could consider duration, conversion, reduction, and all other modifications, among others, that we've shared here today.
Well, thank you all for your engagement. I'd like to go ahead and hand the session off to my colleague Brandi, who's gonna help us rethink recruitment.
Brandi: Gosh, thanks, Tim. I, my heart is racing with excitement, and pride, if I'm being honest. I get so tickled to be in the midst of folks, so many familiar names and faces. Also, I've seen grantee colleagues, TA colleagues, program specialists. I'm really thrilled to get to share this time with you, and the proud part comes in as, like, wow!
We're really good at what we do. Like, we're amazing at being able to think through where families are at this very moment in our communities within the contexts of our programs, and figure out how to literally meet them where they are. And Kate, you said something earlier about a memory that comes up for me.
You guys have probably heard that phrase, "Oh, those hard-to-reach families." In the chat, who's heard that phrase before? Have you guys heard the phrase, "Oh, those hard-to-reach families?" Well, what we would humbly, I see several of you typing, yeah. What we would humbly submit is it's not only the families that are hard to reach. [Laughs] You know, sometimes we are, too. We have a whole lot of something. And we have a whole lot of priorities going on.
So, I love that this conversation allows us to sort of reset ourselves and take stock of our own systems and services, in service of where our families are and where they are in terms of coming into this conversation, and let's be honest, with their own rating us. So, part of what I want to do, now that your fingertips are warmed up, [Laughs] and you've been typing so energetically, is check in with you guys, first and foremost. You're the
experts. You're the ones who get to lead this incredible work right alongside families every day.
What are the strategies that you have, that are innovative and exciting that you want to shout from the rooftops, if you will, for the greater good? What kinds of things have you done that have made a difference for you, in increasing your enrollment, on that pathway toward full enrollment?
So, you're gonna see a new screen pop up over here, on your right. And you are welcome to just go to typing. What are the things that you're proud of? What can we learn from, that you've created in your own space? So, those of you that know me well, you'll know that it's hard for me to pause when I'm in excited mode, but I promise to do that. [Laughs] To give you a little space to think and type. Ooh, Carol, the techno-savvy coming at us, right out of the gate.
Online applications and social media. More social media. I love this.
Because some of you have told us, over time, and I think that you've been part of the phrase that's sort of, fighting the good fight here. Many folks that we've met across the country often tell us that it's a bit difficult to get into the social media, or the technological, sort of, you know, venue, because your auspice or instance might limit your access to social media. Or, you might have to kind of shift policy or even mindset around, you know, inspiring others [Laughs] in our organization to really get behind that, as a very effective way to not only reach families, but to stay in touch.
Oh, gosh. Here comes some more. The ads on local buses. This is an excellent one. I think that old-fashioned, hard copy, how do they say, like pounding the pavement. I remember when I was a Head Start director, we went door to door. We've heard recent examples lately about
folks actually creating bookmarks that family members themselves would actually put in shopping bags.
Like we had one family member who worked at a local Dollar General, and they made bookmarks to kind of put in the bag, with whatever folks were buying. So, that hand to hand, can be, you know, for the relationship people. So, that can't be undersold. [Laughs]
Let's see if I can catch up. Ramona says, "Oh my goodness, you guys have the QR code on your material so families can access the online application quickly." So, Ramona, kind of coming back to that place of, online access. And guys, this percentage is probably a little old now. But a few years back, I believe I saw some research that said about 86 to 89 percent of our families have smartphones. So, this is really an incredible strategy on many levels.
I think multiple modalities, always is helpful for those of us who are grown folk. We still need multiple opportunities to have the information repeated and received. Yes, to the printed door hangers. Love it. Local TV spot, Hannah, and I'm thinking back about some comments that Pedro and some of his team made earlier, about making sure that those local TV spots not only appear, for instance, in English, but certainly are reflective of the home languages spoken by our children and families within the communities that we serve.
Well, there's Pedro now! Creative use of community centers and events, billboards, resource fairs. Love the community partners connection. More with the street fairs and the street events, which are so important to our families for community building and that connection to each other. I love the sentiment of mobilizing in the spaces that already exist, so that we're ever-present. A Head Start within the construct of our communities. And so many of us have been for decades. I mean, it's just kind of organic, [Laughs] how we do what we do these days.
But these are excellent reminders.
And I have to say to you guys, when the Head Start Director hat comes on, the biggest gift for some of these kinds of conversations through webinars and even, you know, your regional events, is confirmation. Like, confirmation that you're on to something that not only works for you, but that's working for others, and sometimes even just having that as a feeling of relief, or, you know, just the gift of, yeah, like we're doing something great here, is exciting to have in and of itself.
Oh gosh, Nancy. The word of mouth. You guys talked about communication earlier, in another part of feedback that you offered in some earlier chats, which is critical, so that everybody has...
Nancy, I'm going to take your word of mouth by parents and I'm going to up one to say, that parent-to-parent power cannot be undersold. I mean, you think if you're a consumer of a product, and you like it, don't you tell your friends and family? Like, "Oh, I just had the best, I don't know, cup of coffee [Laughs] today!" You share with others. And to have somebody, like a family member who's had a really good and personal experience with us, share that with groups, it's like a catapult, a catapult for recruitment and enrollment.
Oh gosh, Ramona, training parent ambassadors to reach out to their networks. So, again, Ramona, it's that same thought, that they share their first person, like their personal stories.
The social media effect. You have a whole campaign again, Ramona. Ramona, I feel like we need to give you the mic. [Laughs] You have some excellent ideas here!
Jennifer, with the booths at the community fairs. Oh, gosh, Anne Marie and Shelley, this is something also that's exciting, having physical resources in places like pediatricians' offices that are visible, that bring our branding to light. We don't often see ourselves as a business. But we absolutely are the highest quality early childhood experience that families can have access to.
Who's a believer? You can raise your virtual hand. Sarah taught us how to at the beginning of the webinar. [Laughs]
Brandi: We do an incredible job at what we do! And we want people to know about it, and have access to our services. We are leaders in this early childhood field. And I sometimes worry that we undersell ourselves, and our savvy in that way. And Anne Marie and Shelley, we heard another recent thing from a group on the national level here, that told us that they make friends with the office managers in those pediatricians' offices. [Laughs] Because when they have to get access to records or any kinds of appointment times, you know, for our kids and families, that they have an in, because they send them cards at holidays, they might recognize their birthdays.
So, I have to say, you guys said this right away, it's not only about the access to and connection to the folks that are important to us and to our families, but also that relationship, not only the development of it but the sustaining over time, which I think we're really good at, too. Let me scroll a little bit more. Gosh, let me check in. Karen and Tim, you're probably tracking because I'm talking. [Laughs] What else are you seeing?
Karen: No, it's just great to see all of the ideas that are put up. And you know, Judy, was it Judy that said, somebody said that they took over and that they used to use Instagram, but I did want to let her know that the old people are still on Facebook. [Laughs] But absolutely, lots of great ideas. And it's nice to see the media, the connections with other agencies. Fabulous.
Brandi: Tracy, I feel like I need to bring this up, because, well, you know, Karen, maybe I'm an old people too because I'm on Facebook but I'm not good at it. [Laughs] Or as my daddy calls it, "The Face Place." So, I don't know what category that puts him in. [Laughs] But Tracy, I'm seeing your, I read more here, because she says, targeted digital advertising, geofencing. I've heard some information about geomapping, and specific, and Tim, maybe this leans into a little bit of what you were offering before, about really wrapping around vulnerable, specific, vulnerable populations, or what we're saying today are populations of priority. So, gosh, Tracy, if you could tell us more about how that's worked for you, that is absolutely innovation right there. Let's see.
Karen: You know, I'm also thinking that Tim's going to talk some more, later on, about MyPeers and how it could be a forum for some of these people that want to connect over things like the targeted digital advertising, because I see Ramona ask Tracy for more information, and maybe
Tim can talk about how they can do that, through groups on MyPeers.
Brandi: Karen, thank you for that. This is perfect. I feel like I can't read fast enough to process. I'm so grateful that we get to keep these notes, and revisit them, because you guys have an incredible richness here. And some of these ideas, I actually haven't heard of before. So, this is really exciting. And Karen, I am glad that you're bringing us into the current age Laughs] with the ...How do the cool kids say it? The 'gram? Is that it? Am I close? [Laughs] With Instagram, which is also a great tool. Many of you have created private communities for your kids and families, you know, with being aware of things like confidentiality, and so many of you have made incredible strides in this day and age of technology. And that we know that a lot of families have unlimited texts, but they don't have unlimited talking minutes.
So, you know, how do we honor the fact that their preference in the way that we communicate, not only, in certainly the home language, but even in modality? So, I hope it's okay. I know that we have so much more to think and talk about, but I'm gonna, please, continue to put your thoughts in chat. This is incredibly rich.
And I just wanna offer a couple of things here. I mean, we've been idea bubbling, basically, for families, for all the families that we have the honor to serve. And there's so many strategies that we've been thinking about, in how we do our work universally, and how we draw families in, and not only draw families in, but we keep them, and to Kate's point earlier, so how do we make sure that we are as accessible as we need to be?
And so many of you offered ideas like, well, you know we target our efforts in a very specific way, because we know through our community assessment data, or through community conversations, that families experiencing homelessness is on the rise, which we'll talk about here in a little bit.
But the pieces of it I want to lift up, that are only echoing what you already said, in terms of strategies, are, of course, reporting, responding to the cultural perspective of families. And culture is such a big, broad word. There's so many layers that are embedded within that one, tiny word, that we can be thinking individual culture, familial, you know, larger group culture, even universal cultures.
What does it really look like? What can you create? How do you create spaces that really sing, if you will, to the families that we have the honor to serve, that tells their stories, that has them recognize themselves within the construct of how we write, the imagery we use, the language that we choose, which is another thing I really want to think about with you guys. Especially, as staff folks, when we're tasked to have these sensitive conversations with families about topics that can be heavy for all of us. How do we make sure to lean into that space in a way that's respectful and honoring of where a family may find themselves in a stressful situation? So, certainly first and foremost, keeping the cultural perspective and language in the forefront of our minds. The other part that's really, I think, also can't be undersold is the value of plain language.
Now, Pedro, I saw it go by and I can't let it go without mentioning it. Most of you who I've had the honor to spend any amount of minutes with know that I'm from the great state of West Virginia. [Laughs] And we had the honor, as TA colleagues, not long ago, to speak with Jennifer Garner, the famous movie star, who is also from West Virginia. And one of the things that I often feel a little self-conscious about, as I'm talking to groups, is that my country comes out. It may have, you know, shown itself to you today [Laughs] already as well. But one of the things that I appreciate about my own culture and my Appalachian upbringing is the ability to connect with folks in a way that often is meaningful.
And so, here's a real recent example to lift us up, in a way that we were in a community that was in the South, and there had been a lot of very heavy, really awful community incidents that were violent and devastating. And, I was talking to a person who worked in a grantee, who said to me, "Ms. Brandi, you know, I don't even know where to start. Like, how can we even offer our help for families? Like, this just all is too much. It's overwhelming."
And I have to tell you guys, in the vein of this strategy, around plain language, they created a brochure, a sign, if you will, a poster that went up in their program that said, "Need help? We're here." And I just thought, the simplicity of that is genius. I mean, no matter where I am with a family member, and no matter what I might be experiencing, that makes me feel like you're there for me.
And of course, you know, we are as Head Start, but we also have all these incredible relationships out in communities. And so, if we do not have the expertise within our own four walls, we certainly know where to find it, and we can connect families in a meaningful way, based on that.
One other thing that I should mention, and really, it's not mention, it's confirm, because you guys have already brought it into this space, is the variety of communication channels and media. And I see many of you are still thinking about this together in chat, so feel free to keep that going.
And certainly, last but not least, to the sensitive conversation nudge that we had a little earlier, it's so critical to have language that is within our messaging that is positive and strengths-based. And that sounded a little bit like lip service, if I'm being honest, like, "Oh, yes, Brandi, we're strengths-based. We're Head Start. Who do you think we are?" [Laughs]
But one of the things that I wanna kind of test out with you guys is, how do you really have conversations with families who are experiencing something, to make sure that even the way we say what we say, or the way we write what we write on our posters or flyers or brochures or bookmarks or on the sides of our buses, is given in a way that doesn't have a family feeling judged, and is given in a way that there is no stigma attached? We hold everybody right where they are. So, I wanna think about that.
Now, specifically, I wanna think about that in the context of another prioritized population that we're thinking about together, very poignantly these days, and that's around families experiencing homelessness. But I wanna pause here and check in with Karen and Tim, because I know there was a whole lot of activity in the chat.
So, before we pivot, I wanna make sure that I didn't miss anything that you guys wanna lift up, and that's gonna be our tease. [Laughs]
Karen: I'm just looking, Brandi, at Cedric's comment about, rather than giving out applications, they actually get the phone number and contact info, and putting the responsibility on themselves to follow through, which is really an interesting concept that I haven't seen in that path. So, interesting. And, you know, a really, really, well, proactive way of getting in touch with the family.
Brandi: Uh-huh. Go ahead.
Tim: Well, yeah, what I would really have loved, that, you know, maybe someone on here, I mean, MyPeers, to my knowledge, I was actually just kind of looking here while you guys were talking. That MyPeers, I don't see anything that MyPeers has any kind of community on, like, anything on technology or innovations in technology. And I think, you know, maybe someone here could, I mean, because I think that programs are using this technology such as, you know, we've heard the Facebook and Instagram and social media.
But even the geofencing, which is perfect for a local program, you know, and maybe, to create a MyPeers community, where maybe it's called "Innovations in Technology," where people can start to share. And people are sharing here right now. So, it'd be great for maybe someone here
to create a community where, you know, it's not just about full enrollment. But again, coming into the 21st century and really using the tech world to help us work smarter, maybe not harder.
Karen: Yeah, that's a great idea. And again, you'll talk a little bit about MyPeers and how they go about joining it later on.
Brandi: Well, I appreciate you guys and your insights there. I mean, I think we could just hover on this slide all day long. And I'm so grateful that we have all this in writing, so that we can continue to refer out. And, yeah, Lety, I think Kim's idea's a great one, too. The MyPeers, if you're not on MyPeers, it's the hip-hop happening spot. [Laughs] We'll show you how to go there a little later, through the ECLKC. [Inaudible]
They also want to pivot a little bit here to think specifically about a group of families that are a priority population for all of us. You guys have seen Dr. Bergeron and her blogs. You've seen her helm a Head Start campaign. And I hope that you've seen our national centers modules, that
support learning and even systems building around families experiencing homelessness.
But I have to tell you guys, I want to show you some of our newest, freshest information that supplements, if you've been through those eight homelessness modules, from the Dr. Bergeron charge. We've created a few strategies as we're thinking about full enrollment in particular, as
we're thinking about really being alongside families wherever they are in their journey.
One of the things that we think that we've underutilized over time, as a community across this country, is the proper identification of families experiencing homelessness. So, I wanna make sure that we talk through these seven strategies. And guess what, everybody? I have a six-year old son. Many of you know that already. His name is Colton Henry. And if he were here, I would say, "Are ya ready? Are ya properly prepared? I mean, are you sitting down?" [Laughs]
We have seven strategies, and my favorite part about this is that they are absolutely grounded in the Head Start Program Performance Standards. Now, Tim set us up for this a little earlier. He said, "We can't be on a webinar without, you know, really standing on the base of our regulatory body." So, what I'm going to do with you guys, is go through each of these seven in a bit of detail. And that way, you can sort of have these.
Because something that we're hearing across the country is, especially of if it's in service of families experiencing homelessness, is that we're still really familiarizing ourselves with all the flexibility that we have in the regulations, specifically for families experiencing homelessness.
So, we're gonna unpack things together, here, for a bit. And what I'm gonna, for all you techno folks, I'm gonna put these up about two at a time. But at the end, you're gonna see all seven together. And, just a little tease here, dun-dun-dun-nah! They all have their citations connected to them, so if you're like me, and you're that person in your program who's like, not, "Show me the money!" well, that would have been nice too, but, "Show me the standard!" [Laughs] this slide is for you. So, let's look at this.
First strategy is about prioritization. Now, we all know that in the last set of standards that we used words like, "categorically eligible." And one of the pieces that is in the current set of standards really lives in the space of, based on your community needs, so you guys in 1302.14(a)(1), as listed here on your slide, this can't be undersold.
Because many of you already told us that you have to use your community assessment to really lift up the information that's happening in your communities, and if homelessness happens to be an issue that you are experiencing with and beside your families, and if you've seen even an
increase in this, that's one of the many places that we have the data to show, that we really wanna wrap around this as a priority population. But the standard says that, based on that community needs assessment that we do, that we are able to prioritize the child in the family that's homeless. This is also where foster care comes into the conversation, as one of you mentioned earlier. And really lean into this as a prioritized group. So, that's the first one.
The second one, about reserving slots, in 1301.15(c), if you guys determine through your community assessment that there are families experiencing homelessness in the area, then you have the opportunity to reserve one or more slots for pregnant women and/or children experiencing homelessness. What's great about this is we get in the actual standard more guidance that says that no more than 3 percent of your funded enrollment can be reserved.
That standard goes on to say that if that slot isn't filled within 30 days, then it becomes vacant and must be filled in accordance with our other rules. But you have some flexibility here, this 3 percent play, if you will, to make sure that when you meet a family who's experiencing homelessness, that you have a space for them, first and foremost, to come in as they're ready, but that you also have that flexibility as you're working toward the full enrollment piece.
So, pause in there, because I wanna show you guys also numbers three and four, and then I'm gonna stop for a second, check in with Karen and Tim, and each of you, so feel free to keep adding in chat if you have ideas or other things that are working for you, so that we have that to look at as we're going together.
And so with strategy three, this eligibility piece, now, this comes from 1302.12, and you guys can see that this comes from the eligibility requirements portion of the standards. And this is basically where it tells us a pregnant woman or a child is eligible if, and this standard basically
says the child is defined as homeless.
Now, this is important. Because how many of you are familiar with the McKinney-Vento Act definition? You can either raise your virtual hand, or you can type it right on in chat, up to you.
Karen: A lot of hands up.
Brandi: Okay. I see some hands coming up. I see some yeses. Well, I would humbly submit to you guys that many of us are familiar with the actual definition, and also, I think, sometimes we haven't been able to utilize it to the full extent of the power that it holds. So, this is the regulation under the third strategy on eligibility, that gives us the flexibility to enroll a child as homeless, and family of course, if they meet that definition. Perfect. Lots of you are familiar with this piece.
And let's talk about number four, and then we'll pause for a second, because there's so much, there's so much to talk about. [Laughs] So, many things to speak on here. In the verification part, also in the 1302.12 portion of the standard, there's this piece that talks about the verification of homeless families, or as we like to say it, "Families experiencing homelessness."
Now, to the language conversation, this is a PSA for all of us. We do not define a person by their experience. You guys know how we do this. We don't say that a family is defined by where they are in their journey. So, we have shifted our language from saying "homeless families," and
you'll see it everywhere now, to, "families who are experiencing homelessness," or, "family member who is experiencing substance misuse."
That shift is extremely powerful in and of itself in the way that we bring families in, you know, especially around this conversation of full enrollment. And I would challenge you, and actually, our National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, we're gonna be having a series of homelessness webinars this October, November, and December, and we're gonna think a lot together about how to do this.
But can you have a conversation about a family's living situation without ever using the word "homelessness?" And within the construct of this regulation, that gives us the opportunity to, for instance, for the family to provide documents to support and verify their living status. To be able to talk – with permission -- to a third party that could verify the family's living situation, or even have the family write a written statement. All these are captured for you there in that standard, as possibilities of ways to verify that family's situation, with the respect and the honor that is deserved, all in the context of making sure that we can serve families as they need us.
So, I'm gonna pause here for Karen and Tim, as promised, to reflect on what they've been thinking about, maybe examples they've heard from across the country, before we wrap up with the final three.
Tim: Brandi, I just --
Karen: Oh, go ahead --
Tim: I just, no, I'm just thinking that the verification piece that you've mentioned, I mean, you really hit, I just put a little text in the chat about how important that enrollment and the language we use is really the first impression. It's like our front door, right, to our programs. And again, on the MyPeers community, for the ERSEA managers and coordinators, I see people sharing files all the time about different ways to, forms. And I've seen some really good ones with language changed, really, you know, not saying, "Are you homeless?" but really looking at asking questions about their living situation, according to the McKinney-Vento Act. So, I know we've gotta keep moving, so I'm gonna keep mine short.
Karen: Yeah, and I also, in terms of reserving slots, I have seen, when I'm out in the field, grantees are really using that flexibility or that allowance in the regulation. It's very practical. It literally, it's very necessary to get homeless families in there without having to wait, so.
Brandi: Uh-huh. I appreciate that, Tim and Karen. And I know you guys are doing some answering in the chat itself. So, feel free to keep the questions coming, and we'll do our best to get to those for you. I'm gonna put all three remaining ones up on the screen, because I know we need to move along. But that actually is a indicator of an incredible webinar audience, when we get to spend more time than we expected in these rich conversations. So, congratulations! [Laughs] To all of you.
As for this fifth strategy, this is actually one of the things that I really appreciate about how our standards give us the flexibility to offer families some space, as they're really thinking about, for instance, like state immunization requirements. We have some flexibility to give families experiencing homelessness a little bit of extra time. Even with attendance, there are grace periods that are offered to families who, you know, may be in the process of figuring out where they may be staying, what might be most comfortable for their family, and really being able to be in partnership with families as they, you know, come into our space, which requires a whole lot of paperwork! [Laughs] So, we wanna be sensitive to those things. And thankfully, our standards give us the opportunity to offer some flexibility there.
The sixth one is training for our staff. There is some language in 1302.12(m)(1)(ii), that's, you know, the very official way to say it, [Laughs] that offers that we not only must train all Governing Body, Policy Council, but also our staff, on the eligibility pieces here that are required in our regulations. And the part that I'm really interested in here is that there's a part that talks about treating families with dignity and respect when they're dealing with issues, like domestic violence stigma and privacy.
Although this doesn't have the homelessness piece specifically lifted up, I have to say to you guys, I hope you agree, I feel like it applies here as well. So, the training for staff, for governing bodies, when policy councils or committees is listed here, and we have some space to stand on, many of you have also chosen those modules that we have up on the ECLKC as part of now your curricula, if you will, for those conversations.
The last piece here is something that I also think is critically important, around continuity, of not only the enrollment piece, but for transitions. And the two standards that I feel like are connected there very deeply are listed here for you. But we have to make efforts to make sure that families experiencing homelessness have their enrollments maintained as much as possible, and certainly as we experience things, like even transition to kindergarten, this is another big priority that has renewed focus for us these days.
How do you help families, who might not have a home address, figure out their school zone? Like, how do we ensure that families really have a connected handoff, as they transition to the big school, specifically, if they're experiencing homelessness? What ways can we wrap around them, in partnership with the receiving schools and the other community partners that are so important to this work? I know that's a big, quick [Laughs] overview, but I wanna turn it back over to my colleagues at PMFO because we have a lot more to think about with you, and continue to share as you get inspired.
Karen: Okay. That'll be me. Brandi, thanks so much for all that information. You know, I'm so busy reading over here, all the wonderful conversation that's going on. And some people are asking about sharing their policies on reserving slots.
The ERSEA Managers Group on MyPeers can be a potential place to do that, because there is a way to upload policies and share. So, I really encourage you folks to check that out. I'm going to move us on, if I can.
Shifting gears a little bit, this final section of the webinar, we're gonna take a look at the enrollment/attendance connection. So, is there one? And we think there's one. Is attendance a factor in maintaining full enrollment? And what do your numbers say? Are you quick to drop children who have attendance issues? Or, are you identifying those children with poor attendance, and then working with that family to identify the causes and support= them in their efforts to get children into the program? When we drop children for poor attendance, we may be terminating services for a child in a family with the greatest need.
When we enhance our focus on promoting attendance and supporting ongoing participation in the program, hopefully families will stay longer, meaning less enrollment turnover and a reduced need to continue to replace children transitioning out of slots. So, it's really important to look at that enrollment/attendance connection, as we mentioned, doing some drops analysis after the fact, if you are losing them, but before that, really encouraging them to stay on, so you're not constantly filling slots. And we have research about the importance of regular attendance to promote positive child outcomes.
You can see some of that research was used in the performance standards, way back when they were revised. They cited that research in the preamble. And we know that the standards require programs to use attendance data for ongoing oversight and correction, and to maintain that 85 percent level of attendance, or higher. But programs also use child attendance data to identify children with patterns of absence that put them at risk for missing 10 percent of program days per year, and to develop strategies to include that individual attendance among those identified children. So, it's just not that 85 percent target; it's looking at children who are at risk for chronic absenteeism, which on a national level is defined with that 10 percent rate.
You need internal systems to support, that improve attendance.
And those systems should include accurate attendance reporting to identify those children at risk, multiple sources of data for identifying child and family needs. We have all kinds of data that we combine together, the family engagement data and the health data and what's happening in the classroom, that can help you to address, to identify, what those causes are.
And then a system in place for working with individual families to improve their child's attendance rate.
Of course, staff needs to be appropriately trained, and they need to understand their role in tracking and supporting attendance. We're gonna take a look at some sample attendance data, just to get a sense of the importance of data in checking attendance, and the different stories that it can tell.
And Tim's gonna take us through that.
Tim: Thank you, Karen, for helping us see that connection between attendance and full enrollment. So, what we have here before you is an example of quantitative attendance data from a classroom of a program. What I'd like you to do is, just take a moment and briefly examine this data. There's gonna be some pods that come up, to the right of the slide here. And I want you to kind of share what you think that the data might be saying.
So, in the top right pod, just to the right of your slide, the question is, "What might this data be telling you?" Right? I'm not asking you to be perfect at it. No one's perfect at it, and with this many eyes, we're gonna get lots of different things. So, kind of look at it, and see what it might be telling you. You know, what are the numbers telling you? Sometimes, when we look at data, it might not provide us with the answers that we want, but it can help direct us to start asking more questions, and maybe even the right questions. So, when you look at this, think about the next question I have below the pod on kind of the bottom right of the slide, and what, tell me what questions might you have about this data, or maybe something more you'd like to know, or even if you think anything's missing.
So, I see some questions here. You know, what is staff interaction? That's a good question.
What do you want to know? What is it? Is it, you know, is there a problem between a child and a teacher? Is it, you know, what are the ...I used to say this to[Laughs] my teachers, of my own children. You know, I said, "I won't believe everything they tell me about you, if you don't believe everything that they tell me about me." So, it's kind of a fun thing. So, I'm not sure.
We'll have to, definitely wanna dig into that.
Up above, lots of absences in the month of October. And maybe, why would that be? You know, that's the question. Why are we having that? Is it the start of the school year, where kids start to share more germs, maybe, than they have, you know, except for during the summer when maybe they weren't there? Families are having trouble getting their children to school due to transportation issues, right? Unexcused absences, yeah. What's going on with that? Why do we have unexcused absences? Are we not following up, or calling?
There's another question, "What happened in October?" "We only use no excuse until we find out the reason." Right? I see a couple other people typing. Go ahead. Karen: You know, we're also all used to our own data within our program. It's always interesting to take a look at data that's not your own and see the questions it raises, and then maybe you can look at yours with a more critical eye, to ask yourself, is this really clear? Or maybe others have these similar questions.
So, these are great observations that we're seeing here, Tim. So, what does "no excuse" mean?
Do people, you know, are they contacting families? Or it seems like they do in the first month, in September. And then what happens in October?
Tim: Right. Someone says here, "The data is telling them that the transportation is a barrier." Someone up above was saying that, Judy was saying, that the data tells me the family's needing more support during October. And so, digging down in that data to find out what more that support might be.
Karen: Or are there systems that were in place for the start of the school year, and everybody kind of forgot about them in October? You know? [Laughs]
Tim: Right, and another question that Judy asked here is, "What questions might you have?" You know, does our attendance policy offer and provide clear guidance on any of these issues? So again, it's very interesting. Of course, this is fictional data, but the issue is, we've talked about how our management system needs to really provide us good data, and when Karen mentioned the attendance and enrollment connection, you know, the more questions we asked, the more we might be able to figure out, what might be going on here, and where we could shore up some of our systems and our procedures and maybe our policies.
I'm gonna go ahead and move us to the next slide, because right here what we have is some qualitative data from the quarterly parent survey for the same classroom that we just looked at. So again, another pod might pop up, to the right, to ask you to really share what you might glean from this additional attendance data, right? We looked at some of the numbers, but now we're looking at a quarterly parent survey for the same classroom that we just looked at. So, based on this data, what else might you do to support attendance?
Karen: And it's important to remember that data is both quantitative and qualitative, and all of that data is equally important in making your decisions and plans.
Tim: Yeah, absolutely. So, we have, someone shared, "Work to retain staff." Right? You know, you might be able to glean that, we don't know for sure, but we've had at least two people in this survey that have said something about, Ms. Caroline has left, and we're not really sure, but that surely affects the children and the families. Here, the offered transportation might be an issue. We had one family who said it's really hard. Maybe they walk. Or, I'm not really sure what their transportation issue is. But if it's raining, you know, not many of us want to go outside.
Communicating more with the parents. Additional staff support coaching, you know? Yelling and biting and managing behavior and classroom management, yeah. So maybe, you know, whether that's the incident, we know that when young children, if this is a three- and four-year old classroom, that, you know, sometimes biting does occur. And that can be, very, kind of emotional for parents, as they first maybe learn to understand that and explore that. And so, they might keep their child home from that, because the child is maybe scared. You know? Yeah, the staff interaction might be yelling at children, you know, that we might be able to figure that out. We know that that happens sometimes.
Karen: And this is a good example of looking comprehensively at your training needs. What do you learn about data that impacts staff training?
Tim: You know, the other thing, Karen, that may be missing from this data, and also the graph, is what about the numbers? What do the numbers look like for the most vulnerable populations?
Tim: Especially maybe children with disabilities, maybe our families that are experiencing homelessness, those dual language learners. It could be foster care children.
Karen: Absolutely. So, maybe again, you know, that sample of quantitative data is one way to show things, but it might not be the best way. Maybe there's better ways to break down attendance data, so that it's more usable and understandable.
Tim: Right. So, when you're looking at your data, you want to be able to further analyze the data with either parent surveys like this, or it could be analyzed maybe in conjunction with any case management notes you might be using, in your management information system or even in your home visit records. And really not only look at this at a global, at a whole program, at a classroom, or a center level, but really try to get down to that individual look, at, especially with attendance issues, that might be impacting your enrollment. Alright.
Karen: Great. Thank you.
Tim: So, what I'm going to do, Karen –
Tim: Karen, I'm gonna go ahead and pass this over to you.
Karen: Yeah, let's wrap up this attendance conversation. We're getting close to the end of our time together, and I just want to say a few more things about attendance strategies. Again, our standards are requiring programs to implement strategies to promote attendance. And very effective attendance strategies are multi-faceted and comprehensive. So, it's about more than educating families. Well, that's important, but it's about more than just educating them about the importance of consistent attendance. It's about identifying and addressing contributing factors. What's the cause of the absences, and how can we address it? And we can address those causes at multiple levels: the child and family level, the program level, and even in some cases we can work on an attendance issue on a community level, when we work collaboratively on something that might be a safety issue or a health issue.
An effective data strategy, an effective attendance strategy, excuse me, begins with a strong data reporting system, reporting key patterns and trends. And multiple data sources are important for understanding attendance issues. And we just gave you a small example. And of course, it's dependent upon very strong leadership and commitment. So, we want you also to think about your attendance strategies when it comes to vulnerable populations. The grant applications require programs to describe their strategy to promote regular attendance, including special efforts for certain vulnerable populations. That could be, that would include, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, dual language learners, and any other populations that you may have identified in a community assessment.
So, again, just a case of attendance is really encouraging you to think about so many reasons to support good attendance, not only to maintain full enrollment, but also for child outcomes, and you're instilling such an important habit for the child and for the family. So, Tim is going to take us home with a wrap-up and some information on resources.
Tim: Yes. Everyone has stayed so engaged, and we're wrapping up here. We're on the home stretch. And as we bring this session to a close, I'd like us to think about what we call here at PMFO, really, and PFCE, kind of the core question for programs, when it comes to full enrollment. And leadership management, again, even all staff, should be always asking, "What is our strategy to address current and future community, family, and child needs, in order to achieve and maintain that full enrollment?"
You know, in this webinar, I think that when we look at this question, you could even perhaps rewrite this as a program goal. It's something that we have to continually ask ourselves, as Brandi shared. We need to, or sorry, as Karen shared, we know our mission and calling is to meet those most vulnerable children and families.
So, even if we have a strategy, we maybe need to rethink or revisit, like Brandi said, our strategies, our plans, our goals, and revisit this question and ask ourselves, "Is it working?" If it is working, that's great. If it's not, why not? Are we really being relevant and innovative? Are we using our data to direct us in these efforts?
And in this webinar, we have really tried to emphasize the importance of making connections between using your solid planning practices with good data, and then, where the rubber meets the road, I don't know if that's a Southern phrase, Brandi, but that's one I've always liked. You know, it comes down to executing those plans, and to allow the programs to remain responsive, it doesn't mean that, if it doesn't work, that's okay. Adapt. Flex. That's what we talked about, what the Head Start Performance Standards really allow you to do now, to be responsive to your local community needs, and ultimately, to maintain that full enrollment.
So, with that, what I'd like to do is just share some resources with you that I'm sure you know of, but many of you know that the ECLKC is like one of the best places to start when you look for Head Start resources. There's a wealth of information and tools to support full enrollment efforts there, and as you go there, you know, that search bar is a perfect place to start your journey with, typing in the word "enrollment" in that search bar. You're gonna come out with all kinds of different handouts, resources, and tools, many of which that we've shared only just a few up here, in the handout, so hopefully if you haven't downloaded those yet, please do that.
The one that says, "Resources to Support Full Enrollment," again, is just a page list of the resources, that'll get you, it's a great thing to keep, because you can sometimes get lost in ECLKC. So, just keep that. You can click right on the links. That's really helpful.
And then in addition to that, of course, we have MyPeers, which you've heard us talk about. That's hopefully, all of you know about that. I'm gonna go ahead and just in the chat right now, post the link there. Give me a second.
So, that is where you could go, if you're not signed up through MyPeers. But they have all kinds of open communities, and they have closed workgroups, but they're organized around a wide range of topics, such as one I've already mentioned, the ERSEA managers and coordinators community.
I see lots of you asking for policies on reserving slots. I mean, you could go there right now. They probably have some files that they've already shared on that. Or you could ask that question, and you're gonna get a lot of responses back.
There's one on Early Head Start Childcare Partnership. There's one on First Rate Facilities, so if facilities is an issue you think for your enrollment. There's one that's called "The Transportation Station." I love that name. There's one called "The Fiscal Dive." And I hope that someone here goes and creates the one on technology innovations. I'm really excited to see if that's gonna happen as a result of this webinar.
But anyway, if you're not familiar with MyPeers, there's orientations that are provided regularly. Again, use that link that I put in the chat and check that out. But I hope many of you can start to use those. And of course, last but certainly not least, we can't forget our Regional Training and Technical Assistance folks. You know, these folks work really hard. They travel.
They see a lot. And they can provide you with that individualized support based on your needs and your strengths. You can reach out to your program specialist in the regional office, too, as a support. Or, if you're not sure how to access your training and technical assistance network. All
So, with that, I'm gonna kind of bring us to a close. But I don't want you to sign off just yet. As you may have mentioned at the beginning of the webinar, to help us better meet your Head Start needs, we've developed a very brief online survey to gather your feedback about this session. And your feedback will be kept confidential. And we strongly prefer that you complete this survey now, right, while this is all fresh in your mind, while your thoughts are fresh. But if you can't, and we totally understand that, maybe go ahead and jot down, or cut and paste this tiny URL and the name of the session: Full Enrollment Webinar.
You can do this survey from your smartphone, your laptop. But just make sure you write down that link and the session title. And then we know that many people will be currently, right now, be sitting maybe as a group. Maybe, there are four or five people at a program watching this webinar and participating together. And you've heard us say that, you know, good data is really important. So, we would really request that each person actually completed the survey individually, for the best results, right? We always want to strive to get good data.
And you know, I just want to thank you for being on this afternoon, and I really appreciate the engagement. There's so many great ideas here. And I think that Hannah has just shared that we will be posting this webinar and the slides on ECLKC, after a while. Karen and Brandi, any closing words or thoughts from you?
Karen: Just that, thank you also for being so interactive. It's been wonderful. We've all learned something from your input. And good luck to you in this upcoming program year.
Brandi: I would echo those sentiments, Tim and Karen, just as always, so grateful. I know how busy you guys are and how many priorities you juggle. So, any moments that we get to spend with you in this kind of rich conversation is a gift to us. We pray it was a gift [Laughs] to you as well. So, thank you for spending part of your afternoon, or morning, as Tim said, depending on your time zone, with us.
John: To all of you, on behalf of PMFO, I wanted to say thank you. It was a very informative conversation. Just a couple of things. We will be uploading the PowerPoints and some of the chat transcripts up to ECLKC. But it will take us a few weeks to do that. But this will be on ECLKC. So, you will be able to access everything that happened there. Also, I would say there was a lot of energy around 1302.15(c), the reserved slots standards. So, the standard's very clear on how it's presented. How you want to work with it in your own agency is a matter of your own policy. So, I think there was a lot of discussion there. As Tim just mentioned, that would be a great MyPeers discussion, to kind of share policies that you already have in place.
For those of you that don't have those in place yet, and want to think about different interpretations, that would be a great MyPeers conversation. Let's see.
Karen: John, we have a question on certificates. We typically do not issue certificates, correct?
John: No, we're not issuing any certificates for this webinar, no.
John: But we are appreciative of everybody being part of it, and wanted to, again, say thank you very, very much for your participation. We have also, through Hannah's help, put the URL that's in reference into the chat box, so you can access it there as well. So, please note that. Please help us out, as we say at the bottom of our slides, with our ongoing monitoring. So, on behalf of PFCE, and PMFO, I want to say thank you all for being part of this great conversation. And we look forward to working with you in the very near future. Thanks.Close
View this webinar to discover ways programs can be strategic and thoughtful as they develop systems for enrolling the neediest families. Identify strategies for achieving and maintaining full enrollment. Examine the elements of effective outreach and recruitment. Review resources that support your full enrollment effort.