Phone (419) 784-5136 | Address: 1933 E 2nd Street Defiance, Ohio 43512

Maintaining Records

POLICY:

a) Child records are maintained by NOCAC Head Start staff in a manner that ensures only parents/guardians, and staff within the program or acting on behalf of the program have access. Child records are destroyed seven years after the program year has ended by a contracted shredding business. 

b) NOCAC Head Start must maintain, with the child records, for as long as the records are maintained, information on all individuals, agencies, or organizations to whom a disclosure of PII from the child records was made (except for program officials and parents). NOCAC Head Start must maintain the reason why the disclosure was made. NOCAC Head Start must maintain the reason why the disclosure was made. NOCAC Head Start ChildPlus, a web-based data system, to maintain child records, ChildPlus ensures child records are adequately protected and maintained according to current industry security standards. 

c) If a parent places a statement in the child record, NOCAC Head Start will maintain the statement with the contested part of the child record for seven years. NOCAC Head Start will disclose the statement whenever it discloses the portion of the child record to which the statement relates.

 

PROCEDURES:

a) A child record file containing original documents is compiled when a child is enrolled in the NOCAC Head Start program. The child record files containing original documents are kept at the NOCAC Central Office in the NOCAC Head Start program. The child record files containing original documents are kept at the NOCAC Central Office in locked file drawers and do not leave the file area. 

b) Child record files containing copies of the original documents are kept in locked filing drawers at the center where the child attends Head Start. The center buildings are locked when staff are not present. 

c) Child record files are kept for seven years and then shredded by a contracted shredding business. 

d) In the event child records need to be shared with another agency, NOCAC Head Start requires a signed Release of Information form signed by the parents/guardians before any information is shared. 

e) NOCAC Head Start uses ChildPlus as the software for children’s information. ChildPlus is a web based program that requires confidential login and strict passwords. 

f) Statement given to NOCAC Head Start by a parent/guardian is kept in the child’s file until the entire file is shredded. The statement given to NOCAC Head Start by a parent/guardian is not shared with other agencies unless the parent/guardian signs a Release of Information form. 

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:   Release of Information
Adopted with Board & Policy Council Approvals:    
Revised with Board & Policy Council Approvals:    

Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting

POLICY:

NOCAC Head Start staff are, by law, mandated child abuse/neglect reporters.

 

PROCEDURES:

  1. Confidentiality is expected. Staff at all sites is on a need to know basis.
  2. All employees must follow proper procedures of reporting child abuse and neglect.
  3. Failure to follow proper procedures will result in disciplinary action.
  4. Failure to report could also lead to a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and being held liable for civil damages.
  5. Step by step procedures to be followed by all staff when suspecting child abuse/neglect.
    1. Ask (ONLY if necessary) the child what happened using open ended questions. After the child responds, if it is suspicious and you suspect abuse or neglect, you must make a report. Remember not to question the child too much.
    2. DOCUMENT all information on the NOCAC Child Abuse/Neglect Incident form. When reporting a concern regarding a child, be sure to have all needed information available including:
      1. name and address of the child you suspect is being abused or neglected
      2. date of birth and age of child
      3. name and address of parent or caretaker
      4. name of person suspected who is abusing or neglecting the child
      5. reason for suspicions
      6. other significant information
      7. your name, work address, and place of employment (as a mandated reporter, you may not report anonymously).
    3. CALL Department of Job and Family Services in the county the child resides. Ask if they want a written copy of the report. If they do not, document it on the NOCAC Child Abuse/Neglect Incident form. Document the name of the caseworker receiving your report.
    4. CALL the NOCAC Head Start Director regarding the report you filed.
      1. If the Director is not available contact the NOCAC Executive Director.
      2. DO NOT leave a voicemail or send an email.
      3. It is important to remember, staff are not calling for permission to report, instead to inform of a situation with the family. 
    5. INFORM the FSS in your county about the report.
    6. SEND the completed form to the Family and Community Engagement Manager at the NOCAC Central Office.
  6. If a NOCAC staff suspects a fellow staff member of child abuse/neglect or witnesses an incident they are required to report to the proper authorities and follow these steps:
    1. Follow #5 a-d above.
    2. The Head Start/ECE Director will represent our program in discussions with the child’s family.
    3. Complete a JFS 01299 “Incident/Injury Report” for the parent to sign.
    4. The Center Manager or Head Start Director must follow the procedure as written in ODJFS 5101:2-12-16(G). Follow procedure for Incident/Injury Reporting of a Serious Risk.

 

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.47(b)(5)(i)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:   5101:2-12-19(D)   5101:2-12-16(G)
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:   3.4.4
Other Sources:   Ohio Revised Code, Section 2151.421
Adopted with Board & Policy Council Approvals:    
Revised with Board & Policy Council Approvals:    

Lice

POLICY:

Head Start staff will lower the risk of spreading Pediculosis (head lice) in our classrooms and centers through preventative health practices and appropriate reporting procedures recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), The National Association of School Nurses and the NOCAC Health Services Advisory Board.

The goals of NOCAC Head Start are to:

  1. Decrease school absenteeism due to lice.
  2. Support families in their efforts to control and eliminate lice.
  3. Maintain confidentiality.

 

GENERAL GUIDELINES:

  • Routine or periodic classroom screening is not recommended. NOCAC will conduct two formal screenings per program year.
  • All suspected or identified infestations will be managed discreetly so the child is not ostracized, isolated, humiliated or psychologically traumatized.
  • Children should be discouraged from close head-to-head contact with others.
  • Education staff and Family Advocates follow-up with family to ensure that the infestation is being addressed appropriately until the infestation has ended.

PROCEDURES:

Prevention

  1. Every classroom will screen children two times per year for head lice.
    1. The first screening to be completed by the end of the second week at the start of the program year.
    2. The second screening to be completed by the end of the first week in January.
    3. Refer to How to Screen for Lice and Nits for guidance on checking hair.
  2. Each child will have their own personal comb that will remain in their cubby.
  3. Children and staff with long hair will be encouraged to keep it pulled back until treatment is complete.

 

When a child is found to have live lice:

  1. Staff will notify the family and a Head Lice Information Packet will be sent home with the child. Emergency Contacts do not need to be called, this is NOT an emergency.
  2. Children with live head lice can remain at the center and go home at the end of the school day and return to school after being treated with an effective pediculicide. The child must be excluded from head-to-head contact with other children or adults until treated.
  3. It is NOT mandatory that the child is immediately sent home from the center, however if the parent offers to pick up the child, that is acceptable.
  4. Staff will complete a Child Health Observation Form by the end of the class and send home the Communicable Disease/Exposure Notice parent letter with each child present that day.
  5. The family is instructed that the child should be treated is included in the Head Lice Information Packet.
    1. Ongoing communication between the staff and family during this process is essential.
    2. Families may be asked to show receipts, doctor notes or other forms of evidence of treatment, when a child returns to the center and it appears that no treatment has taken place.
  6. When a child has recurrent or repeated cases of live lice, the education staff, Family Advocates and the Health and Safety Manager will develop a plan with the family meeting the above noted goals, including frequency of Exposure Notice to parents requirements.
  7. In some cases (based on the Family Advocate and the Health and Safety Manager judgment), it may be appropriate to have the child’s head checked upon return to school.

 

When a child is found to have nits present (no live lice detected):

  1. The family is notified and a Head Lice Information Packet will be sent home with the child.
  2. Immediate or long-term exclusion is not required.
  3. The child is NOT required to be sent home from school but is required to be excluded from head-to-head activities and contact with other children while finishing out the day.
  4. The family is encouraged to follow indicated treatment plan their healthcare provider has given them and nit-pick (regularly for the next two weeks).
  5. If future checks reveal an increased number or nits present or it is obvious to the screener that the child’s hair has not been treated, the parent will be contacted by the teacher or Family Advocate for follow-up and support.

 

When to check beyond the identified child with live lice or nits:

  1. If the infected child has a sibling in the Center, he/she needs to be checked.
  2. NOCAC Staff will ask the family to check other siblings and family members and offer support as needed. On occasion NOCAC staff will be asked to provide additional support to families.

 

Classroom Environment

  1. The classroom is only one of many environments where head lice can be transmitted.
  2. Classroom tips:
    1. NOCAC Center Staff will vacuum the affected classroom
    2. Stuffed animals and pillows will be bagged for two weeks
    3. Past practices of separating coats, bleaching toys and furniture, combs, brushes or other personal items have been found not to be as important as research shows that lice cannot survive on inanimate objects. Hence, there is little, if any, reason to focus efforts.
    4. Pesticide sprays are NOT recommended as they have NOT been proven to be effective and they are a health hazard.

Note:

  1. The Health and Safety Manager will use professional judgment to determine when unusual measures are necessary to respond extraordinary cases.
  2. If the family is not compliant with the treatment options and the child misses several days of class, NOCAC may choose to implement the following measures:
    1. Home visits
    2. Referrals to outside agencies
    3. Report to protective services
  3. Collaborative sites or centers located in public schools may have a policy different from NOCAC.

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

Preferred Drug List for Ohio Medicaid Plans – Head Lice 

Got Lice?/Opinion Letter

Head Lice 101 – What You Should Know About Head Lice 

Head Lice Information and Treatment (Spanish)

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   http://eclk.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/health-services-newsletter-201507.pdf
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:   http://nrckids.org/CFOC/Database/7.5.8.1  Pediculosis Capitis (Head Lice)
Other Sources:    
Adopted with Board & Policy Council Approvals:    
Revised with Board & Policy Council Approvals:    
Effective Date 3/4/19 Revision Date  
Approved by Policy Council 3/4/19 Revision Approved by PC  
Approved by Board of Director 3/4/19 Revision Approved by BD  

New or Modified Policy and Procedures Creation Instructions

POLICY:

NOCAC Head Start will establish written policies and procedures that are approved by the governing body and policy council and available to all staff.

 

PROCEDURES:

  1. When creating a new policy and procedure:
    1. Service Area Manager will create the new policy and procedure using the Policy and Procedure Template. New policies will be created and retained on the Service Area Manager’s (or originator’s) computer so as not to overwrite the policy currently in effect.
    2. A Policy and Procedure Development Plan (PPDP) Policy Draft and Approval form will be completed.
    3. The new policy and the approval sheet are to be placed into the appropriate colored folder based on the categories. The folder will be routed between the appropriate team members for approvals/amendments. The folders can be obtained from the Data Systems Specialist.
    4. Any links to external websites or forms should be detailed within the policy itself and under the “Forms and Additional Guidance” section at the bottom of the policy. Links should be emphasized by using a blue font for ease when created on the website.
    5. If the new policy requires forms, the forms should be included in the routing folder and an electronic version of the forms will be emailed to the Data Systems Specialist in their original format (Word, Excel, etc.) to be saved in a central location for future updates.

ERSEAGray

EducationPink

SafetyRed

HealthOrange

TransportationYellow

Nutrition/DentalGreen

FCEBlue

Mental HealthBaby Blue

Disabilities Purple

Human ResourcesBlack

  1. When making modifications to an existing policy:
    1. The Service Area Manager will find the current policy that needs modified on the website. Print and mark the appropriate modifications. The Service Area Manager may also choose to copy the current policy from the website and paste into a Word document, highlight the changes, and then print a copy of the revised policy. Policies being revised will be retained on the Service Area Manager’s (or the originator’s) computer so as not to overwrite the policy currently in effect.
    2. A Policy and Procedure Development Plan (PPDP) Policy Draft and Approval form will be completed.
    3. The updated policy and the PPDP form is to be placed into the appropriate colored folder as shown on the above chart for routing. The new or modified policy and procedure will be routed to the appropriate staff as indicated on the PPDP approval form. The old policy indicating proposed changes will be attached.
    4. Once the final draft has been approved by all the service areas, the Director gives final approval and returns the folder to its originator.
  2. All new or modified Policy and Procedures will be emailed to the Data Systems Specialist.
    1. No new or revised policies will be amended on the website until Board and Policy Council approvals have been obtained. Approval dates must be shown on the appropriate section of the Policy and Procedure Template. 
    2. The Data Systems Specialist will save the policy on NOCAC’s server and on an external hard drive in an editable document format. Policies will keep the same file name with a revision date added. Associated forms will be saved in an editable document format and a pdf format. Each form will be assigned a form number. 
    3. When the Data Systems Specialist has completely prepared the new/revised policy for publication, the data will be emailed to the Finance/Computer Specialist to be put on the website. 
    4. The Policy and Procedure folder is returned by the originator to the Data Systems Specialist. 
    5. Policies and procedures will be reviewed annually for accuracy. 

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/policy/45-cfr-chap-xiii/1302-90-personnel-policies
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    
Adopted with Board & Policy Council Approvals:    
Revised with Board & Policy Council Approvals:    

Monitoring Child Outcomes

POLICY:

The Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) are used to promote school readiness and positive child outcomes. The Head Start Act of 2007 requires programs to align program goals and school readiness goals for children to the Framework. The Framework is used in curriculum, assessment, data collection, analysis, and reporting systems.

 

PROCEDURES:

  1. Teaching Strategies Gold (TS Gold) is aligned to the ELOF and is the primary resource the program uses for monitoring child progress and outcomes.
    1. Information found within the Assess and Develop tabs are monitored throughout the assessment period by the Outcomes Assistant.
    2. Information found within the Reports tab is analyzed within 15 days after final checkpoints are made.
    3. The following can be a part of the monitoring and analysis process.

 

MONITORING

  1. TS Gold observation notes are reviewed monthly by the Center Manager at Site Staffing to ensure children are consistently being observed and activities are planned to meet individual needs. Teacher’s preliminary and final placement decisions are supported by observation for each checkpoint period.
  2. Activities and experiences are intentionally planned that help children progress on TS Gold.
  3. The Coaching Specialist ensures that observations support placement for each objective during the three assessment periods and provides feedback to teachers on the quality or need of data.
  4. The TSG Development and Learning Report shows what each child is currently able to do in relation to the selected objectives/dimensions. It also highlights the next level of development and learning.
    1. Teachers will review this report with families at the first and last parent teacher conference and the second home visit.
  5. The Education Manager will review TS Gold Reports to determine if the objectives for development and learning are being addressed on the Bi-Weekly Lesson Plan.
    1. A Bi-Weekly Lesson Plan reflects individualization for children at all levels. Children will need to be exposed to higher level skills in order to progress.
  6. Teachers have a system for observation, data collection and data entry.
    1. Teaching Staff will enter child observations into TS Gold on a weekly basis using the TSG Assess Tab.
    2. Teaching Staff will upload no less than 5 pictures or work samples per checkpoint season.
  7. Teachers show the relationship between assessment information and bi-weekly planning for the environment, the group, and individual goals of the children on the Bi-Weekly Lesson Plan.
  8. The Education Team has a system to ensure that children have sufficient observations to substantiate placement decisions and that all children are observed and included in the individualization process when planning.
    1. Teaching staff will collect a pre-determined number of observations per child in each TSG Checkpoint Season. Two additional observations are needed if a child is learning English.
    2. Classrooms with ECE children will need additional observations to meet the ELA requirements.

 

DATA ANALYSIS

  1. TS GOLD Reports are analyzed to determine baseline data in the fall and to compare the percentage of children who make progress after the winter and spring assessment. Attention will be given to the objectives where children are making the most progress or the least. Summarize areas which show strengths, growth, and areas showing no progress. The findings will be shared with Policy Council, Leadership Team and the Board.
  2. Data analysis will be conducted three times a year after each checkpoint period according to the data analysis plan and in conjunction with School Readiness Goals.
    • The Coaching Specialist will analyze data at the county and program level
    • Center Managers will analyze data at the site level.
    • Teachers will analyze data at the classroom level.
  3. Part of the analysis will include, but not be limited to, reviewing the demographics of the children served; the number of special needs children; ages; the influence of culture; attendance; number of classroom volunteers; personnel issues; environments; staff training and education.

 

PATTERNS AND TRENDS ANALYSIS – CENTER MANAGERS & TEACHERS 

  1. Teachers use their observations to plan activities and experiences to meet the needs of the children in the classroom using TS GOLD’s Objectives for Development and Learning. They have a system to observe all children throughout the assessment period. Lack of observations will lead to less validity for the assessment and make planning more difficult. There are a variety of ways used to collect data and assess progress on objectives such as check lists, portfolios, photographs, work samples, language samples and observations. TSG provides resource tools on-line to assist with data collection.
  2. TS GOLD Reports and the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework are used to ensure planning decisions are made that address program, center, classroom and family School Readiness Goals.
    1. Look for patterns of progress and accomplishments for groups of children in different domains and dimensions of learning and development.
    2. Look for patterns of outcomes for children in different options.
    3. Look for patterns of outcome data for different groups of children, such as those that begin Head Start at different levels of functioning and children that receive one or two years of Head Start services.
    4. Analyze if staff training is needed in providing activities, experiences and environments to meet the objectives for development and learning.
    5. Analyze if materials in the environment or experiences provided on weekly planning forms may be inadequate.
    6. Look for areas on lesson plans where progress has been static or decreased due to lack of activities and experiences at the appropriate developmental level.
    7. Look for balance between child and teacher directed activities.
    8. Look at the social and emotional climate in the classroom.
    9. Review staff changes, personal issues, experience and education of staff as part of the outcomes analysis.

 

PLANNING AND FOLLOW UP

  1. Center Managers will review patterns and trends from TS GOLD Reports and make an action plan.
  2. Identify changes the team will make in the environment as a result of the analysis. Include children in the plan who make little or no progress over time.

 

ADMINISTRATION AND LEADERSHIP TEAM REVIEW 

  1. Policy Council and the NOCAC board will review program outcomes and make recommendations.

 

PROGRAM SELF-ASSESSMENT 

  1. All recommendations from Admin and Leadership Team become part of NOCAC’s continuous program improvement and planning process and may become a part of the Strategic Plan.

 

Forms and Additional Guidance:

NOCAC Bi-Weekly Lesson Plan

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.101  1302.102
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:   www.teachingstrategies.com
Adopted with Board & Policy Council Approvals:    
Revised with Board & Policy Council Approvals: