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Early Childhood Education
Teachers and teacher assistants are the core units of a Head Start/ Early Start teaching team. Together with our family engagement specialists they work to ensure a holistic approach to a child’s learning and development.
Their day involves lesson planning, implementing those plans, and documenting the child’s progress. They work with a variety of early education techniques as well as ones in special education to enhance the classroom environment. The children look to them as their role models. They use multiple social emotional development techniques, strong classroom management, and positive reinforcement.
Because our agency has a two generational approach, we focus on the family unit. Family Engagement Specialists play a pivotal role as a liaison between the students in our Head Start and Early Head Start Programs and their parents/guardians. They promote, provide education, engagement opportunities, and skill development to parents.
Family Engagement Specialists maintain record keeping, data collection, and they assist, support, and promote parent events. They also promote regular routine attendance and will develop attendance plans for families of children with low attendance. They work with community partners to help families/guardians access local resources.
Some of our early education centers have commercial kitchens where wholesome Child and Adult Care Food Program compliant meals are prepared and served by Cooks and Cook assistants.
Meals are served family style to children and are used as an opportunity to role model the action of serving, eating, sharing table manners, and so forth. They document the meal prep process in compliance with food and health regulations.
"The ECE management team represents team work, consistent quality improvement, and a commitment to excellence. Throughout the year, the ECE management team supported attainment of independently rated, CLASS scores above the National Head Start average, attained high NYS Quality Stars ratings, GOLD end of year child readiness scores were higher than last year, and levels of consistent parent participation were higher than last year. In addition the team demonstrated consistent compliance with Head Start monitoring, Department of Education reviews and a variety of other grant expectations."
Career and Community Services
The career services team comprises of employment specialists who work regularly conducting employment assessments and generating goal plans with program participants to ensure timely employment. They strengthen a participant’s job readiness. After hire, they work with retention specialists to provide ongoing post-employment, career counseling, and advisement to program participants.
They complete assessments, meet with customers to work on removing barriers to employment, and in general be their coach. They are a role model to our customers, sensitive to frustrations of a seemingly futile job search, and a catalyst in ensuring customers obtain and retain meaningful employment that matches their skills and strengths.
We have a centralized intake process. A Service Navigator is a customer’s first point of contact when enrolling into our programs. They utilize databases to complete customer intake inclusive of application and determination of eligibility for our services. They conduct assessment of customers to establish service plans. They also provide referrals to our program services as well as other public or private agencies and community services for assistance.
They have an extensive knowledge all of our programs and funding source criteria for eligibility. They have a comprehensive awareness of community services so that they can refer a customer to ancillary services that are available in the community.
"Our team exemplifies the saying, 'Respect your fellow human beings, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it.'"
Our weatherization Crew is made up of energy auditors and crew members. They work at our customers' homes to install, repair, and renovate residential energy related material, equipment, and systems.
They provide installation services and energy efficiency education. Customers receive the services and are then able to have better living conditions that also save money.
"So many improvements that will save me energy and money and make my life more comfortable. Your presence was a joy. You are kind people with a good work ethic who do quality work."
PROGRAM SUPPORT SPECIALISTS
Program Support Specialists serve multiple areas from early childhood education and career services to administration. They support the program by completing database maintenance, customer assistance, outreach, quality assurance, and general office duties.
They have direct interaction with customers. They complete data entry and data analysis work as well as mastering the art of wearing multiple hats as they support management teams.
HUMAN RESOURCES, FINANCE, IT AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
The staff in HR, Finance, IT, and administrative service supports all of our programs here at ACAP. They are the catalysts that ensure compliance, assist the staff and agency in its capacity. Some roles include: Accountant, Budget Coordination, Human Resources Generalist, or Administrative Assistant.
They are the group that builds and sustains systems and procedures to ensure program and grant requirements.
"They have passed a fiscal audit with flying colors, been recognized as a thriving department by the federal government, continue to improve the systems we have within the department and never fails to roll up their sleeves and get the job done."
CONTENT AREA EXPERTS
Experts or coordinators in this area focus on key components such as: education curriculum, health and nutrition, special needs, family engagement, job development, career center, IT, budgets, human resources, program evaluation, and our Dress for Success program.
They ensure compliance, program standards, and make sure initiatives are implemented. Coordinators have previously worked in other direct service roles prior to moving to these positions and support the work of our teaching teams, our career and community services teams, and our weatherization crew.
They oversee our early education, outreach centers or supervisors, or program service teams. They direct and oversee management functions including staff meetings to ensure quality programming for all customers. They oversee day-to-day program management, operations, and personnel at assigned site(s).
"We work together toward a common vision & believe that the strength of the team is each individual member and the strength of each member is the team..."
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