First two days in North Carolina

I have been really lucky to spend this time in the warm welcoming hospitality of my ‘guide’ Khari Garvin and his wife Leslie. He has made it possible to converse in conference calls with educationalists in another county on groundbreaking training. Observed a meeting with technicians and analysts to discuss sharing a database to limit duplication over records (bit like Contact Point a few years, back but probably less controversial). I have observed a home based visiting session with an expert family worker. And then yesterday got a chance to speak to family experts in Head Start and Early Head Start. I have visited a variety of Head Start and Early Head Start programs running from different agencies. This has given me even more insight into the delivery of HS, as most of the directors, project directors
This is the first time in my visit to the states that I have been able to take part in the engagement with families continually, so I have had to transfer my knowledge of our children’s centres sure start with head start. I spoke to a friend and colleague back in the UK today – Hi Joanna! Its thanks to Jo that i’m here with Khari. Her and some other colleagues did a similar trek over 6 years ago to research head start. The differences are that Head Start is tailored to meet a larger land mass with bespoke programs reflecting the cultural diversity. Whereas in the UK we work with a core offer using services to reflect the needs of the community it serves. That and the fact most of the UK child welfare is policy driven. I was discussing the different measuring outcomes toolkits we have that we try and marry up with parents experiences and he was really interested to see these. Maybe we could do a swap, he could access these and I could get a really good survey for the parents to complete. When talking to the Family Experts on the Tuesday they were interested in how sure start was different to head start. When i started to explain getting the parents to buy into the services by signing a registration form or ticking a box to say that they’ve accessed a service they said, ‘they’ll know if your just getting them to sign a registration form, or tick a box..’ When I said we don’t offer free childcare they all went ‘aaaaahhhhh’
I would like to say thank you for the time offered by these very busy people – i know what it’s like working in a day nursery! Kenneth Infant Toddler Specialist Durham Early Head Start who works at different programs around the area. This one in particular is a privately run day care centre where Head Start rent 3 rooms from. Kenneth works at helping more Father’s to be engaged and promotes the job to more males to get into the industry.
Thanks to Angela Wilcox Project Director; Chapel Hill Training Outreach Project Inc. Angela says it’s all about mental health, mental health for the children mental health for the parents. Marguerite DeCarli Assistant Center Director says she really wants to makes a space for the parents when they come into the center that belongs to them. I also meet Rebecca Staples a cross cultural research specialist that just so happens to be here too.. she asks me if I know Kathy Sylva!!!? er no not quite there yet!




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