Geminus Head Start recognizes that families value the ability to celebrate their child’s achievements, birthday, and other cultural holidays as part of the classroom community. In an effort to keep the celebration of holidays, birthdays and other milestones developmentally and culturally appropriate, parent committees and staff must follow guidelines in planning for celebrations in the classroom.
Celebrations must be:
- Designed to incorporate parent-child activity interactions and planned primarily by parents with guidance from staff on what is developmentally appropriate and allowable under Head Start policies;
- Approved by respective Director.
- Optional and sensitive for children and families who choose not to participate.
- Reflective of and relevant to the ethnic composition, traditions, culture, and interests of participating children and families
Preschool graduation events with caps and gowns and related activities have strong significance in many communities. However, this kind of graduation event is not allowable under the Head Start federal guidelines. Children and families will experience these types of events when children are older and better able to understand and appreciate them. Developmentally appropriate End of Year Celebrations will be organized each year to celebrate children’s growth and development. Each programming year, families will be invited to participate fully in end of year activities planned by staff and parents.
NOTE: In accordance with State Licensing regulations, siblings of enrolled students are not allowed in classroom settings during volunteering or special events, however the Head Start program is committed to ensure that all parents have an opportunity to participate fully in their child’s planned end of the year activity. Childcare can be provided for end of the year activity days (if requested in advance). As a parent, you will be guaranteed the courtesy of receiving adequate time to confirm whether on-site childcare is required for end of the year activities planned at your site.
The Holiday and Celebration Policy also give teachers and parents’ guidelines for celebrating a child’s birthday. The guidelines for birthdays were designed to make sure that health, safety, nutrition, education and classroom culture needs are met, while also recognizing the child’s move from one age to the next. The guidelines for celebrating children’s birthdays are available in each Head Start classroom.