As part of its mission to serve the whole child, YVY emphasizes the need for preventive health measures for parent and child. Prenatal care for expectant moms is only the beginning. YVY has a comprehensive system of services for preventing health problems and intervening promptly when problems exist. Parents are encouraged to be involved in this process.
At the time of application to the Head Start Program, parents are asked if they have a “medical home” and health insurance. If they do not, family workers try to provide options for these families. Children are also screened for vision, hearing, dental health, speech and cognitive disorders. Parents are involved in all aspects of the health and safety of the child and they are encouraged to keep up with a schedule of “well child care." YVY has a software system which tracks the medical services currently provided for the child and follows up with a “reminder” on future appointments. Staff are trained to be alert to the possibility of child abuse or neglect.
The YVY Early Head Start Program has made tremendous strides in providing children, their families and expectant moms with a state of the art comprehensive system of preventative health services through collaborative relationships with community clinics, hospitals and local healthcare providers. As a result, children are up to date on immunization and dental hygiene. Health education is included in the classroom and reflected in daily lesson plans. Children brush their teeth and wash their hands after meals according to proper protocol.
Staff and families work together to identify children’s nutritional needs. YVY maintains a certified nutritionist on staff who screens every child and is available for consultation regarding any child’s nutritional needs and the agency also provides culturally sensitive daily meals for the children based on the USDA’s food pyramid.
Parent training is regularly scheduled and includes topics such as: child development, asthma, CPR, nutrition, stress management, health and safety.