BRYCS and the NCCLR have developed a broad range of materials and providing technical assistance geared towards refugees, refugee service providers, and Head Start programs. These materials including a number of Promising Practices. One such program is the Arizona Head Start Pilot Project.
In Maricopa County, the primary pilot site, the City of Phoenix Human Services Department (CPHSD), Maricopa County Human Services (MCHS), and Southwest Human Development (SWHD) fund a variety of Early Head Start and Head Start (EHS/HS) programs. These grantees are working with the Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP), refugee resettlement agencies (VOLAGS), Mutual Assistance Associations (MAAs), refugee families and community stakeholders (such as schools and child and family service providers) to increase refugee family participation in EHS/HS programs.
At the beginning of the project, Head Start and Refugee Resettlement stakeholders worked together and identified the following barriers to meaningful refugee participation in Head Start:
- Limited transportation to EHS/HS
- EHS/HS class schedules, such as half-day classes, that do not adequately correspond to parents’ self-sufficiency efforts
- Limited EHS/HS slots leading to waiting lists
- Limited EHS/HS enrollment window throughout the year
- Language barriers, such as lack of interpretation and translation for services offered
- Inadequate information about EHS/HS services available to refugee families
- Inadequate information on diverse child rearing practices available to EHS/HS staff
Learn more about this pilot project and how it implemented several practical solutions in response to the identified service gaps.