Head Start Program

Mission Statement

The Mistawasis First Nation Aboriginal On Reserve Head Start Program is designed to develop skills for children and their families to ensure the children’s future success in the school system.

Philosophy

The needs of the children will be given the highest priority. The Mistawasis First Nation Aboriginal On Reserve Head Start Program implements a developmentally appropriate Early Childhood Program, which builds a child’s sense of identity, self-confidence and self-worth. It also develops responsibility in children by offering choices and respecting their decision-making skills. The Mistawasis First Nation Aboriginal On Reserve Head Start Program is seen as an extension of the home environment where children can grow socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, culturally and spiritually.

Objectives

  • Assist in the growth of social interactions among children, teaching respect, co-operation and sharing.
  • Teach pre-academic skills using existing resources and systems.
  • Follow First Nations Daycare Standards.
  • Ensure that the facility and program is open, accessible, friendly and inviting to families.
  • Provide an assessment, referral and access to community resources.
  • Provide First Nations traditions and cultures, utilizing Elders, Role Models and materials, which are culturally relevant.
  • Provide support and assistance to parents and families.

Operations

The Mistawasis First Nation Aboriginal On Reserve Head Start Program is open Monday to Friday, 9:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. (Same hours as Chief Mistawasis School, operating from September to June.

  • Friday is the designated Parent / Child Involvement Day.
  • In order for a child to attend Head Start on Friday, a parent or Legal guardian must be in attendance with the child 100% of the day.
  • If the child’s parent or guardian is not present, then the child will not be allowed to be present at Head Start on that given Friday.

The Mistawasis First Nation Chief and Council will close the Mistawasis First Nation Aboriginal On Reserve Head Start Program on statutory holidays, civic holidays and other days as specified. The Mistawasis First Nation Aboriginal On Reserve Head Start Program Staff provide a 1:10 child-staff ratio for preschool age children.

Program

  • The Mistawasis First Nation Aboriginal On Reserve Head Start Program offers a safe and nurturing environment that provides healthy snacks in the morning and afternoon.
  • The program provides a daily balance of active/quiet; indoor/outdoor and individual/group activities that are developmentally appropriate and are child initiated.
  • The Mistawasis First Nation Aboriginal On Reserve Head Start Program is flexible to allow for a child’s individual needs in the areas of physical growth, mental growth, language skills, emotional maturity and social skills.

Six Program Components

  • Culture and Language-Aboriginal culture and language providing children and families with a positive sense of themselves and their community.
  • Education/Preparation for School Readiness-Support and encourage life long learning.
  • Health Promotion-Empower families with the knowledge to maintain or improve their health.
  • Nutrition-Ensuring children and families are learning about receiving proper nutrition.
  • Social Support-Creating awareness of the resources and community service available.
  • Parental and Family Involvement-Supporting the family as the primary teacher of the child.

What we do in head start

Circle Time is a group gathering during which we share our ideas, plans and observations. Circle activities are designed to stimulate youngsters’ thinking, enrich their social skills, and expand their attention spans. This is a group gathering during which we share our ideas, plans and observations. Circle Time is a time when basic concepts; colors numbers, shapes, opposites, prepositions, fine and gross motor, cognitive, creative, social and language skills are developed.

At Group time with story, song, flannel board, or other language activity the children are offered a large block of time to self-select from a variety of activities. “A wide variety of well-planned activities reinforce the objectives and theme of the curriculum.

Children are encouraged to engage in social interactions, making choices, observe, experiment, explore, interact, and be autonomous. Children are empowered to develop their own thoughts, feelings, bodies and adults support them in communicating their ideas, making links, being curious, and interacting actively with the world around them.

  • Gross Motor Activities give children the opportunity to use their muscles as well as their imaginations, as they engage in fun, healthy exercises, such as running, jumping and climbing.
  • Fine Motor Activities help improve small muscle development and eye hand coordination. Some common items found in the fine motor/ manipulative area includes puzzles, beads and laces, pegboards, crayons and scissors.
  • Art Activities help the children creatively express their thoughts and feelings. They help reinforce fine motor skills and concept development in areas such as colors, shapes and size relationships.
  • Dramatic Play Activities help children express themselves, practice life skills, improve social skills, increase self-esteem, build vocabulary and solve problems.
  • Music Activities promote youngsters’ listening skills, creative expression, and social skills. In music, children can explore sound, volume, tempo, and rhythm.
  • Science Activities offer children many hands on opportunities for observation, exploration, investigation, making predictions and experimentation.
  • Sand and Water Activities allow children to experiment with textures and the properties of different substances. These activities also promote the development of other skills, such as math, science and language.
  • Block Play gives children experience with many different concepts, such as shape size discrimination, spatial relationships, number skills, balance, organization, cause and effect and classification.
  • Story Time is designed to help children develop an appreciation and enjoyment of literature. Reading activities enhance children’s vocabulary and comprehension skills and expand their knowledge base. Story Time offers children a time to slow down and relax. It is designed to help children develop an appreciation and enjoyment of literature. Reading activities enhance children’s language and comprehension skills expanding their knowledge base. Intellectual stimulation, acquisition of information. Special Reading Language Time On daily basis children will learn and are encouraged to verbally express themselves by describing objects by the use of different attribute: label, function, components, color, shape, association, accessories, size, category, composition, location, quantity, position, spatial, temporal, patterns, sequencing, classifying, and comparisons. Language is used in all activities in words, sentences, and conversational levels.
  • Cree Daily children are taught the Cree Language through the use of Cree songs, dancing, chants/rhymes, storytelling and table activities like arts & crafts. Colors, numbers, animals, body parts, names of everyday objects and actions are some of the vocabulary that is taught to the children. Educational games are played to help children retain information. Stories and legends are read to the children, followed by open-ended questions and group discussion. Coloring / activity worksheets and art projects are completed by children. Children are encouraged to practice positive interaction, communication skills and to develop interpersonal skills including self-pride and expression.
  • Center Time is student directed time with adult assistance from the teacher when needed. Children go to the different activity centers. Center time is a part of the children’s day that is more than just for play. During learning center time children choose to go to different centers that are created in the program. Learning centers benefit children by giving them a chance to form plans, make decisions, AND CARRY out plans, promoting active learning and language development.