Train the Trainers -- After the Early Head Start/Head Start agencies have been selected to participate, they are required to attend a Train the Trainers program. The Train the Trainers is a two-day program that introduces the agencies to the Health Care Institute. Participants are given instruction in subjects necessary to successfully implement and market the Health Care Institute to parents and to the general community. Topics covered include strategy implementation, project management, parent and staff motivation and marketing and community relations. Teams also participate in a mock parent training session led by other Head Start staff previously involved in the project. The mock training allows attendees to experience what their Head Start parents would expect during a parent training session. Each project team consisted of the Head Start/Early Head Start Director, Health Care Coordinator, and Social Service Coordinator. Agencies also chose two more members from their staff to complement the team. They included the Parent Involvement Coordinator, the Family Literacy Specialist, or the Community Partnership Specialist.
Parent Trainings -- Early Head Start/Head Start parents are asked to attend a two-hour training where they will first complete a pre-assessment survey. The survey asks for qualitative opinions as well as objective and quantitative measurable data on the parents and children. The objectives of these surveys are twofold: one, to identify parents’ perceptions of healthcare, confidence or anxiety in taking care of their children when they are sick; and, two, to measure the parents’ medical knowledge. During the training, parents are instructed on basic medical knowledge and how to effectively use the medical reference guide. A crucial part of the Health Care Institute is to track health information about the parents and children. To achieve this objective, a family advocate or social service worker will visit each Head Start family. During this visit the parents will be surveyed about absences, illnesses, and places of treatment in the last month. Tracking reinforces the concepts learned during the parent trainings and leads to a change in parents’ behavior towards managing their children’s health care needs. It also allows tracking of parents’ behavior over time. At the conclusion of the program, the participating families are convened and asked to complete another survey. The survey is identical to the one given prior to intervention except that it includes a section assessing the usage of the medical reference guide.