Why comprehensive services are important
Our teachers want children to come to class mentally and physically prepared. Good health, nutrition and overall well-being is important not only for the student, but for the entire family.
Comprehensive Services provided to you by Family Star:
- Dental screenings
- Vision screenings
- Hearing and language screenings
- Screenings and support for disabilities and developmental delays
- Early identification and intervention for mental health disorders
- Health focused meal program
- Support for specialized dietary concerns and restrictions
- Sustainable produce garden
- Connection to community resources
- Family goal setting and follow-up
- Parenting education classes
The Nutrition program at Family Star is one of our hallmarks of quality. A local catering company, Michael’s of Denver, provides healthy and diverse meals for all children for breakfast, lunch, and snack. Recently, our caterer has developed a garden at our Northwest site in which to grow many of the vegetables that comprise our meals! We participate in the CACFP meal program which supplements the cost of providing very high quality foods for children that are rich in nutrients, always fresh or frozen, and light on salt and seasoning. We have found that children try and enjoy a wide variety of foods when the menu items are served “deconstructed”. That is, children are able, in a family style dining setting, to serve themselves, choose what they want, and control their own mealtime activities. Infants learn to use a spoon and fork, toddlers set the table, and preschoolers prepare some of the snacks that are served. Mealtime is not seen as merely giving children the nutrients they need for their healthy growth and development – it is an educative experience. Our children love the food they eat at our school, and we believe our nutrition program is preparing them for a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
Development and Disabilities Services
Family Star offers developmental screenings to all children and identification, referral and resources to children with disabilities. Family Star welcomes children with disabilities who have already been identified.
- Developmental screening to all children within 45 days of enrollment
- Early identification of child with disabilities
- Referral to and support with Child Find assessment (Part C of IDEA)
- Inclusion of all children in classrooms
The Disabilities Coordinator works with, and supports the parent in the referral to the Community Centered Board (Denver Options), and in the assessment of the child through Child Find and the development of the Individual Family Service Plan. If eligible, necessary therapies can be provided at Family Star by the therapist identified by Denver Options and the parent. Teachers, as well as the parents, follow through on any necessary care or therapies throughout the day for the child. Most therapies are done in the classroom and the child is not pulled out or isolated from the other children-a totally inclusive setting.
Mental Health Services
Family Star offers comprehensive mental health consultation services, in collaboration with the Partnership for Families and Children and the Mental Health Center of Denver. Expected outcomes include:
- Prevention and /or early intervention of mental health disorders for young children through delivery of intentional social and emotional practices
- Early identification of social, emotional, or behavior concerns with consultative support and interventions for families, staff and other caregivers of children
- Professional development and capacity-building for child care staff
- Referral and linkages to community services for additional developmental services, mental health treatment, and caregiver support.
“The caring professionals, resources and diversity at Family Star combine to create a very special place for early childhood education. Among all of the options available, I feel very fortunate to have found Family Star as I know the valuable things my son is learning will stay with him well beyond the toddler and preschool years.”
-Family Star family member