Research, Outcomes, & Evaluation
A part of Head Starts program management and quality assurance is the annual program self-assessment. Each agency is mandated by the Head Start Performance Standards to assess the quality of its Head Start program on an annual basis. This process must involve parents and must be approved by the Policy Council. An on-site program review by the federal funding agency and annual reports at the programs federal offices also help to ensure program quality.
Several monitoring instruments are used to evaluate PICA. Along with the Federal Program Review Instrument for Systems Monitoring (PRISM), Program Information Report (PIR), and State Licensing. PICA is audited by the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the state and an independent auditing firm.
Every year parents and staff review the program using the Program Review Instrument for Systems Monitoring (PRISM) tool in conjunction with the federal Head Start Performance Standards. The assessment process uses a systems approach, looking for integration between management systems and program services and among all program service areas. Every three years the federal government comes on site to validate our findings and complete its own PRISM.
Each year PICA conducts a self-assessment to check how we are doing in meeting our goals and objectives, and in implementing the Head Start Performance Standards and other regulations.
A team of staff and parents conducts an on-site review of PICA's management systems and program quality through a combination of focus groups and individual interviews; observations; discussions with other parents, staff and policy group memebers; and written program documents.
The Program Information Report (PIR) is compiled annually. This report gives a profile of the current program year accomplishments and deficiencies. Statistics are recorded on items ranging from the percentage of dental exams completed, social services provided and, staff trained. The PIR is submitted annually to the federal government.
Minnesota Licensure Requirements: Each of our centers is licensed through the State of Minnesota. The staff must meet certain requirements to be employed in the classroom. Fire and health inspections, age appropriate equipment as well as proper indoor and outdoor equipment are required for licensure.
Every three years, our child and adult care food program is reviewed by state monitors. These monitors review our menus, food production records and family-style service in the classroom.
Annually we contract with an independent auditing firm to review our financial records.
Each year the state of Minnesota conducts an on-site review of the programs it funds.