On October 27, 1978, a number of parents serving as the Executive Committee of the Head Start Policy Council, being concerned about the Head Start Program under the Community Action Agency, Economic Opportunities Development Corporation (EODC), prepared a resolution to EODC's Board of Directors requesting the relinquishment of the Head Start grant. These parents, working closely with Mrs. Blanche A. Russ, the Early Childhood Development Program Director, wanted to become independent of the Community Action Agency and for the Head Start Program to continue in San Antonio. Articles of Incorporation were completed thus beginning the name “Parent/Child Incorporated of San Antonio and Bexar County. Three (3) incorporators Ramon Carrillo, Magdalena Gonzales, and Evelyn King signed this important document and became the founding members. The Articles of Incorporation for Parent/Child Incorporated of San Antonio and County Bexar, Texas was delivered to the Office of the Secretary of State in Austin, Texas and Parent/Child Incorporated became a reality.
The City of San Antonio became the interim Grantee for the Head Start program. On February 9, 1979, the City Council of San Antonio, under the Honorable Mayor Lila Cockrell, delegated the entire administration and operation of Project Head Start to Parent/Child Incorporated of San Antonio and Bexar County. With 12 Head Start Centers, 800 children, approximately 200 employees and one station wagon, Parent/Child Incorporated, better known today as “PCI”, evolved as a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3), single-purpose Human Services Agency, chartered by the State of Texas to provide educational and social services to low-income children and their families. In 1981, Parent/Child Incorporated applied for and received Head Start Program Expansion Funds to serve an additional 400 children.
In 1990, PCI was funded to operate a Parent-Child Center for 106 infants, toddlers, and pregnant women. This was a very productive program and in 1996, the program was transitioned into a Wave I Early Head Start Program for 80 families of pregnant and parenting women. In 1998, the program was transitioned to 80 infants and toddlers for pregnant and parenting young teenage schoolgirls. Today, PCI's Early Head Start Program serves 128 infants, toddlers, and pregnant and parenting young women.
PCI participated in two major Head Start Demonstration Projects from 1991 through 1995. The first three-year Demonstration Project, 1991 through 1994, was the Family Services Center Project. The second effort was the Head Start Family Child Care Homes Demonstration Project, from 1992 through 1995. The projects proved very successful in their design and research information assisted the federal government in strengthening Head Start Programs throughout the country.
Registered Family Day Homes
PCI was the first and oldest Region IX Texas Department of Human Services sponsorship of Registered Family Day Homes participating in its Child Care Food Program through contract. This program provides reimbursement to Day Home Providers for the nutritious meals provided to children ages 0-12 years enrolled in their homes. PCI's service area covered 12 counties for our CCFP Day Homes Program.
In August of 1991, PCI opened its’ first stand-alone Central Kitchen to accommodate the rapid growth it was experiencing. PCI's Central Kitchens served as a satellite food preparation system for 81 Centers. PCI operated 7 Central Kitchens where food was prepared, packaged and delivered fresh each day. This food preparation system was approved by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and proven to be very cost-effective. One year, PCI provided hot meals to the children of San Antonio through the City’s Summer Feeding Program that proved to be very successful.
During this same year, PCI opened its’ Diagnostic Clinic which provided speech therapy sessions, physical and dental exams and, the full range of health services for our children.
In 1992, PCI started with more expansion for its’ Head Start program and applied for and acquired funds to open and operate a Wellness Center for its employees and parents. Exercise and wellness programs were made available, under the guidance of PCI's Certified Trainer. PCI's Registered Dietician provided individual counseling on proper nutrition.
In 1993, PCI acquired its Transportation Depot. With the ever-increasing number of children requiring safe transportation services, it became necessary for PCI to put in place a transportation system to meet the need. PCI's Transportation Depot housed a fleet of vehicles that provided daily transportation to and from the centers for children requiring bus services, including children with special needs and infants and toddlers. Transportation was provided for field trips, as well as clinic and therapy sessions.
In 1999, PCI opened its training facility at KellyUSA. The facility was used to provide training and professional development classes and sessions for our staff, parents, Policy Council, Board members, consultants and volunteers, which included First Aid/CPR classes, GED and, ESL classes, and also classes for obtaining a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) for teaching staff. This facility also operated a computer lab and had video conference capabilities.
In the 2000s PCI applied for supplemental Head Start Funding and received its largest expansion ever of an additional 1,000 children, bringing PCI’s total Head Start enrollment to 6,789 children. In taking on this historical expansion challenge, PCI acquired two facilities built by Bexar County; had two new child development centers built and acquired and renovated 3 additional facilities to ensure children received quality services. PCI had 28 classrooms in school districts, 1 charter school, 1 children’s shelter, at Fort Sam Military Base and 15 centers in the Bexar County area, to include stand-alone centers totaling 91 sites in the City of San Antonio. Mission accomplished!
On May 27, 2005, Mrs. Blanche A. Russ-Glover retired after 10 years with the Economic Opportunity Development Corporation (EODC) and 26 years as Founder and CEO of PCI. Mr. Daniel M. Gonzales, Facilities and Day Homes Management Director for PCI, was placed as the Interim Chief Executive Officer until a permanent CEO was employed. Mr. Gonzales served in this capacity from June 1, 2005, through September 22, 2006. On September 25, 2006, Dr. Sharon Small became PCI's, Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Small, a native of San Antonio and product of the Edgewood Independent School District, served 26 years in public education and joined PCI from the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, where she also served as an educator and principal.
Parent/Child Incorporated ceased administering the Head Start Program for the City of San Antonio and last provided Head Start Services in the summer of 2009. The Early Head Start program continued under PCI as the Grantee.
“A New Day…A New Age…A New Beginning”
Parent/Child Incorporated of San Antonio and Bexar County
Parent/Child Incorporated continued as an Early Head Start Grantee serving 128 infants, toddlers, and expectant parents. In 2009, the Early Head Start Self-Assessment (Internal Audit) revealed the program was 100% in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. The 2009 agency-wide audit for the program year 2008–2009 found the agency to be 100% in compliance–no audit exceptions. Compliant Self-Assessments and audits continued for PCI’s Early Head Start Program, as well as our CACFP Centers and Day Care Homes.
Child and Adult Care Food Program
PCI’s Child and Adult Care Feeding Program (CACFP) acquired the food service contract with one of the City of San Antonio Head Start Contractors to provide meals to Head Start children. Contracts with other childcare centers in San Antonio to provide food service to children are also in place as PCI continues to grow in this area.
PCI’s CACFP Day Care Homes Program contracts with 120 providers in Region VIII through the Texas Department of Agriculture. Training is provided to the providers on a regularly scheduled basis.
The Federal Monitoring Review
The Federal Government’s Office of Head Start (OHS) conducted a monitoring review in May of 2010 of PCI’s Early Head Start Program. The review is performed on a triennial basis. The monitoring review focused on the delivery of services as well as the management systems that support services, accountability, and fiscal integrity. Throughout the week of the review, a team of federal reviewers visited Early Head Start classrooms and examined children’s files, fiscal records, program policies, and procedures and facilities. The team also conducted interviews with Early Head Start staff, parents, the governing body and the policy council.
The review determined Parent/Child Incorporated to be in compliance with all Head Start Program Performance Standards and applicable laws, regulations, and policy requirements. Head Start monitoring reviews assess the performance, compliance, and accomplishments of local Head Start and Early Head Start programs in meeting statutory and regulatory requirements.
Dr. Sharon Small, Chief Executive Officer stated, “This was a rigorous examination of our program. These reviewers were given a task to review our program’s compliance and accountability. Their findings validate all the work our dedicated staff is doing day in and day out and to have this happen right after the significant reduction in force and transition of the Head Start program to the City of San Antonio just makes it that much more special.” Dr. Small also stated, “This is the highest seal of approval given to Early Head Start and Head Start programs by ACF.”
Parent/Child Incorporated continues to serve families within the context of the community and recognizes that many other agencies and groups work with the same families. The objective of Community Partnerships is to ensure that grantee and delegate agencies collaborate with partners in their communities, in order to provide the highest level of services to children and families, to foster the development of a continuum of family-centered services, and to advocate for a community that shares responsibility for the healthy development of children and families of all cultures. PCI - where we’re growing San Antonio's tomorrow!
To honor two special individuals who continued to go above and beyond by volunteering their time and resources to Parent/Child Incorporated and in conjunction with Head Start Awareness activities, PCI’s Board of Directors and Policy Council approved the renaming of two centers.
On October 11, 2010, Parent/Child Incorporated honored the “Legacy of Service” of the former Head Start Director who was with PCI since its inception, and current Volunteer/Mentor, Mrs. Adelina Hinojosa Fritz by holding an Official Dedication and renaming of La Casa de Niños Center to the Adelina Fritz Child Development Center. The property was purchased by PCI in 1999 and awarded by ACF as federal interest property to be used to provide Early Head/Head Start Program services.
On October 10, 2011, Parent/Child Incorporated also honored “A Servant of the Community”, Mrs. Evelyn L. King who has served as a Board member since PCI’s inception by holding an Official Dedication and renaming of the Gardendale Center to the Evelyn L. King Child Development Center. Since that time, Bexar County has signed over ownership of the property to PCI. On October 10, 2016, Parent/Child Incorporated honored another “Servant of the Community”, Mr. Terry O’Connor who had served on the Board for many years, with an Official Dedication and renaming of the Losoya Center to the Terry O’Connor Early Learning Center.
In July 2013, PCI was awarded a Head Start grant and was funded to provide services to 476 children and their families.
In January of 2015, PCI was also awarded a grant to operate an Early Head Start/Child Care Partnership program. This program serves 120 children and their families in collaboration with three childcare partners, as well as serving 80 children and their families through Early Head Start expansion opportunities.
In January of 2019, PCI was once again awarded a grant to serve 340 Head Start children and their families and 88 Early Head Start children and families for a total of 428 additional slots to benefit the children and families of San Antonio & Bexar County. Also, in 2019, PCI was granted the Garden Gro Initiative Grant enabling children, families, staff and the community to grow their own vegetables.
Today and Beyond
Parent/Child Incorporated has had many “new” things happen for the agency, such as a new Headquarters facility located on Mainland Drive. The facility is owned by PCI and is a federal interest property. A new updated and informative website that is social media-driven and continues to be the growing face of PCI. The Fenfield Environmental Resource Center with a STEAM focus for field trips for our children along with the Harmony Children’s Garden is in place.
We have a new look to our logo…
Our motto is “Growing San Antonio’s Tomorrow…Today!” is now a part of PCI’s History.
Parent/Child Incorporated continues to be a driving force in early childhood development, having trained, skilled staff working with young children and families that includes a seasoned management staff. The parents, staff, volunteers, and partners are PCI’s biggest asset and are the focus of special training, special activities/events, volunteer/partnership recognitions, advisory committees, being part of the Board of Directors, Policy Council, Parent Center Committees and the Male Initiative (Fatherhood Initiative), Teacher of the Year Recognitions, ECC of the Year Recognitions, and the list goes on. The assessment tool, “Teaching Strategies Gold” is in place to allow staff and parents to make data-driven decisions regarding developmental and educational outcomes to ensure school readiness. The families and community will benefit from this assessment as evidenced by children having a greater head start in their education and being school ready with the inclusion of the parents in the learning process.
The historical framework put in place by the founder of PCI many years ago is still in place today, but on a much grander scale and much more enhanced. The biggest difference between yesterday and today is PCI is now a Grantee of all of our programs and not a Delegate. The agency continues to be innovative with being the first to begin something new within PCI. As PCI successfully strives to bring the best quality services to the children and families of San Antonio and Bexar County, we continue to look to expand our services keeping with our mission “To provide high-quality early childhood developmental and educational services in order to empower our children and their families to become responsible citizens who value education and community.”
“PCI…Growing San Antonio’s Tomorrow…Today!”