What is the purpose of this service?

The Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program provides child care and a comprehensive program of health, parent involvement, and social services for preschool children of low-income migrant and seasonal farm workers.

Who can receive these services?

You may qualify if you are a low-income migrant or seasonal farm worker with a child or children younger than 6 years old.

What services are offered?

There are four areas of service offered: 

  • Family and Community Partnerships
  • Child Development Program
  • Health Services
  • Special Services

Family and Community Partnerships

Encourages parents to observe their children and to participate with them in group activities. Family Service Coordinators are bilingual and have work schedules that accommodate families' needs. The program develops and maintains strong community partnerships to ensure service delivery.

Parents have opportunities for involvement in every aspect of the program. A Parent Policy Committee is active in every center, and at the state level, sharing governing responsibilities with agency boards of directors. At the centers, parents participate in inter-generational literacy activities with their children, and attend other educational sessions.

Child Development Program

Provides a secure, stimulating environment in which children are helped to develop physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. Classrooms must comply with state licensing standards and Head Start Performance Standards, offering full-time child care for children from 6 weeks to 6 years of age. The education program offers opportunities for active learning experiences for all ages. Teachers of 3, 4, and 5 year old children implement the Creative Curriculum, supplemented by the Anti-Bias Curriculum.

In classrooms for infants and toddlers, teachers follow the methods of Creative Curriculum for infants and toddlers. The philosophy of respectful caregiving allows babies to develop at their own inherent pace, while providing them emotional support in a non-restraining physical environment.

Health Services

Collaborate with the Migrant Health Program, Public Health Departments, and other health service providers in the community to ensure children are up-to-date on a schedule of preventive and primary care - including medical, dental, immunization and nutrition screening, and exams.When children need further assessment, treatment, or therapy, follow-up care plans are developed in consultation with parents, and families are referred for services. Nutritionally balanced and culturally relevant meals are served to the children and provided, in part, through the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Bilingual mental health consultants are available to work with staff, parents, and children to promote emotional well-being to offer training and to identify local resources when referrals are needed.

Special Services 

Offered to children with disabilities. They receive comprehensive and individualized services, designed and implemented in partnership with the family and the providers of Part C and B services in each child's community. These services are developed to build on each child's capabilities and strengths.

How to apply?

Go to the Illinios Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Project Directory or call (217) 524-6318.

Illinois Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Manual

Illinois Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Reports

DHS Office Locator

DHS Help Line

  • 1-800-843-6154 or Email Us
  • 1-866-324-5553 TTY