Migrant and Seasonal Head Start mission:
The Illinois Department of Human Services Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program is dedicated to helping farm-worker families improve their lives.
The Department of Human Services provides services in association with nine delegate and two partnership centers throughout Illinois, serving the entire state along with two counties in Indiana.
- Del Valle Migrant Head Start, Oswego
- Hoopeston Migrant Head Start, Wellington
- Leaps and Bounds Day Care, Princeville
- Learning Zone Day Care, Mattoon
- Migrant Education, Cobden
- Multi-cultural Community Center, Rantoul
- Puentes de Esperanza, East St. Louis
- River Valley Migrant & Seasonal Head Start, Kankakee
- Tri-County Opportunities, Mendota
Migrant and Seasonal Head Start is funded by: the U.S. Department of Human Services Administration for Children and Families Office of Head Start, Illinois General Revenue through the Bureau of Child Care, and private contributions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides meal reimbursement through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) administered by the State Board of Education.
||PERCENT OF CASH BUDGET
|Federal Head Start
|State General Revenue
|Pioneer Seed Co.
|Hoyleton Youth Serve
Eighty-eight percent of the total budget is allocated to delegate program operations, under the "contractual" line item. The non-federal share is raised through agency and private donations of cash, supplies, and services.
||Head Start Revenue
Centers operate on schedules that coincide with parents' work seasons: from eight weeks in one location to six months in another. In FY 2009, the programs served 607 children from 391 families, more than 100% of the funded enrollment of 470. Average monthly enrollment was 54%.
An on-site follow-up review conducted by the Administration for Children and Families in 2008 closed the previously identified findings.
In July 2009, the Illinois Office of Internal Audits completed its audit of the DHS Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program. One immaterial recommendation, involving a misplaced file, was reported and has since been corrected. Each delegate has an independent audit yearly, and is audited by DHS biennially.
MEDICAL AND DENTAL EXAMINATIONS
Ninety-one percent of the children received medical examinations during the season. Ninety-two percent of those aged three to five years, and 83% of the two-year-olds received dental examinations. Twenty-nine children were enrolled for fewer than 30 days, and may have missed the examinations for that reason. The grantee maintains a transition office in McAllen, Texas to continue health services for families during the off-season.
PARENT INVOLVEMENT ACTIVITIES
Each delegate agency has a Parent Policy Committee, which makes decisions at the local level and elects representatives to the state-wide Policy Council. Throughout the working season, the Council meets monthly in Springfield to carry out the shared governance of the program with the DHS Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Board.
Parents give input into the children's curriculum, center menus, and program services through participation in the Parent Committee and Education Committee, and are welcomed at the centers at all times.
Programs offer activities and education for parents based on parents' interests:
- Parenting classes
- G.E.D. instruction
- Fatherhood sessions
- Mental-health consultations
- English-as-a-second-language classes
- Family field trips
- Cake-decorating classes
- Women's awareness sessions
- Immigration-law workshops
- Labor-law workshops.
The agency employs the Creative Curriculum and the Anti-Bias Curriculum in a determined effort to prepare children for participation in kindergarten and in an open, just, and peaceful society. The program's child-guidance policy emphasizes teaching children how to solve disagreements reasonably while respecting the rights of other people. The Anti-Bias Curriculum provides lessons for children in advocating for social justice. Mental-health professionals observe classrooms monthly, consulting with teachers to improve methods for enhancing the children's social development. Education coordinators observe classrooms to evaluate the quality of interactions between teachers and children, and work with teachers to improve weaknesses.
Through use the Project Approach, teachers develop pre-kindergarten children's language and mathematical skills, and regularly send related activities for parents to do with their children at home. Parents also take part in intergenerational literacy workshops and R.I.F. distributions. Centers provide lending libraries with books for all ages, and field trips to the public library for families.
Parents of children who will attend kindergarten receive a list of the entry skills the public school requires, and teachers incorporate these into their lesson plans. Centers sponsor transition activities such as meetings with kindergarten teachers, visits to schools, registration assistance, and selection of school supplies and backpacks.