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 (DHS) provides services through agreements with seven delegate and one 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
- 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
|United Way, Champaign Co.
|Consolidated Knowledge & Develop.
Eighty-four 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, goods, and services.
||Head Start Revenue
Centers operate on schedules that coincide with parents' work seasons: from eight weeks in one location to seven months in another. In FY 2010, the programs served 570 children from 381families. Average monthly enrollment for the seven-month period was 46%.
An on-site review conducted by the Administration for Children and Families in July 2010 showed two findings of minor repairs needed on playgrounds. Both were corrected during the week of the review.
Each delegate agency has an independent audit yearly, and is audited by DHS biennially. There were no audit findings in any delegate. An audit of DHS fiscal year 2009, by the Illinois Auditor General, listed 39 findings, but none was related directly or indirectly to the Head Start program.
MEDICAL AND DENTAL EXAMINATIONS
Eighty-seven percent of the children received medical examinations during the season. Ninety percent of those aged three to five years, and 83% of the two-year-olds received dental examinations. One hundred thirteen children were enrolled for fewer than 30 days. 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 Advisory Board. Parents take part in the annual grantee-wide planning meeting, and the Policy Council meets in March to review and approve the federal funding application.
Parents give input into the children's curriculum, center menus, and program services through participation in delegate Parent Committees and Education Committees, and are welcomed to the centers at all times.
Programs offer activities and education based on parents' interests:
- Parenting classes,
- G.E.D. instruction,
- Fatherhood sessions,
- Mental-health consultations,
- English-as-a-second-language classes,
- Family field trips,
- Women's awareness sessions,
- Prevention of child abuse and domestic violence training,
- Intergenerational literacy activities,
- Cultural observances.
the Project Approach, the Creative Curriculum and the Anti-Bias Curriculum in an 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. Teachers pursue development of intellectual, as opposed to academic, goals for children through use of the Project Approach, engaging children in investigations that enhance their understanding of cause and effect. 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 weak areas.
Each year the DHS education manager submits a grant for R.I.F. books to be given to children. Delegate programs hold two or three book-night activities and distributions for parents and children. Centers also maintain lending libraries for families, with books purchased with Head Start funds, or donated by RIF and First Books.
Parents of children who will attend kindergarten receive a list of the entry skills required by public schools, and teachers incorporate these indirectly into their lesson plans. Programs sponsor transition activities such as meetings with kindergarten teachers, visits to schools, registration assistance, and selection of school supplies and backpacks.