Early Childhood Services

The Division of Early Childhood (DEC) was established as a standalone division in 2021 to help strengthen and centralize the state's existing child care, home visiting, and early intervention programs as well as operationalize and create administrative capacity to establish sustainable infrastructure needs in order to streamline services. Working hand-in-hand with local communities throughout Illinois, the Division of Early Childhood provides low-income, working families with access to quality, affordable child care; administers community-based prevention and intervention programs; and helps all children between the ages of birth to three with disabilities or delays, to learn and grow.

Illinois Cares for Kids is the one place parents, grandparents, and caretakers can access all things related to early care and education in Illinois. Click on the link to find resources, programs, and assistance for your child based on their age.

To access services, use the DHS Office Locator to find your local service providers or other programs and services in your area.