The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) provided services through contractual delegate agreements with Four agencies in Illinois, serving the entire state and three counties of Indiana. The delegate agencies providing services July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 were:
- Del Valle Migrant Head Start, in Oswego
- Rainbow Learning, in Kankakee and Sheldon
- Princeville CUSD #326, in Princeville
- Migrant Education, in Cobden
The Head Start program was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start, and supported by the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Family and Community Services and by Illinois General Revenue through the Bureau of Quality Initiatives. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reimburses meal costs through the Child and Adult Care Food Program, administered by the Illinois State Board of Education.
|Illinois General Revenue & 3rd Party Contributions
Ninety-three percent of the total federal budget is allocated to delegate program operations, under the line item 6.f. contractual. Non-federal share is raised through State General Revenue and private donations of goods, and services to delegate agencies.
||Match Proposed on Budget
Families eligible for MSHS must earn 51% or more of their income from employment in agriculture and must be doing agricultural work at the time of enrollment, or shortly thereafter. Families must verify that their primary income is from agricultural labor. Illinois Migrant & Seasonal Head Start defines "agricultural labor" to include: fruit & vegetables, mushroom growing, flower farming, plant or tree nurseries, greenhouses, forestry, orchards, sod farming, grain/corn storage facilities, stock, dairy, poultry, livestock, fish, fur-farming; employment connected to fruit, vegetables, and grains packaging and canning, cultivating the soil, raising, detasseling and harvesting any agricultural or horticultural commodity, orchards, dairying, bees/apiaries; including the raising, shearing, feeding, processing, training, and caring for livestock; swine, sheep, beef cattle, ponies, or horses, and poultry, fish, and fur-bearing animals and wildlife. Not eligible are landscaping and grounds-keeping.
Parents must furnish, as proof of annual income, one of the following: Income Tax Form 1040 or 1040A, W-2 forms from every source of income, pay stubs with year-to-date total, or written statements from employers. Homeless families who do not have documents can be enrolled immediately, giving them sufficient time to obtain the documents if possible.
Centers operate on schedules that accommodate parents' work hours and weeks: from eight weeks in one location to seven months in another. In fiscal year 2022, the program was once again impacted by COVID-19 and only served 230 children from 161 families. A total of 10 children with disability service plans: 6-IFSP and 4-IEPs. The average monthly enrollment was 37.61%.
The audit of IDHS had no findings related to the Head Start program. Independent audits of each of the delegates found no material weaknesses.
Medical and Dental Examinations
Although major modifications had to continue in the transporting of and/or arrangements for children to receive screenings, staff made every effort to make sure that Immunizations, Physicals, Well-Baby Checks, Hemoglobin, Lead and TB tests were up to date and tracked effectively. Dental exams, cleanings and fluoride treatments completed within HSPPS required time frame.
All delegates followed the EPSDT schedule from Illinois. On the online assessment, C.O.P.A., reports can be downloaded with number of children that have services completed according to the EPSDT schedule. As reported in the Office of Head Start's 2022 Program Information Report (PIR), 202 children were up to date on a schedule of age-appropriate preventive and primary health care according to State's EPSDT at the end of the enrollment year. These included screenings for tuberculosis, height and weight, hemoglobin, and lead. The children that did not receive all screenings and physicals were due to leaving the center within 30 days of enrollment. Eighty nine percent of the children are up to date on all immunizations, or have received all immunizations possible at this time, appropriate for their age. Fifty-six percent of the preschool-aged-children enrolled in 2021-22 year had healthy weight for child's age and sex; Fourteen percent were classified as Overweight, 28% as Obese, and 3% were underweight.
Of the total children ages 3 - 5, 81 had the formal exam completed; 26 of these children needed dental treatment, of which 2 completed it. Children that did not complete the exam were enrolled less than 30 days. The children also had cleaning and fluoride treatment completed.
Ninety-seven infant and toddler children are up to date according to the dental periodicity schedule in the state's EPSDT schedule.
Parent Involvement Activities
Parents continued to receive materials for activities to do at home with the children. There was noticeable improvement in follow up for these activities from previous year.
Two delegates held family book reading and physical activity challenges-100% participation in both centers with 70% to 95% completing the challenges.
Seventeen parents are attending virtual ESL classes and two are attending GED classes-all are using laptops, and/or hot spots provided by the centers to access the internet. Migrant Education established an Electronics Lending Library that includes 7 laptops and hot spots to access internet, because of the pandemic; Del Valle MSHS purchased 12 computers and Rainbow Learning Enrichment purchased two laptops for parents to use at home. All used COVID-19 funds for these purchases.
Other training sessions attended by the parents included topics such as: Managing Stress, Financial Welfare, Cleaning Habits at home, Importance of Recycling, and Nutrition sessions as well as others.
Del Valle MSHS delivered hot meals, prepared at the center, to each of their families on event nights so that they did not have to worry about making diner after a long day at work and could, therefore, participate in the center's web-based parent engagement activities and/or trainings. As a result, they had 100% participation during these planned events. Also, all fathers with children enrolled in Del Valle, completed the reading challenge, and participated in the Recycling project. Families in this center also participated in a gardening project, a corn project, and a blueprint project. All of which were extensions of classroom projects.
Teaching staff qualifications
Centers struggled to hire new education staff, while others struggled to retain those that they had. Delegate Directors felt that tax incentives, while understandably necessary, complicated hiring efforts. However, all teaching staff members are Head Start qualified and all delegate education coordinators have bachelors' degrees in early childhood education-Ten percent of Preschool teachers have an advance degree, 60% have a Baccalaureate degree and 30% have an associate degree. Four percent of infant-toddler teachers have an advanced degree, 22% percent of Infant-toddler teachers have a Baccalaureate degree, 41% have an associate degree and 33% have a CDA.
Two preschool teacher-assistants had not completed their CDAs but are scheduled to complete them in the Spring. MSHS usually experiences higher turnover rates due to the short term of employment and lack of fringe benefits.
All delegates continue to offer Practice Based Coaching (PBC) or Coaching using MyTeachstone to their staff. Staff can choose their coaching method. In 2021, seven PBC consultants coached 14 teaching staff which received, among them, 18 hours of coaching each month-averaging between 1-2 hours each. Four staff used MyTeachstone for their coaching program. Teaching staff using MyTeachstone completed 6 hours of coaching with an additional 4 hours of self-directed study. Coaches using MyTeachstone completed 40 minutes of recommended coaching with an additional hour of self-directed study. Overall staff and supervisors were content with the results of both methods.
Illinois Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (IMSHS) use the Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers & Twos in its Infant toddler classrooms and Creative Curriculum® for Preschoolers in its Preschool classrooms. Curricula chosen by IMSHS contain both resources guiding interest area and room preparation as well as instructional content reflecting the most current research. Curricula has been recognized to meet the HSPPS and are evidence-based early childhood curricula which include empirically based scope and sequences grounded in developmental theory.
Delegates complement the curricula with the following: to support the children's language development, the teaching staff will use Planned Language Approach strategies-particularly the Big Five-for all children; to support fitness and healthy development, the teaching staff will use strategies from "I am Learning, I am moving"; and, to support self-discipline the teaching staff will use "Positive Discipline" strategies.
Education Coordinators do monthly classroom observations to evaluate that Creative Curriculum® for Infants, Toddlers & Twos and Galileo® Curriculum are implemented with fidelity in each classroom. Results are analyzed and used to plan the appropriate course work, training, coaching, and/or technical assistance for staff development.
Screening and Assessment
Ages and Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ) developmental screening are used to identify concerns in children's development and ASQ-SE is used for the identification of social-emotional challenges. Both ASQ and ASQ-SE have been studied extensively and these show high reliability, internal consistency, sensitivity, and specificity.
Galileo® G-3 Assessments are used in all the classrooms to assess children's developmental levels and ongoing progress. The assessments are aligned to the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (HSELOF), Illinois Early Learning Standards and Illinois Birth-to-Three Early Learning Guidelines.
As with everything, providing instruction continues to be affected by COVID-19. Some children went from Remote to In-Person services several times in the season. Keeping track of children's individual developmental progress and planning for it proved to be difficult. Additionally, children's social emotional development seems to have been affected, particularly for those 18 months and younger. Nonetheless, between parents and teaching staff working together, children successfully progressed in their development.
Second Language Learners
The grantee understands that it is essential that staff understand that development is influenced by children's culture and linguistic backgrounds and temperaments, among other factors; therefore, planning of learning activities, daily schedules, and the teaching practices must be premeditated by this-If not, appropriate training or coaching must be offered to staff. It is important to state that Infant and toddler classrooms will use the child's home language to enhance or promote development. English, however, not required, can be introduced at minimal levels. In preschool, English will be increased to promote higher levels of proficiency and developmental progress measured by the Galileo G3 English Acquisition Scale. Eighty-three percent of the children in 2021 list Spanish as the primarily language, 1% as other, and 16% list English.
Education Services for Children with Disabilities
Between July and November 2021, we served 6 children with IEPs and 4 children with IFSPs. Special education services were mostly provided virtually for these children with a few receiving them at the centers. Seven children are suspected of having a disability and follow up will immediately commence upon their re-enrollment. All children have speech and language or other developmental delays.
2021-2022 School Readiness Data
The IMSHS selected a broad-range School Readiness 5-year Goal to allow for the yearly objectives to address the domains of Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development, Language and Literacy, Cognition, and Perceptual, Motor and Physical development. IMSHS goal and objectives are aligned with HSELOF, Illinois State Early Learning Standards and Illinois Birth-to-Three Early Learning Guidelines. The Planning Committee (grantee staff, parents, delegate staff and board members) review children's outcomes data and decide on goals for the following grant year.
Infants and toddlers (8-24 months) had an overall developmental level average gain of 57 points and learned between 26-28% of the capabilities that have been mapped to school readiness (SR). Children between 2-3 years, had an overall developmental level average gain of 67 points and knew an average of 26% of the capabilities that have been mapped to SR. Preschoolers had an overall developmental level average gain of 45 points and knew an average of 18% of the SR capabilities.
Overall, children's progress was similar for infants and toddlers & 2-3-year-olds, with the exception of social emotional development for children under 18 months, which had an 8-9% lower gain. Most likely this was due to children's isolation during the stay-home sessions.
Preschool children had between 13-25% developmental gain. Math and Science scores continue to improve, as part of our 5-year goals and objectives-Goal 2- but literacy development was 10% lower. Specific attention will be given to increasing activities/experiences for children that allow them to identify letters of the alphabet, recognize and produce rhyming words, and help them to better understand how letter sounds are connected to corresponding letters.