The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) provided services through contractual delegate agreements with six agencies in Illinois, serving the entire state and two counties of Indiana. The delegate agencies are:
- Del Valle Migrant Head Start, in Oswego
- Rainbow Learning, in Kankakee and Sheldon
- Princeville CUSD #326, in Princeville
- Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, in East St. Louis
- Migrant Education, in Cobden and Olney (partnership with Kid Zone Child Care Center)
- Multi-cultural Community Center, in Rantoul.
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 Bureau of Child Care and Development. 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.
||Percent of Total Budget
Eighty-three percent of the total budget is allocated to delegate program operations, under the line item 6.f. contractual. Non-federal share is raised through agency and private donations of cash, goods, and services.
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 2016, the program served 424 children from 294 families. The average monthly enrollment was 52.93%.
Independent audits of each of the delegates found no material weaknesses.
Medical and Dental Examinations
368 of the children received physical examinations, and 170 of the children aged 3 to 5 received dental examinations. Those who did not receive these services were enrolled for fewer than 30 days.
Parent Involvement Activities
Each delegate agency elected a Parent Policy Committee, which made decisions at the local level, and sent 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 IDHS Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Advisory Board. Parents take part in planning goals and objectives for program improvement, and approve the federal funding application.
Programs offered activities and education based on families' interests, and requirements of the Office of Head Start:
- G.E.D. instruction
- English as a second language classes
- Substance-abuse prevention
- Money management information
- Family field trips
- Intergenerational literacy sessions
- Be Strong Families Illinois Parent Cafes
- Prevention of child abuse and domestic violence training.
Parents also participated in inter-generational reading activities, using books from MSHS lending libraries and visiting public libraries. In addition, each child received books to keep, donated by Macy's department stores through the federal Reading Is Fundamental program, and by First Books.
Teachers visit parents at home to discuss learning goals for their children. During the season, teachers keep parents informed of their children's progress.
Delegates use the Creative Curriculum and the Project Approach to prepare children for kindergarten. The program's child-guidance policy emphasizes teaching children how to solve disagreements reasonably while respecting the rights of other people. Mental-health professionals observe classrooms monthly, consulting with teachers to improve methods of developing the children's social abilities.
The Creative Curriculum, Galileo Assessments and goals of the program's School-Readiness Plan are all aligned with the Illinois Early Learning Standards and the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework.
Each child's development is assessed 2 or 3 times during the season using the Galileo G3 Assessment and their progress is measured in the five essential domains identified in the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. Results are used to individualize instruction by planning activities that support children's interests and acquisition of new skills.
Education Coordinators quantify the interaction between teachers and children by using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, an observation tool. Data from the 40 classrooms are analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of the educational program. In the three domains measured, program scores exceeded the Head Start thresholds. Delegate Education Coordinators observe classrooms monthly to evaluate curriculum implementation. They provide on-going coaching for teachers to help them to improve their performance.
Programs facilitate the children's transition to public school by providing educational workshops for parents, arranging meetings with the district personnel, and assisting parents to register.