Child Care & Development

The Bureau of Child Care and Development works hand-in-hand with local communities throughout Illinois to provide low-income, working families with access to quality, affordable child care.  We are comprised of the following offices:

Office of Child Care

The Office of Child Care administers DHS' Child Care Program.  The Child Care Program provides low-income, working families with access to quality, affordable child care that allows them to continue working and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child.

How the Office of Child Care Helps

The Child Care Program requires families to cost-share child care expenses on a sliding scale based on family size, income and number of children in care. In addition to helping working families, the Child Care Program also serves:

  • Families who are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and participating in education & training in accordance with their responsibility and service plans (RSP);
  • Teen parents seeking a high school degree or its equivalent;
  • Families not receiving TANF, who are pursuing additional education to improve their job opportunities.

Office of Head Start State Collaboration

The Office of Head Start State Collaboration is a federal-state partnership organized to support and encourage collaboration with Head Start and various other state and local stakeholders that serve low-income families with young children.

How Head Start Helps

  • Child Care Collaboration Program - implemented in 2004 to encourage and facilitate collaboration between child care and other early care and education programs, including Early/Head Start and State Pre-K.

More Information and Resources for the Office of Head Start State Collaboration

Office of Migrant Head Start

The Bureau of Migrant Head Start provides child care and a comprehensive program of health, parent involvement, and social services for preschool children of low-income migrant and seasonal farm workers.

How Migrant Head Start Helps

  • Family and Community Partnerships - encourages parents to observe their children and to participate with them in group activities. Family Service Coordinators are bilingual and work schedules that accommodate families' needs. The program develops and maintains strong community partnerships to ensure service delivery.
  • Child Development Program - provides a secure, stimulating environment in which children are helped to develop physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. Classrooms must comply with state licensing standards and Head Start Performance Standards, offering full-time child care for children from 6 weeks to 6 years of age. The education program offers opportunities for active learning experiences for all ages.
  • Health Services - a collaboration between the Migrant Health Program, Public Health Departments, and other health service providers in the community to ensure children are up-to-date on a schedule of preventive and primary care - including medical, dental, immunization and nutrition screening, and exams. When children need further assessment, treatment, or therapy, follow-up care plans are developed in consultation with parents, and families are referred for services. Nutritionally balanced and culturally relevant meals are served to the children and provided, in part, through the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program.
  • Bilingual mental health consultants are available to work with staff, parents, and children to promote emotional well-being to offer training and to identify local resources when referrals are needed.
  • Special Services are offered to children with disabilities. They receive comprehensive and individualized services, designed and implemented in partnership with the family and the providers of Part C and B services in each child's community. These services are developed to build on each child's capabilities and strengths.