Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Mission:
To help farm-worker families improve their lives.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) provides services through contractual agreements with seven agencies throughout Illinois, serving the entire state and two counties in Indiana. Contractual providers are:
- Del Valle Migrant Head Start, in Oswego
- Rainbow Learning, in Kankakee and Sheldon
- Leaps and Bounds, in Princeville
- Migrant Education, in Cobden
- Multi-cultural Community Center, in Rantoul
- Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, in East St. Louis
- Tri-county Opportunities, in Mendota.
The Head Start program 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 and public contributions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reimburses meal costs through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), administered by the State Board of Education.
|Source of Cash
||Percent of Cash Budget
|Federal Head Start
|State General Revenue
|United Way of Champaign County
Eighty four percent of the total budget is allocated to delegate program operations, under the "contractual" line item. Non-federal share is raised through agency and private donations of cash, goods, and services.
||Head Start Funds
Periods of center operations are based on parents' work seasons: from eight weeks in one location to seven months in another. In FY 2011, 505 children enrolled, from 353 families. Average enrollment for the whole seven-month period was 43%.
Independent audits of the two delegate agencies completed thus far have not resulted in any findings. However, an internal audit of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 grant, conducted by the DHS Office of Internal Audit, produced three findings:
(1) The DHS did not return federal grant funds which were drawn and not disbursed, and ARRA funds received and disbursed were incorrectly reported.
(2) Mileage reimbursements in excess of what the state allows were paid to delegate employees and consultants.
(3) The program was not in compliance with the $500 threshold for classifying purchases as equipment.
All of these findings have been corrected.
Medical and Dental Examinations
Ninety-seven percent of those children who were old enough received dental examinations. Medical examinations were completed for 469 children, 92.87% of all children. One hundred sixteen of the children were enrolled for fewer than 45 days so not required to complete all examinations.
Parent Involvement Activities
Head Start parents are involved in the governance of the program at the local level through the Parent Committee and the Policy Committee, which elects two representatives to the state-wide Policy Council. This group meets seven times each year to make decisions about program policy, in conjunction with the DHS Advisory Board. The right to approve or reject annual grant budgets, personnel policies, and enrollment priorities gives Council members self-determination in their own program.
Coordinators visit families monthly to offer support services, and to help parents set and realize their own individual goals. Programs provide activities and educational sessions based on Head Start requirements and 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
- Computer classes.
Goals for the children's "kindergarten readiness" have been aligned with the Illinois Early Learning Standards and the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. Each child's development is assessed throughout the season, and his progress measured periodically. Education Coordinators quantify the interaction between teachers and children by using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, an observational tool. Data from the 40 classrooms is aggregated and analyzed to evaluate the effectiveness of the educational program. The Creative Curriculum is implemented in classrooms state-wide.
Delegate staff work with local school districts to help parents and children with the transition to public kindergarten.