The Department of Human Services (DHS) provided services through contractual delegate agreements with six agencies throughout 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
- Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, in East St. Louis
- Migrant Education, in Cobden
- Multi-cultural Community Center, in Rantoul and Olney (partnership with Kid Zone Child Care Center).
The Head Start program is funded by the U.S. Department of Human Services Administration for Children and Families office of Head Start, and by Illinois General Revenue through the Bureau of Child Care. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reimburses meal costs through the Child and Adult Care Food Program, administered by the State Board of Education.
||Percent of Total Budget
|IL General Revenue
Eighty-four 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, good, 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 FY14, the program served 437 children from 271 families, with average monthly enrollment of 40.2 %.
The Administration for Children and Families conducted an on-site triennial review of the Head Start program in July of 2104. There were no findings of non-compliance. The audit of IDHS had no findings related to the Head Start program. Independent audits of each of the delegates had no material findings.
Medical and Dental Examinations
Four hundred twelve of the children received physical examinations, and 222 received dental examinations. Those who did not receive this service were enrolled for fewer than 30 days, or, in the case of the dental exam, were too young.
Parent Involvement Activities
Each delegate agency elects a Parent Policy Committee, which makes decisions at the local level, and sends 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 DHS 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
- Mental-health consultation
- Money management information
- Family field trips
- Intergenerational literacy sessions
- Be Strong Families Illinois Parent Cafes
- Abriendo Puertas
- Prevention of child abuse and domestic violence training.
Delegates use the Creative Curriculum and the Anti-Bias Curriculum to prepare children for participation in Kindergarten. In addition, the program's child-guidance policy emphasizes teaching children how to solve disagreements reasonably while respecting the rights of other people. The Anti-Bias Curriculum provides lessons for children in advocating for social justice. Mental-health professionals observe classrooms monthly, consulting with teachers to improve methods for enhancing the children's social development.
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 two or three times a season using the Galileo G3 Assessment, and his 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 expanding and planning activities that support children's interests, strengths and acquisition of new skills; and to enhance staff development and parent training.
Education Coordinators quantify the interaction between teachers and children by use of 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. In the three domains measured, program scores exceeded the Head Start thresholds. In addition, Education Coordinators observe classrooms monthly to evaluate curriculum implementation, and they work with teachers to improve weak areas.
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.