Dedicated to strengthening
the lives of Chicago children, families and communities
The Department of Family and Support Services, Children Services Division is dedicated to helping Chicago's youngest residents make the most of their lives and potential. We manage Head Start, Early Head Start, child care and youth programs throughout Chicago. We work on behalf of families to ensure they receive quality programming.
Latest Provider News
Black Child Development Institute
The Chicago Chapter of The Black Child Development Institute invites agencies to nominate programs and projects that provide clear evidence demonstrating that Black children and families can and do succeed on a range of measures, across many communities.
You can find more information, criteria and the nomination form online at www.nbcdi.org/pointsofproof. We kindly request that you submit the ten-question nomination form by March 13, 2015.
Head Start: 50 Years of Opportunity
Upcoming EventsMarch 30 - April 2, 2015
National Head Start Association 50 Years of Opportunity Conference
Dear Parents and Staff of Head Start and Early Head Start Children,
As the Medical Consultant for Head Start I am encouraging all of you to check the immunization records for the children and yourselves to determine if you or your children are at risk for contracting Measles during this epidemic. Your health care provider can give your further direction. Please read the information below.
WHAT IS MEASLES? Measles is a preventable communicable disease caused by the measles virus. It is a respiratory disease that can have serious life-threatening complications. In the year 2000, measles was eliminated and declared no longer endemic (common disease) in the United States. Therefore, the recent confirmed cases of measles in the United States are considered part of an epidemic (more than usually expected). In the past week, there have been 5 confirmed cases of Measles in Palatine, IL in infants that attend the same day care center. These infants are too young to routinely receive the Measles vaccination.
ROUTINE IMMUNIZATIONS: The Measles vaccination (immunization) is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Council on Immunization Practices. The initial dose is between 12 and 15 months. The second or booster is recommended between 4 and six years of age. Children receiving the measles immunization following this schedule are 95% likely to have immunity against Measles. See http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/
IMMUNIZIING THE COMMUNITY: Infants under the age of 12 months have no significant immunity against measles. This is why it is so important that all other children and adults receive these immunizations. The reason this is effective is “Herd Immunity”. This means that all others around the unvaccinated person are immune and should not catch disease. Hence the community or “herd” shelters the weakest one(s) from the disease by not exposing them. All eligible children should be vaccinated against Measles as well as adults with no history of vaccination or physician diagnosed history of Measles.
RISK COMPLICATIONS OF MEASLES: The risk of complications of Measles is highest in young infants and those over 20 years of age. The complications may be something manageable like an ear infection, suffered by one in 20 children with Measles. A more serious and life threatening complication is pneumonia. Pneumonia is the Measles complication that most often leads to death. Encephalitis (swelling of the brain) is suffered by 1 in a thousand persons with Measles and may lead to brain damage and/or death.
Written by Joyce M. Smith, M.D., MPH
DFSS Head Start Medical Consultant
View DFSS Cover Letter: English | Spanish
View Measles Memo: English | Spanish
View Measles Fact Sheet: English | Spanish
2014 HS/LEA MOU
This Memorandum of Agreement between The Chicago Department of Family & Support Services, Children’s Services Division and The Chicago Public Schools, Office of Early Childhood Education ensures that all children and their families have access to quality care and education and that the Parties are planning and coordinating information exchange, access to care, school readiness and success during their preschool experience.
Head Start/Early Head Start Home Based/Home Visiting Program Guidance
The Department of Family and Support requires all HS/EHS programs operating the Head Start Home Based program option to adhere to the following guidelines based on the Head Start Performance Standards 45 CFR 1306.33 and CFR 45 1304 and Sec. 645A (i)(2)(A-G). The Head Start/Early Head Start home-based program option includes families and children from prenatal to five-years-old.
The HB program is comprehensive and addresses all service areas of the Head Start Performance Standards. The services are delivered by home visitors through parents as the first teachers of their children during the home visits and group socializations. In addition, home visitors in the Home Based programs are required to conduct one 90 minute home visit per week and two 90 minute group socializations per month each for at least 90 minutes. The caseload per home visitor is no more than 10-12 families.
Welcome to the United States Guidebook
This COR Center publication, frequently referred to as the Welcome guide, was developed at the request of the Department of State, Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). The Welcome guide is designed to support overseas Cultural Orientation, as well as for use in initial domestic orientation or by refugees directly.
See more at: http://www.culturalorientation.net/providing-orientation/toolkit/welcome/welcome-to-the-united-states-guidebook#sthash.Qu56DzLy.dpuf
Chicago Early Childhood Program Locator
Finding quality Early Childhood Education programs for your child has never been this easy! Whether you are looking for a program near your home or near your job, the Chicago Early Childhood Program Locator can help you find what you're looking for. There are many Early Childhood Education programs for children ages 3 to 5 with varying services, hours and fees-- whether it's a half day at your neighborhood public school or a full day at your community center.
Click here to locate a Chicago Early Childhood Program
FY 2014 Office of Head Start Monitoring Protocol
Letter from Mayor Emanuel
A letter from Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the city's investments in early learning:
View full letter
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,
As Mayor of the City of Chicago, I believe the most important thing we can do for our city is set our children on a path for success. I am committed to providing every student in Chicago with a world class education - from cradle to career, from pre-kindergarten to college, regardless of where they live. There is no better foundation we can provide for our children's success and our city's future than the critical investments we are making in early childhood education.
Professional Development Scholarship Information
In order to assist Delegate Agency Staff in meeting their educational goals, the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) is offering virtually full coverage of tuition and possibly books and fees (some institutions may require a minor charge). In order to take advantage of these opportunities, please review the general requirements listed below before you apply.
1. Applicants must be a current employee in a DFSS Funded Head Start, Early Head Start, Family Child Care Home, Child Care, or Child Care Collaboration program.
2. Applicants must be in good standing at their current place of employment.
3. Upon completion of their chosen educational program, applicants must commit to maintaining employment for 3 years in a DFSS funded HS, EHS, or FCCH program.
4. Applicants must submit a completed DFSS Scholarship Application form along with a letter of recommendation from the Agency, Program or Site Director. Letters of recommendation for Partner Sites must be certified and completed by DA. These materials should be mailed to:
City of Chicago - Department of Family and Support Services
1615 W Chicago Ave - 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60622
5. DFSS will maximize additional resources in conjunction with the scholarship including Gateway to Learning, Pell Grants, etc.
6. Acceptance of application is contingent upon verification of educational data in COPA.
Scholarship Application | School-Age Scholarship Application | Professional Development Opportunities Booklet
View All Provider News Here