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
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.
Access the Chicago Early Childhood Program Locator
Free Cooking Class for Head Start and Early Head Start Staff and Parents
Please join us for training for Head Start staff and parents on nutrition and cooking techniques. Recipes will be prepared and served. Nutrition education training hours will be granted.
All participants must register to attend. Participant space is limited so please sign up as soon as possible. To register contact: Ella Trepashko RD, LDN at 708-524-6606 or via email at email@example.com
Dates: 2/11/14, 2/18/14, 2/25/14, 3/4/14, 3/11/14
Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: North/Kostner Health Center | 1520 N. Kostner Ave
FY 2014 Office of Head Start Monitoring Protocol
Federal Government Shutdown Information
FAQ on the effects of the Federal Government Shutdown on the City of Chicago’s Head Start program:
Question: Will we have to stop providing Head Start/Early Head Start services?
Answer: Not at this time. Our grant cycle ends on November 30, 2013. Therefore, the City’s Head Start grant is funded by the Federal Government through that date.
Question: Does this apply to all Head Start grants?
Answer: No. This really depends on when the grant year starts. For example, there are 23 programs nationwide that have their grants start on October 1. They’ve had to either front the costs or wait until the government gets back up and running. The City of Chicago’s Head Start grant year begins December 1, 2013.
Question: Are you in contact with Office of Head Start?
Answer: No. They are currently on furlough and are barred from doing any work related activities.
Question: How are you still able to access Head Start funds from the Government?
Answer: We are still able to “draw down” funds from an automated (it’s called PMS) system.
Question: I’m a Grantee for Head Start/Early Head Start programming and I’m having trouble drawing down from the PMS system. What can I do?
Answer: Please contact the National Head Start Association at 866-677-8724 and let them know your issue.
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
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