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
October DFSS Hearing and Vision Clinic Visits
DFSS H/V Team will be conducting screenings for any newly enrolled children without any screenings due to absences and/or late enrollment ONLY for sites that was already visited by our H/V staff.
Dates: Thursday, October 9, 2014 and Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Times: 9:30am to 12pm & 1pm to 3pm
Screenings will be conducted at:
DFSS Central Office, 1st Floor Conference Room 155
1615 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL
Please contact your assigned H/V Technician or Angela Maiden, H/V Supervisor at 312-743-1905 if your site would like to attend these scheduled clinics or have any questions or concerns regarding the clinic schedule.
Head Start Resource Fair and Training
When: Tuesday, October 14, 2014: 9AM until 3PM
Where: King Center (4314 S Cottage Grove Ave)
Who: Any and all Head Start and Early Head Start staff
What: Receive training and resources for your staff and site.
Resources may include literature, breastfeeding and feeding supplies.
All staff are welcome to come any time between 9AM and 3PM that is the most convenient for them.
Sites may send as many staff members as desired throughout the day.
Each participant should expect to spend 2 hours at the fair receiving training on the following topics:
- Food demonstration
- Early Head Start
- Nutrition Education
- I’m Moving I’m Learning
- Food Pantry
2014 Center for Family & Community Leadership (CFCL) Workshops
Program Governance workshops
Attend one of these interactive sessions on how parents are involved in making policy and program decisions in Head Start. These workshops will provide an overview of program governance, strengthening parent and policy committee activities, and more.
Resource & Volunteer Promotion Program
These workshops are geared towards parents, staff, or other individuals that would like to start volunteering, as well as explore the benefits and impact of volunteers in the community. Parents are highly encouraged to attend.
Head Start Parent Leadership Training
Do you want to make a diﬀerence at your child's Head Start Center and in the community for your children or grandchildren? Are you interested in setting personal and family goals and learning how to reach them?
Attend COFI’s Self, Family & Team trainings to learn how to start making positive changes in your life and in your community.
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Date: Thursdays, June 19, June 26, and Wednesday July 2
Location: Metropolitan Family Services -Learning and Wellness Center - 5338 S. Loomis
If you are in need of trainings in Spanish, please let us know when you register.
Childcare and refreshments will be provided. Space is limited.
Call Veronica at 312-226-5141 to reserve your space today!
Child Development Center Manager - Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago
Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago Gilchrist Marchman has an opening for a center director at their new location at Fosco Park, 1312 South Racine, Chicago. Gilchrist Marchman is a full day, full year inclusive early childhood and education program serving children from six weeks to five years. The program is NAEYC accredited and has a Three Star Quality Rating. The center has a braided model of services and funding; providing Head Start/Early Head Start, Preschool For All, and Prevention Initiative Programs, as well as private and subsidized child care funding.
AmeriCorps Project MORE Information Sessions
Join an information session to learn about AmeriCorps Project MORE, which provides an opportunity to serve Head Start parents and their families as an AmeriCorps stipended volunteer.
Volunteers need to be able to commit to 1700 plus hours of service from August 2014 to July 2015 and complete a six step process. Step 1 is the information session.
Dates of information sessions:Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
ADORE (A Day of Recognition Event) is an annual conference that recognizes the love, sacrifice, and commitment of parents, guardians, and families of children with disabilities in Chicago. Join us to be recognized and honored for the loving difference you make in your child’s life. Participants will have the opportunity to attend workshops and have access to a variety of resources from organizations that will be providing information that benefits families & caregivers of children with special needs.
Date: June 7, 2014
Time: 9am to 2pm
Location: Hope Institute Learning Academy | 1628 W. Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL
View flyer: English | Spanish
For more information email: ADORE@uic.edu
To register by phone call: 312-747-8311
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
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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