Early Head Start provides intensive, comprehensive services that begin before the child is born. Our program concentrates on enhancing child development and supports the family during the critical first three years of the child’s life. Staff responds to the unique strengths and needs of each individual child, based on each family’s readiness and willingness to participate in the process. Our program services include, but are not limited to:
- Monitoring the comprehensive health and wellness of children;
- Family literacy experiences;
- Encouraging fathers to become fully involved in the lives of their children;
- Quality early education both in and out of the home;
- Parenting education (including prenatal and postnatal care information for infants and mothers);
- Information on the benefits of breastfeeding to all pregnant and nursing mothers;
- Nutrition education;
- Service coordination and case management;
- Acoustic Emissions (Hearing screenings)
- Give Kids a Smile Day – Dental Fair
- Individualized family service plans; and
- Collaboration of services with various community partners.
PCCEO’s Prevention Initiative program, funded by the Illinois State Board of Education since 2007, is an added program for at-risk infants, toddlers, expecting parents and their families who are at-risk of academic failure. Funded for 34 additional families with infants and toddlers from birth to three. Our program implements research-based, comprehensive and intensive family support services to help families build a strong foundation for learning and to prepare children for school success. In 2006, the Pre-Kindergarten At-Risk Program statue was amended to establish “Preschool for All Children” as the goal of the state prekindergarten program.
During the 2016 school year, the PCCEO Prevention Initiative program was awarded the Building Capacity Grant. This grant allowed us to increase the capacity of our existing EHS children and expectant mothers in both our home-based and center-based options. The Building Capacity grant also allowed us to hire additional support staff. Capacity building is whatever is needed to bring a nonprofit to the next level of operational, programmatic, financial, or organizational maturity. Capacity building is not a one-time effort to improve short-term effectiveness, but a continuous improvement strategy toward the creation of a sustainable effective organization.
Early Head Start has a funded enrollment of one-hundred eleven (111) children and pregnant women. Comprehensive child development and prenatal services are offered through center-based and home-based program options.
As with Head Start, Early Head Start offers children and families comprehensive child development services through center-based and home-based program options. Children and families enrolled in center-based programs receive comprehensive child development services in a center-based setting. In home-based settings children and their families are supported through weekly home visits by a Family Development Specialist (FDS). Group socializations are provided twice per month to strengthen and support relationships by giving parents the opportunity to obtain feedback from staff and other parents about their child’s interests, strengths or needs while learning from others about the challenges and joys of parenting.