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Megan Test

Our Mission

We at PCCEO Head Start and Early Head Start identify ourselves as partners in the delivery of high quality, comprehensive services to 585 economically-challenged families and children in Peoria County.

Our Value Statement

PCCEO HS and EHS are dedicated to providing quality services to children and families.  We value honesty, respect, justice, equity, personal development and professional growth.  It is our desire to promote these values for our organization and our community through effective leadership and teamwork.

PCCEO Head Start/Early Head Start Annual Report

PCCEO Head Start Organizational Chart

PCCEO Head Start 2019 – 2020 Parent Calendar

PCCEO Head Start 2019 – 2020 Parent Calendar (Spanish)

Education & Early Childhood Development

Head Start offers Six (6) quality early childhood learning centers with 50 years of experience in early child development.  The standards for the Head Start curriculum are based on a developmentally appropriate model and include learning goals in language and literacy, physical development, cognitive development, and social and emotional development.  We are aware that each child develops at their own rate and our curriculum is based on individual interests, temperaments, languages, cultural backgrounds, and learning styles.

The daily schedule provides a balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated activities within a classroom schedule that fosters continuity. There is an early childhood teacher and an early childhood assistant in each classroom.  The classroom is divided into learning centers and includes blocks, dramatic play, science and discovery, creative art, math, manipulative, computer, language and literacy.

Each child is screened within two weeks of enrollment and their progress is assessed three times a year in all areas of development using classroom anecdotal observations and portfolios. This information provides the teacher and the parent with information to meet each child’s educational and developmental needs.


PCCEO Head Start places emphasis on the importance of laying the foundation at an early age for children’s growth, development, and school readiness. The curriculum that is used to support teaching and learning is The Creative Curriculum. Creative Curriculum along with Learning Accomplishment Profile 3 (LAP-3) is used as a blueprint for planning and implementing developmentally appropriate activities in (5) learning domains: Language and Literacy, Cognition and General Knowledge, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Health and Development and Approaches to Learning. Teachers develop strategies and experiences in each domain that is specific for each child’s individual learning style, temperament and skill level. This goal is achievable only with the support of parents, our educational partners and community stakeholders.

Family Development Department

Using the Parent Family and Community Engagement Framework as a guiding principle, Head Start staff works to build relationships with parents that support:

  • Family Well-Being
  • Positive Parent-child Relationships
  • Families as Lifelong Educators
  • Families as Learners
  • Family Engagement in Transitions
  • Family Connections to Peers and Community
  • Families as Advocates and Leaders

Family Development staff work with a diverse group of community partners to provide comprehensive services and a wealth of opportunities for our families.

Parent surveys are used to determine what events and activities are planned each school year. These activities and programs offer social interactions and educational advancements for Head Start families. Some activities have become annual events because of the vast support of families. Winter Wonderland, Festival of Lights, Donuts with Dads, Pizza with Pops and the annual Parent Recognition Banquet are examples of annual events.

For more information about eligibility requirements, families should contact the Head Start Office located at 923 W. Millman or phone 309-671-3960.

Child Health & Developmental Services

The focus of Child Health & Developmental Services is to meet the physical, dental, nutritional, and emotional needs of Head Start children and families.  Each child is required to have a medical screening that includes health history, hematocrit, or hemoglobin, immunization review, lead, tuberculosis, and vision and hearing screenings.  Annual dental exams, cleanings, and fluorides are also provided.

Menus conform to the USDA/CACFP meal pattern for children ages 3-5 years. Each child receives a nutrition screening and if required, a nutrition assessment from the program’s dietitian.

Case management is an integral part of health services, throughout the program year. An on-site health center, seminars, and referrals are provided for children and families. Upon completion of the Head Start program, parents receive a health summary report of services provided to their child while enrolled in the program.

Disability Services

Head Start provides services to all children with disabilities. These services are provided in conjunction with Peoria School District 150 and can be provided on-site or in a District 150 classroom.  These services include resource, speech therapy, dual placements, occupational therapy or physical therapy.

Head Start screens all children for possible delays.  District 150 follows up on referrals made from Head Start to evaluate and determine if there is a need for special services.

Head Start staff participate in all staffing and meetings concerning the child’s needs. Staff from both programs work effectively together to provide a positive, successful learning environment.  Children with disabilities are included in all aspects of the program, with adaptations provided (if needed) to encourage their active participation.


PCCEO’s Head Start recruitment process is planned to specifically inform all families within the designated recruitment area with eligible infants, toddlers and preschool children of the availability of Head Start and Early Head Start services. It is our intent to join in partnership with the community and accept mutual responsibility for:

  • Children learning
  • Promoting school readiness
  • Enhancing the social and cognitive development of economically challenged children

Eligibility Requirements

Children must be age 0 to 5 years old.  Ninety-five percent of enrollment must be from low-income families (see income guidelines below). Five (5) percent of the enrollment may consist of families who exceed the low-income guidelines but who meet other program criteria.  Children of homeless families and foster children are categorically eligible for Head Start Services.

Family income must be verified before determining eligibility which may include current Income Tax Form 1040, W-2 forms, pay stubs with current date & name, written statements from employers, or documentation showing current status as recipients of public assistance (TANF) or a 906 form for a Foster Child.

In order for a family to be considered for a full-year/full-day slot, the following criteria shall apply:

  • Currently employed 30 hours per week with verification;
  • Enrollment in GED (General Education Diploma) program or other educational pursuits with verification;
  • Involvement in a training program for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

2021 Income Guidelines:

Family Size 100% - of Poverty
1 $12,880
2 $17,420
3 $21,960
4 $26,500
5 $31,040
6 $35,580
7 $40,120
8 $44,660
For Additional Family Members Add $4,540

Required documents: Applicants must submit:

  • A certified birth certificate
  • A current physical dated no earlier than 6 months from the date the application is received and date stamped. A record of immunizations, documentation of TB, Hemoglobin and lead tests and the results
  • Proof of Income using one of the following documents
    • Individual Income Tax Form 1040
    • W-2 Forms
    • Pay Stubs for 12 months
    • Pay Envelopes
    • Written statements from employers
    • Documentation showing current status as recipient of  or eligibility for receiving public assistance
    • Families signed declaration of zero income for the relevant time period, if staff can document efforts made to verify family’s income and explains how the family’s income was calculated or obtains information from a third party, if the family gives consent.
    • Proof of residency
    • A current piece of mail such as a utility bill, or lease
    • State issued ID card

Categorically Eligible Documentation

Homeless - (as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act) Family Development Specialist

  • A with a written statement from a homeless services provider, school personnel, or other service agency attesting that the child is homeless or any other documentation that establishes homelessness
  • If a family cannot provide official documentation to prove the child is homeless, a family may submit a written statement or signed declaration to that effect.

Foster Care

  • A family can provide a court order or other legal or government-issued document or,
  • A written statement from a government child welfare official demonstrating the child is in foster care or proof of a foster care payment.

Sites and Locations

Webster Center
Full Day Sessions, M-Th
8:15am – 3:00pm
8:00am – 12:00pm, Friday
923 W. Millman
(309) 671-3960

Banks, Davis, Gulley, & Peeples (BDGP) Early Childhood Center
Full Day Sessions, M-Th
8:15am – 3:00pm
8:00am – 12:00pm, Friday
4314 N. Sheridan
(309) 671-3960

Manual Academy
Full Day Sessions, M-Th
8:15am – 3:00pm
8:00am – 12:00pm, Friday
811 S. Griswold 
(309) 671-3960

Woodruff Career & Technical Center
Full Day Sessions, M-Th
8:00am – 2:45pm
8:00am – 12:00pm, Friday
1008 NE Perry 
(309) 671-3960

Trewyn Pavilion ESL
Full Day Sessions, M-Th
8:15am – 3:00pm
8:00am – 12:00pm, Friday
2219 S. Idaho   
(309) 671-3960

Harrison School
Full Day Sessions, M-Th
8:15am – 3:00pm
8:00am – 12:00pm, Friday
2727 W. Krause
(309) 671-3960

Program Services

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.

Program Design

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.

Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, Attendance (ERSEA)

E= Eligibility includes pregnant women and teens, and children from birth to age three that reside in low-income households, foster children under 3, and homeless families with children under 3 in accordance with federal income guidelines and the McKinney-Veto Act

R= Recruitment of eligible families residing in Peoria County is an ongoing process that focuses on enrolling individuals with the greatest need within the community in the Early Head Start Program.

S= Selection of applicants is made by a formal process that accesses family needs and assigns a weighted number system to areas determined to put families at risk. At least ten (10) percent of the total number of enrollment opportunities are made available for children with diagnosed disabilities.

E= Enrollment into the Early Head Start program is official upon the completion of the application process and acceptance into the program as vacancies occur.

A= Attendance- regular attendance of children enrolled in Early Head Start centers promotes cognitive development, socialization skills, and school readiness. Families enrolled in the home-based option are encouraged to participate in scheduled home visits. All families are encouraged to attend monthly socializations which provide the opportunity for peer socialization and training on topics conducive to healthy relationships and enhancing parenting skills

Ninety percent of enrollment must be from low-income families (see income guidelines below). Ten (10) percent of the enrollment may consist of families who exceed the low-income guidelines but who meet other program criteria.

Family income must be verified before determining eligibility which may include current Income Tax Form 1040, W-2 forms, pay stubs with current date & name, written statements from employers, or documentation showing current status as recipients of public assistance (TANF), 906 placement form for a Foster Child, and SSI income documentation.

Infant/Toddler Child Development

The overreaching goals of Early Head Start focus on the healthy cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers. Research has demonstrated that to thrive, children from birth to age 3 need a variety of positive learning experiences provided in a secure and loving environment. In recognition that parents are the primary educators of their children, EHS programs are designed to work with families to ensure that the developmental needs of each child are met. Early Head Start Staff are certified to implement Parents as Teachers “Born to Learn” approach to development and are certified Family and Community Development Specialists.

To ensure that all enrolled children are making age-appropriate gains in development, children are closely monitored using screenings and assessments.  School Readiness goals have been developed to help parents and staff prepare children for the next steps in their education.  Child outcome reports, based on data from assessments, are shared with parents, staff, and advisory groups.  Results of our analysis of data are an integral part of program planning, decision making, and program improvements.

As part of quality improvement, Early Head Start is participating in ExceleRate Illinois.  ExceleRate Illinois is a quality rating and improvement system administered by Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (INCCRRA), Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) using funding from the Early Learning Challenge Race to the Top grant. ExceleRate offers three levels of quality for licensed child care centers.  The levels are:  licensed, bronze, silver, and gold.  In order to qualify for the silver or gold Circles of quality through ExceleRate, staff must earn Director, Early Childhood Education and Infant/Toddler credentials through INCCRRA.  Currently, staff have earned ten (10) credentials.

Health Services

If children aren’t healthy, they can’t learn. Early Head Start helps families access ongoing, continuous health care for their child and promote healthy, safe behaviors in centers and at home. We seek to provide comprehensive health services to children and families through prevention and early identification of health and developmental concerns. Through links to community health services, each family is encouraged and supported to establish a “medical and dental home.” Their children will receive routine health care and establish preventative dental services and treatment. Our goal is to facilitate an ongoing relationship with health care providers and help ensure our parents that their infants’ and toddlers’ teeth and gums are healthy. Effective oral health practices vary depending on the developmental skills of each child. Tooth decay is the most common preventable childhood disease. EHS, along with the Peoria City/County Health Department, works with parents to establish dental homes and obtain their child’s first dental exam by the age of 12 months.  We create and assist parents with opportunities to be well-informed of early dental needs

EHS stays current on local and national health concerns that affect the children and families of the program and health care conditions that potentially face these children and families. We are committed to addressing the Peoria City/County Health Department’s Health Indicator Report findings in Maternal and Child Health.  These findings include infant mortality, sexually transmitted infections and teen birth rate.  Peoria has some of the highest rates in the country surrounding these health concerns.

Early Head Start strives to educate our parents on good nutrition for their children and family. We provide many opportunities for nutrition education and make the necessary referrals as needed.  By providing nutrition education to our families, we hope to communicate the importance of eating right and maintaining appropriate body weight as it relates to their child’s health and development.


In recognition of the value and worth of all children, Early Head Start requires the inclusion of children with disabilities. The Head Start Performance Standards require that at least 10 percent of the total number of enrollment opportunities be made available to children with disabilities. Children with disabilities are defined as those children who are eligible for services under State regulations governing Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is a Federal law that is implemented at the State and local levels to provide screening, assessment, and, for eligible children, early intervention services based on Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP).

Family Partnerships

Parents are true partners in EHS programs. The program has a formal structure of shared governance through which parents can participate in policy-making and other decisions about the program. EHS will implement the Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework to promote parent and family engagement and children’s learning and development. Participation in policy groups, parent committees, and governing bodies empowers parents and community members to share in the decision-making process. EHS offers parents opportunities for their own growth and support in identifying and meeting goals. Families and staff collaboratively design and routinely update individualized family partnership agreements to ensure that service delivery strategies are responsive to the individual goals of families. Referrals are made, as appropriate, to other community resources and services that support each family’s needs and goals.

  • EHS offers training opportunities for parents such as:
  • Financial Literacy
  • Positive Parenting/Child Abuse Prevention
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Mental health and counseling
  • Health Nutritional education
  • Basic life skills and Home Safety Techniques

Early Head Start also offers parents the opportunity to attend Group Socializations which are held twice per month. Families receive a nutritious meal and engage in social interaction with other parents and children while strengthening the parent/child relationship within their own family.

Community Partnerships

Early Head Start serves families residing in Peoria County and recognizes that many other agencies and groups may work with the same individuals. Therefore in an effort to minimize duplication of efforts EHS programs collaborate with partners in the community to:

  • Provide the highest level of services to children and families;
  • Maximize available resources;
  • Foster the development of a continuum of family-centered services; and
  • Advocate for a community that shares responsibility for the healthy development of children and families of all cultures.

Professional Development

Only by continually arming ourselves with current research, techniques, and knowledge in our various service areas, can we be effective early childhood providers. For this reason, professional development is an integral part of the program’s commitment to continuous quality improvement. All Early Head Start teachers have either a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA), Associates degree (AA) or a Bachelor’s degree (BA) and are continuing their education by attending workshops, seminars and college courses. Currently, EHS teaching staff meet or exceed state licensing and federal performance standards for Early Childhood staff.

Regularly scheduled professional development opportunities are planned as part of ongoing staff training. Supervision and mentoring are central to EHS staff development efforts. EHS collaborates with Peoria Education Partners (PEP), Child and Family Connections (CFC), Starnet and other agencies in providing professional development opportunities.

Meaningful professional development opportunities are planned as part of ongoing staff training.