Early Head Start program expands in Tazewell and Woodford counties

(Photo courtesy of Children’s Home & Aid Central Region)

Children’s Home and Aid announced that a federal grant has opened an additional 106 Early Head Start slots — 96 for children age 0 to 3 with another 10 slots allocated for new and expectant mothers —  in the Tazewell and Woodford counties region. 

The agency is accepting applications now at https://www.childrenshomeandaid.org/TW-EC.

Currently, the home-based program offers both virtual-only or a combination of virtual and safe, physically distanced home visits and check-ins. Along with quality education for young children, the program will also offer 10 prenatal / doula support slots for new and expecting moms and families. All programs and services are free of charge. 

Early Head Start programs encourage parent involvement through regular visits to the home, special activities and volunteer opportunities for parents.

“Our goal at Children’s Home & Aid is to enhance a parent’s participation in their child’s learning and help them make the leap from involvement to true engagement,” Dawnielle Jeffrey, vice president of early childhood care at Children’s Home & Aid. “These are especially traumatic times and families need education options for their children, but also mental, social and emotional support during this pandemic.”

Family Support Services Director Tiffanny Powell said that it may be surprising for some to learn that all these services are here for free, but we really encourage families to reach out to us so we can help. “Call us, text us, we will work with families and let them know how we can support them. We will help you with everything from collecting paperwork to creating a plan for you and your family’s specific needs.”

A snapshot of the program’s FREE services include:

  • Quality, home-based education with virtual and in-person options
  • Food expense support / grocery gift cards
  • Weekly delivered meals
  • Pre-natal and doula services
  • Parent / Father engagement tools and activities
  • Health and wellness services including (personal protection equipment) PPE for families 
  • Services for children of all abilities

Children’s Home & Aid currently serves more than 1,000 children and families through its Head Start programming in Illinois. Improving K-12 academic performance begins in the first 5 years of life. Children who have access to high-quality early childhood education are academically and socially more successful in school.

To enroll: Call 309-569-7821 or email earlyheadstarttazewellwoodford@childrenshomeandaid.org for more information.