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Early Head Start


The TCOC Early Head Start Program is a comprehensive, family development program for families experiencing low-income and/or have a child with a diagnosed disability. The main goals of the program are to foster social competence and enhance self-concept and self-esteem. Implementation is accomplished through a balance of center and home activities shared by Teachers, Parent/Child Educators, and Parents, recognizing a child’s family as the main influence of their development.

Program Options


Each child/family enrolled in the Early Head Start home-based option will have a Parent-Child Educator come to their home for 90 minutes each week. During these weekly visits, the Parent-Child Educator will work in partnership with the child’s parent(s) to provide early learning experiences. The Parent-Child Educator provides services and resources for parents and children around the topics of child health and developmental services, early childhood education and development, health and safety, child nutrition and child mental health.

Children and families also attend Family Fun Days that are scheduled twice a month; offering adult snacks and parent networking.

Home-based service areas:

  • Whiteside County
  • Ogle County
  • Rochelle
  • LaSalle/Peru
  • Lee County
  • Mendota/Earlville
  • Bureau/Putnam/Marshall
  • Ottawa/Marseilles/Streator
  • Center-Based

    Center-Based option provides quality care to children in a safe and developmentally appropriate education setting. It offers enrichment experiences in an atmosphere of acceptance through reciprocal and responsive interactions between teachers and babies/toddlers.

    This is an excellent option for families working and/or in school full-time.

    Center-based service areas:

  • Sterling
  • Ottawa
  • Streator
  • Contact a Recruiter

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    2024-2025 Eligibility Guidelines

    Head Start eligibility requirements are determined by legislation.

    The TCOC Head Start Program serves preschool-aged children. To be eligible for the 2019-2020 program year a child’s birthday must fall between 09/01/14-08/31/16.
    For a child to be eligible for program enrollment, the “family” income must meet the 100% of poverty criteria that is determined by the Federal Government:

    To determine your family’s eligibility, please call 1-800-323-5434 and ask for Head Start.

    Family Size I.E. 50% I.E. 75% I.E. 100% OG 101%-130%
    1 Person
    2 Persons
    3 Persons
    4 Persons
    5 Persons
    6 Persons
    7 Persons
    8 Persons
    For family units with more than 8 members, add $5,380 for each additional member to arrive at yearly amounts.
    Income Exceptions:
    At least 10% of program slots are reserved for children with disabilities. A child with a diagnosed disability may be considered for enrollment regardless of income.
    Selection Criteria:
    The Head Start Policy Council has developed criteria for selecting children for enrollment from all those that have been verified as “eligible” based on age and income criteria. The intent is to ensure that the children and families with the most need have priority for enrollment. A range of point values are awarded based on the criteria of a child’s age, family composition, disability status; income and special considerations within the immediate family.
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