A Head Start on a Lifetime of Learning
Children who participate in Head Start programs benefit in countless ways. These advantages of a high-quality early childhood education are immediate and last a lifetime. Head Start prepares infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children from low-income families for their transition to kindergarten and beyond. The programs engage parents/caregivers in positive relationships, with a focus on the well-being of the whole family. Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, operates six Head Start Centers in Will County.
Catholic Charities’ Head Start program supports children and their families in the following ways:
- Early learning and development: Children learn social skills, emotional well-being, language and literacy skills, math, and science.
- Health: Head Start programs provide safe and healthy learning experiences indoors and outdoors. All children receive health screenings and nutritious meals. Families are connected with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that needs are met.
- Family well-being: Families are offered program services to support well-being and to achieve goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security.
Several programs are offered, including Head Start, Early Head Start, home-based, expectant mothers, and daycare programs for children up to five years old and their low-income families. Family service workers are also available to provide support services and assist in securing needed community resources.
COVID-19 has impacted Head Start programs, enrolled children and families, and our community. During this challenging time, the program has taken careful measures to provide a safe and healthy environment where children can continue to thrive.
Head Start is now enrolling children and expectant mothers. To enroll:
Head Start Family Testimonials:
“I love the Head Start program! I have two grandsons who attended, and they are both smart. Jordan is at the top of his kindergarten class, and Calvin attends Head Start in Joliet and is happy and doing very well. The teachers check in to see if we need help. That is awesome. They care about the children learning and their mental status. They go beyond their job taking students to the next level and helping them succeed.” – The T. Family
“Head Start has played such an important role in my daughter's development and preparation for kindergarten. We are very grateful that we learned about this program. I see a big improvement in my daughter since she started.” – The C. Family
“Mason's experience with Head Start has been nothing but amazing. He has gotten the chance to grow and explore even with the impact of the pandemic. I thank the staff and teachers for taking care of all of the children when we need the help most.” The C. Family
“My daughter loves her classes. We are new to the neighborhood, and since the beginning they made us feel at home. We are extremely thankful and blessed.” The M. Family
“Even though this has been a hard year, Head Start has been so good. My child has come a long way in so many areas, from writing more clearly, to learning lowercase letters.” – The S. Family
“I love Catholic Charities’ Head Start! Each staff member makes it their mission to know my name and know things about me and my children. It gives the feeling of a family environment instead of just a daycare. During COVID, everyone at Catholic Charities kept good communication with the parents about closures, assistance, family-friendly activities, checked in on us and provided families with meals. I was so appreciative that they stayed so involved through the whole ordeal. It meant so much that they continued to be there during those times – and even now.” – The G. Family
“My son is learning a lot in the Head Start program. He says he has a lot of fun at school. I like all the help that we get from Catholic Charities with so many resources. I really appreciate all that you do for families.” – The C. Family