Our Program

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Kids

Who can attend Head Start?

  • Students must be three years old by September 1st of the school year
  • Students must meet Head Start income guidelines
  • Three-year-olds with disabilities are eligible on their birthdays
  • Some over income slots are available

How are parents involved?

  • Visits from parents are encouraged and welcomed. Parents can spend time volunteering in their child's class. Head Start provides parenting education, parent leadership opportunities and family support services, and they schedule home visits and parent conferences.

Where and when do the children attend preschool?

  • There are three Head Start centers in Jackson and Williamson counties:
    • Carbondale Head Start Center
    • Marion Head Start Center
    • Murphysboro Head Start Center
  • And two co-location centers in Jackson and Williamson counties:
    • Malone's Early Learning Center Head Start

What happens in preschool classes?

  • In Head Start classes, children explore their environment with toys, books, games, and activities geared to their interest. Head Start classes include:
    • Prereading and premath instruction
    • Field trips and community experiences
    • Holiday celebrations
    • An outdoor playground
    • Music and art activities
    • Special visitors
    • Development of social skills
    • Multicultural experiences
    • Kindergarten readiness
    • Computer opportunities
  • The children at SIU Head Start have scored at or above the national average in Language and Literacy skills.
  • Children are taught by qualified preschool teachers! Head Start teachers are professionally trained early childhood educators and meet Head Start/DCFS qualifications.

What about snacks and lunch?

  • Children enrolled in Head Start receive either breakfast and lunch or lunch and a snack every day, depending on which session they attend. Meals are free for all enrolled children. Emphasis is placed on nutritional foods that children enjoy and meals are served family style.

Is there bus transportation?

  • Bus transportation is available for children living within designated transportation areas.

My child has special needs. Will he receive the attention he needs?

  • Children with special needs will receive appropriate individual services in addition to the preschool education program.

What about health services?

  • Head Start screens all children to determine needs. All children are checked for difficulties with seeing and hearing. Parents receive assistance if a child requires special medical services.

What is the difference between a Head Start Center and a Co-location?

  • In addition to our Head Start centers, we also partnership with other childcare providers and we have Head Start rooms in their facilities.  We work in coordination with their staff to provide Head Start services.

What does all this cost?

  • No parent fees for half-day morning and afternoon sessions
  • Parent fees exist for qualified families for full-day sessions (school year and year round)

How do I apply?

  • If you are interested in applying for Head Start, contact us at 618/453-6448 or use our contact form.