About Us

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SIU Head Start is a program operated by Southern Illinois University Carbondale on a federal grant. The program is designed to serve children three to five years of age from families qualifying for Head Start throughout Jackson and Williamson Counties.

Head Start helps all children succeed by providing a comprehensive program that provides children with activities that help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally and physically.

It's our mission to educate children, empower families, and strengthen communities.

Head Start Policy Council

The SIU Head Start Policy Council is made up of parents and community representatives that help shape our program. The council members meet monthly to items on the agenda that impact the program, staff, and volunteers.


Head Start Governance Board

The SIU Head Start Governance Board meets quarterly to discuss items related to budget, personnel, and policies.


Volunteers are very important at SIU Head Start! A variety of volunteer opportunities are available, such as in the classroom,. field trips, mealtime, and reading to or playing with the children. Volunteers are also needed to assist teachers and other staff, participate in parent meetings and special events, recruitment, and assist with office duties as needed.

Regular volunteers complete Department of Children and Family Services background checks, are fingerprinted and complete a physical exam. There is no education requirement to volunteer at SIU Head Start. SIU Head Start staff support and supervise all parent and community volunteers, working closely with them to make sure that standards are followed and they succeed with their volunteer experiences.

If you are interested in volunteering at Head Start, contact the Family and Community Partnerships Coordinator at 618/453-6448 or use our contact form.