Early Head Start

Assisting Pregnant Moms, Infants, and Toddlers

The 1st Step Early Head Start program is a no cost, federally funded, comprehensive home-based program for expectant mothers and for children birth to 3 years old who reside in Clinton County and Washington County in Illinois. The program is funded for 54 participants. 

The program:

  • a no-cost program in which eligibility is based on family income (check-stubs), approval for TANF/SNAP/SSI, foster care OR McKinney-Vento homelessness questionnaire is used at eligibility criteria.
  • completes weekly home visits by a qualified Family Educator. Home visits are 90 minutes in length.
  • hosts playgroups and activities for the entire family.
  • utilizes the Parents as Teachers curriculum and activities to support child learning and development in the first three years of life.
  • utilizes the Partners for a Healthy Baby pregnancy curriculum.
  • provides assistance and resources for children with disabilities.                 
  • provides help linking families to community resources.
  • offers bilingual services.
  • offers transportation for enrolled participants to appointments (doctor, dentist, WIC, etc.) and to playgroups and parent trainings.
  • age-appropriate, research-based curriculums, such as Parents as Teachers and Partners for a Healthy Baby.
  • provides parents the skills and encouragement to learn how to be their child’s first and life-long teacher.

Prenatal Services

  • EHS will assist women to access comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care and educate them about proper health and nutrition.
  • Staff members will encourage parents to keep prenatal appointments, including medical and dental examinations.
  • Mental health interventions and follow-up, as well as substance abuse prevention and treatment will be encouraged, when necessary.
  • Prenatal education on fetal development, labor and delivery, and postpartum recovery will be provided.

For more information about EHS, please contact Tabitha at TabithaJ@commlink.org or (618) 526-3969.