July 14, 2021

Chicago’s Head Start/Early Head Start Awards Reinforce Commitment to Early Learning

$145 Million Grant Five Years, Shared Among Six Grantees

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO--Federal funding for Chicago’s Head Start program is being renewed for the next five years at the current level of $145 million, allocated in six new awards granted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Office of Head Start (OHS) at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Through a competitive process, the grantees include five community-based organizations and the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS).    

These grantees will operate Chicago Head Start and Early Head Start services that were previously operated solely by DFSS and its partner agencies. These new awards represent a combined 7,852 slots for Head Start and Early Head Start with an increased investment in the youngest learners, aged 0-3 years. 

“For years, our Department of Family and Support Services has been a key player in strengthening our children’s academic foundation,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “These new grants will allow DFSS and the five community-based organizations to double down on this important work and further our ongoing, citywide investment in the short- and long-term success of our youngest learners and their families.” 

The six newly awarded grantees are:   

  • Carole Robertson Center for Learning:                               $20,648,680 
  • Chicago Commons Association:                                           $23,050,758 
  • City of Chicago:                                                                      $51,778,046 
  • Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago, Inc.:                            $13,372,770 
  • Henry Booth House:                                                              $16,301,298 
  • Start Early (formerly the Ounce of Prevention Fund):      $19,978,257

The grantees will collaborate on best practices for direct services to ensure high quality early learning is provided for all our children. The new landscape is expected to enhance service delivery. Together, grantees will pursue the goal for all eligible Chicago children to have an opportunity to participate in a Head Start or Early Head Start program. Over the next month, the grantees will work together to ensure a seamless transition of services for parents.  

Families interested in enrolling children in Head Start or Early Head Start can contact these providers: