March 04, 2015

Head Start fall registration begins soon

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Head Start program will begin accepting applications April 1 for the fall 2015 session. 

The pre-kindergarten program serves children in Jackson and Williamson counties at five different sites. In order to participate, children must be at least three years old by Sept. 1, 2015, but not old enough to attend kindergarten. Classes will begin in August. Children with disabilities, foster children and homeless children receive priority enrollment status. 

Head Start offers three different program options: weekday mornings, weekday afternoons, or all-day sessions during the week. There is no cost for the partial-day programs. Family eligibility and income determine fees for the full-day program. 

Officials encourage all families with preschool-age children to apply. Free bus transportation is available in designated areas. 

There are five Head Start locations within SIU Carbondale’s program. A number of enrollment sessions are set at the various program sites in the coming weeks. Parents should call in advance for an appointment during one of the scheduled sessions. 

The enrollment schedule, with locations and the varying times and dates are: 

  • Carbondale Center, 1900 N. Illinois Ave., Carbondale, 618/453-2440 -- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 1 and 20.
  • John A. Logan co-location at John A. Logan College in Carterville, 618/997-2216, ext. 229, or 618/985-3741, ext. 8241 -- 3 to 6 p.m. April 7 and 16.
  • Malone’s co-location at Malone’s Early Learning Center, 108 Walnut St., Carterville, 618/997-2216, ext. 229, or 618/985-3366 -- 3 to 6 p.m. April 2 and 14.
  • Marion Center, 907 N. Vicksburg St., Marion, 618/997-4255 -- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 2 and 28.
  • Murphysboro Center, 9822 Illinois Route 149, Murphysboro, 618/687-4433 -- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 9 and 21. 

The enrollment process takes about an hour to complete. Children need not attend, unless registration is at a co-location site. 

Those who are unable to attend any of the enrollment sessions should call or visit their preferred Head Start location as soon as possible to schedule an appointment at an alternate time. 

Prior to the start of the fall session in August, parents or guardians must submit: a copy of the child’s official birth certificate from the appropriate county clerk, not the hospital; proof of income from all sources for the past 12 months, and a copy of the child’s current dental and physical exams, including immunization records, tuberculosis screening, blood lead test and hemoglobin/hematocrit screening. Parents should provide as much of this material as is available at registration. 

SIU Carbondale, with federal funding, directs the Head Start programs for Jackson and Williamson counties. For more information, contact the administrative office at 618/453-6448. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.