Government Awards Pillars Oversight of Area Head Start Programs

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

While state budgeting decisions threaten the future of subsidized child care, early childhood learning programs funded by the federal government continue to receive dollars. Head Start began in 1965 as a way to provide early childhood learning to low-income families. The federal office of Administration for Children and Families (which oversees Head Start and Early Head Start programs nationwide) provides funding to more than 1,600 grantees throughout the country that then oversee programming in their areas.

Pillars has operated a comprehensive child care, Head Start, and Early Head Start program since 1969. For the past 35 years, Pillars was a delegate under the oversight of another area grantee. After a rigorous application process that began in late 2013, Pillars was awarded federal grantee status in July 2015. The government’s decision to re-bid the management and oversight functions of these programs within Suburban Cook County means Pillars will now monitor and oversee Head Start and Early Head Start for 18 zip codes. Pillars has its own delegate, The Children’s Center of Cicero-Berwyn that will assist in providing services.

Through the reallocation of federal funds from the prior grantee to the current grantee, Pillars will receive an estimated $25.1 million over the next five years to run the program. The grant allows Pillars to serve children in these zip codes: 60402, 60415, 60453, 60454, 60455, 60456, 60457, 60458, 60459, 60465, 60480, 60482, 60501, 60525, 60534, 60805, 60402, and 60804. The agency also received 12 new home-based Head Start slots, adding to the 102 slots they already had for Head Start at Pillars’ Child and Family Development Center in Hickory Hills, Ill. Learn more about Pillars at

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