For inquiries, call us today: 773-734-STAR (7827)

Give Your Child a Shining Start with Head Start.

5 Top Reasons Why Shining Star Head Start is the right choice for your family:

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  1. Shining Star Head Start Management Team has expertise knowledge and formal education in their respective content area thus bringing forth a strong implementation of High Quality Early Learning and Family Support Services.
  2. Shining Star has state of the Art Facilities that are nationally recognized as high quality early learning centers through NACEY Accreditation and Illinois ExceleRate Gold Rating.
  3. Shining Star has safe, exciting, and nurturing environments where children are encouraged to have fun as they experience the liberation that comes through quality Early Childhood Education.
  4. Shining Star has college degrees, multicultural, and State of Illinois credentialed teachers that offer the best early learning experiences to the children in our care. Children are exposed to multicultural education, the appreciation of diversity, and the exploration of the world through global perspectives. (Our teaching staff is comprised of people who represent at least 12 different nations.)
  5. Shining Star offers family support services, health & nutrition education, and collaborative services for children with disabilities.
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School Readiness: Will Your Child Be Ready For Kindergarten??

Shining Star Youth and Community Services Head Start Program is committed to ensuring all children are ready for school, families are ready to support their children’s learning, and schools are ready for children. Along with clear and strategic goals for children and highly qualified and diverse staff, SSYCS ensures children’s success by:

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Individualization for Children
Each child receives an individualized educational program based on his/her strengths and needs. Each curriculum is evidenced-based and specifically designed to help children develop language and literacy, problem solving skills, and how to socialize and interact with others. Children are provided with the opportunity to participate in activities that support math, science, art, drama, language and culture. Children leave Head Start prepared for kindergarten, excited about learning, confident in their own abilities and ready to succeed.

Highly Qualified Staff
SETA is committed to employing classroom teachers that are highly qualified and demonstrate competencies in early care and education and child development. All Head Start teachers have an Associate degree or higher in Early Childhood Education or its equivalent. Staff represents diverse cultures and ethnicities, including more than 16 different languages.

Staff Development
Teaching staff receive monthly training to ensure on-going professional development of each staff. Staff participates in monthly group training sessions as well as in individual staff development plans that support his/her own professional growth and educational goal attainment.

students in the class

Teachers are provided one-on-one and small group coaching and mentoring so that new training lessons are incorporated into daily routines and teaching. Through a consistent, systemic and guided approach, coaches present feedback in a supportive and non-judgmental manner that engages each teacher. Working together, the coach and the teacher develop an individualized plan which results in enhanced classroom interactions and classroom environments.

Accountability/Data Results
SSYCS Head Start collects, analyzes and aggregates school readiness data three times per year to track individual child progress as well as the program’s overall achievement of its school readiness goals.

Head Start is a Federal program that promotes the school readiness of children from birth to age five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Head Start programs provide a learning environment that supports children’s growth in many areas such as language, literacy, and social and emotional development. Head Start emphasizes the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher. These programs help build relationships with families that support family well-being and many other important areas.

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Shining Star Youth and Community Services Head Start is Program is designed to give preschool children a developmental edge when entering kindergarten. Although the basic elements of Head Start are regulated through federal Head Start Program Performance Standards, SSYCS has designed their individual programs to best meet the needs of the families in the communities we serve. SSYCS’s response to the three areas which form a Head Start program are listed below.

SSYCS Head Start Program provides enrolled children language and literacy education, health & dental services, and disabilities services to ensure the children are healthy, well-nourished, and challenged to think and learn.

SSYCS staff work in partnership with parents and other community agencies to ensure families receive needed support, social services, and assistance in setting and achieving goals related to self-sufficiency and healthy family development.

SSYCS‘s management structure and programs are designed to involve and empower parents. This philosophy is reflected in our governing bodies, which includes a parent Policy Council that has decision-making authority. Like all Head Start programs across the country, parents comprise at least 51 percent of our Policy Council.


  • Individualized Teaching
  • Well Established School Readiness Goals
  • Qualified &Nurturing Staff
  • Progressive Learning Materials &Classrooms
  • Monthly Progress Reports
  • Multicultural Education
  • Assistance with Health & Dental Screenings
  • Speech, Vision &Hearing Screenings
  • Health Services
  • Healthy & Delicious Meals & Snacks
  • Introduction to Technology
  • Introduction to Early Literacy
  • Parental Involvement Opportunities
  • Family Support Services
  • Explorative Early Learning Environment
  • Adventurous Field Trips
  • Sites in Convenient Locations
  • Transportation available for special services

Applying for Head Start

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To apply for the SSYCS Head Start program, your child must be three years of age by September 1st of the current school year and not more than five years of age before September 1st. Early Head Start participants are selected from pregnancy through 35 months of age. Your family must meet federally mandated Head Start income guidelines. Our priority is to enroll as many four-year olds as possible so that we may provide Head Start to as many eligible children as possible before they enter public school. All eligible four-year olds will be enrolled before three-year olds. There is no charge or fee for applying or enrolling your child in the Head Start program.

To complete the necessary application forms, you can go visit the SSYCS Head Start-Early Head Start center nearest your home or to the Shining Star Youth and Community Services Headquarters. When you come to apply for your child to attend our Head Start Program, our staff will help you complete an application form.

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There are several documents which you must bring with you when filling out the forms. AN APPLICATION CAN NOT BE FILLED OUT WITHOUT THIS INFORMATION:

  • The child’s birth certificate (legal copy).
  • Proof of Family Income: (W-2 Form, or two recent paycheck stubs, TANF RASP Forms, or a letter from the Department of Human Resources or Social Security verifying monthly income for the past 12 months.)
  • Medicaid card (if applicable) or private insurance card.

Please note that a complete current physical and dental examination must be completed prior to your child’s start date. You may access the a physical examination and dental forms need by visiting our website at

What is Head Start