Early Head Start (EHS)
Beacon’s Early Head Start (EHS) shelter program provides services to support pregnant women, children ages 0-3 years and their families. Through home visits and group socialization experiences, the EHS program helps prepare very young children for kindergarten readiness.
About Beacon’s Early Head Start Shelter Programs
Beacon’s Early Head Start (EHS) shelter program provides services to support and strengthen the relationships between infants, toddlers and their parents for the purpose of fostering the child’s development. The program specifically targets the homeless and recently housed populations.
- Home Visits - Home visitors conduct weekly 90-minute home visits, providing developmentally appropriate activities in which both the parent and child participate. These activities address the rapid social, emotional, physical and cognitive development that occurs during this critical developmental period. Home visitors also assess each family’s needs and link them with the appropriate medical, nutritional, mental health and/or disability services.
- Group Socialization - Families are also encouraged to participate in at least two socialization experiences each month. These socializations give parents and children the opportunity to practice what they are learning in a larger group setting. Parents are given the opportunity to share the stressors and joys of parenting with other parents, and learn how other parents meet the challenges of supporting their child’s exploration and growth. Children are given the opportunity to engage with other children in structured and unstructured learning experiences.
As a leading head start program in Chicago, Beacon’s EHS program visitor teams are multidisciplinary, with backgrounds in Early Childhood Development/Education, Psychology, Spanish, Elementary and Special Education, and Child and Family Services. Additional team members include a full-time supervisor and a licensed clinical social worker.
Qualifying for Beacon’s Early Head Start Shelter Programs
Acceptance criteria for candidates interested in participating in Beacon’s EHS program include:
- Families who are currently homeless or recently housed with children ages 0-3 years-old
- Families who are available and willing to engage with home visitors on a weekly basis for at least 90 minutes
- Families who are available to participate in socialization experiences twice a month
- Families who are living in Chicago.
- Pregnant women who meet the above criteria