5 Things to Know about Head Start

All parents want to provide the best opportunities for their children to learn, grow and thrive. This is especially true when it comes to education. No child should miss out on a quality education because of their family’s ability to pay.

That’s why One Hope United is pleased to offer Head Start or Early Head Start programing at four of our child care and early education centers. These programs combine quality child care and education with other programing and resources to help set every child up for success:

Not sure if your family is eligible? It’s easy to find out and One Hope United is here for you every step of the way.

Here are five things you should know about the Head Start Program at One Hope United:

1. Head Start Seeks to Give Every Child an Equal Chance

Head Start, a federally funded program, is designed to give every child equal access to the resources and support they need. Established in 1965 for low-income families, Head Start promotes school readiness for children ages birth to five. These programs enhance children’s social and cognitive development by offering children and their families educational, nutritional, health, social and other services.

The services Head Start provides are designed to set up children for success by the time they are ready to start kindergarten. One Hope United combines Head Start with child care assistance to provide a full day of early childhood care and education for families who are working or in school at a significantly reduced cost.

2. It’s Easy to Find Out if You Qualify for Head Start

There are four ways you and your child can qualify for Head Start:

  1. You meet the income qualifications, OR
  2. You receive public assistance, OR
  3. Your child is in foster care, OR
  4. You or your child lack permanent housing.

Families with children from birth to age five who meet specific criteria in any one of these four categories can receive Head Start or Early Head Start programming. Families receiving public assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income), or families with low incomes, according to the Poverty Guidelines published by the Federal government, are eligible.

One Hope United has family support specialists to assist families with the eligibility process. Families can either call or walk-in to one of the Bridgeport, Edgewater or Waukegan centers with proof of income and the child’s birth certificate. They will then fill out an application (One Hope United can provide assistance) and complete an interview. The family will soon receive a notice about their child’s/children’s eligibility. The eligibility/enrollment process can be started at anytime during the year.

3. Parents Receive Support, Too!

All Head Start families have a family support specialist that they work with for as long as they participate in the program. Assistance in finding medical providers, mental health professionals, and nutrition counseling are just some of the services that are provided. Plus, families receive two home visits that serve as building blocks to establishing a positive relationship.

Many of One Hope United’s staff are bilingual. If there is a language barrier, One Hope United will provide translation support services. We want to clearly communicate with families so they understand the services they’re eligible for and feel comfortable with all we can provide.

4. Parents Are Part of Their Child’s Education

One Hope United families who are part of the Head Start program are actively involved with their child’s education by helping to set goals and determining how best to support their child.

Parents and One Hope United teachers and staff have at least two parent conferences a year where assessments are reviewed, strengths are determined and priorities are set for continued development.

5. We Offer Quality Education For All

One Hope United’s Head Start locations in Bridgeport and Edgewater are accredited by NAEYC (The National Association of Education of Young Children), a distinction held by only 6% of centers in the country. A NAEYC accredited center is one that is recognized as providing exceptional care and a variety of educational, developmental, and personal services. All preschool classrooms are led by a licensed teacher who is certified to teach up to the third grade.

The suburban Waukegan location is currently undergoing accreditation by NAEYC. This location offers Early Head Start services to low-income infants, toddlers and their families.

At One Hope United it is our vision to help every child, every family live a life without limits. If you feel limited by the specific circumstances that makes your family eligible for Head Start, please contact one of our centers today or use the form below.

Contact Us

Sonja Crum Knight Named Executive Director for Early Childhood Programs

Sonja Crum Knight

Sonja Crum Knight, an early childhood leader committed to realizing high quality outcomes for children and families through education, practice, and advocacy, will join One Hope United as Executive Director of Early Learning and Child Development, beginning April 10, 2018.

In this executive leadership role, Knight will oversee One Hope United’s 12 child care and early education centers, which provide high quality early care and education to over 2,200 children each year, as well as our home visiting programs, which help young and first-time parents navigate their new responsibilities and support their children’s development. All of these programs serve children and families living in northern Illinois and Chicago.

“I am humbled and honored to join an organization with such a rich legacy of service to children and families,” said Knight.

Knight comes to One Hope United from YMCA of the USA, where she served as technical advisor for early childhood equity improvement, leading a cohort of eight YMCA associations across the country to discover and improve strategies for improving access to high quality early care and education. She also has worked extensively with the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University as a quality assessor and trainer. She holds a PhD in education from Capella University and a master of education in early childhood administration from National Louis University.

“I am thrilled to welcome Sonja Crum Knight to One Hope United,” said COO Margaret Vimont. “She brings a wealth of experience as a child care provider, quality assessor, and educator to early childhood professionals, along with a passion for equal access to early education and a highly inclusive management style. Together, these make her an excellent fit to lead our early learning and child development programs, which lay the foundation for our vision – For every child and family, life without limits.”

Wings helps single dad be a better parent

Check out this heartwarming story from The Chicago Sun-Times about Alexis Tellez and his son Tonny – one of thousands of families One Hope United is helping to live life without limits. Tellez is the first single father in our Wings program, which focuses on parents ages 16 to 23, providing in-home visits and services to help new parents adjust to the responsibilities of parenthood.

Check out the full news article.

Toy Drive Benefiting One Hope United

The 15th Annual WGN Morning News Drive-Thru Toy Drive is Friday, December 8, 2017! This is the first year that the drive will be benefiting SocialWorks Chicago, a youth empowerment charity brought to you by Chance The Rapper. The Toy Drive will run from 5 a.m. – 10 a.m. and feature carolers, Santa, and other holiday fun-filled activities. Anyone can stop by WGN-TV Studios (2501 W. Bradley Place) in Chicago to drop off a new, unwrapped toy.

All toys will be donated to Chance The Rapper’s nonprofit SocialWorks and will be dispersed to children and families throughout the Chicagoland area. One Hope United is excited to have been chosen as one of the organizations to receive thousands of toys for the children that we serve!

Want to learn more about the upcoming toy drive? Click here.

Introducing Our Updated Values

One Hope United has been helping children and families reach their full potential for over 120 years. While our dedication to this goal has never wavered, the way we express it has evolved along with our methods for reaching it.

Last year, we updated our mission and vision:

MISSION
One Hope United increases opportunities for children and families by providing quality solutions that enhance lives, communities and futures.

VISION
For every child and family, life without limits.

Building on the mission and vision, this year we took on updating our values. We wanted these to be more than just words on a page – they needed to reflect who we are today and help guide our decisions, big and small, about how we do our work.

For that, the values had to feel authentic, honor our history, and guide us toward realizing our ambitious vision. To that end, we sought broad input from our staff and board, and shared these for feedback both virtually and through in-person discussions at 10 different locations.

We’re enthusiastic about the positive response we’ve had and excited to now share our updated values with the world!

VALUES

  • Do the Right Thing. We serve the best interests of our clients and staff. We act mindfully and responsibly, honoring our commitments. We’re willing to challenge the status quo.
  • Fully Contribute. We bring our presence, passion, and ideas to every interaction, and we respect differing views and backgrounds so that others can do the same.
  • Empower One Another. We collaborate with, care for, and encourage each other toward greater impact, treating everyone with dignity and respect.
  • Turn Hope into Action. We believe in the resiliency of the human spirit. We advocate for those in need and do what it takes to build a better future for all.
  • Seek Impact Every Day. We make things happen, and make them count. We leverage all our resources and make data-informed decisions for maximum, sustainable results.
  • Always Keep Improving. We pursue excellence in an atmosphere of innovation. We embrace change, take prudent risks, learn from failure, and recognize success.

OHU’s President and CEO featured in Crain’s Chicago Business!

One Hope United’s President & CEO, Scott Humphrey, is featured in this Crain’s Chicago Business story on business professionals who made mid-career shifts to nonprofit work. Learn how Scott made the transition to OHU after retiring from BMO Capital Markets and the positive impact that had on his home and family life.

Click through to read the full article.

Kindergarten Ready? At Wilmette Child Development Center, 100%.

The scores are in – 100% of the children who graduated from preschool at One Hope United Wilmette Child Development Center (3013 Illinois Rd., Wilmette) last month demonstrated kindergarten readiness, according to the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment tool.

One Hope United’s child development centers specialize in supporting and partnering with working families to prepare their children for lifelong learning and success, starting in our infant program. By achieving kindergarten readiness, these children are meeting an important milestone early in their academic lives – and are poised to stay on track: studies show that children who attend pre-k are more likely to graduate from high school, and those who attend a center-based program, like One Hope United’s, score significantly higher on reading and math tests than their at-home counterparts.
Here’s a look behind the numbers at what makes One Hope United a nurturing environment for children and families’ education and growth:

• Individualized, Center-Based Learning: One Hope United employs the Creative Curriculum, which is built around classroom “centers” such as Science, Writing, Literacy/Reading, and Dramatic Play. Children self-navigate through the centers and learn through play and social interaction. Teachers encourage and customize each child’s education based on their individual strengths and temperament, and adjust it based on observations and formal assessments.

• Exclusive “Healthy Lifestyles” Curriculum: One Hope United’s self-developed Healthy Lifestyles curriculum promotes lifelong wellness by incorporating daily movement and teaching children to make healthy food choices and maintain good habits such as brushing teeth, visiting the dentist, and screening for hearing and vision. The Wilmette center also hosts movement classes, which encourage physical fitness, creative expression, and relaxation.

• Parent, Family, and Community Engagement: Parent involvement in their child’s learning has been linked to higher student achievement. The Wilmette center provides opportunities for family involvement in daily routines as well as at special events. Parents are welcome to visit the program and often stop by to share their talents and family culture. The center also helps kids and families engage with the surrounding community through partnerships with Avoca School District, Glenview Park District, and Wilmette Public Library.

• Accredited Quality at Every Level: The Wilmette center is one of only 6% of U.S. centers to be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This accreditation looks at 10 standards and criteria across four categories – Children, Teaching Staff, Partnerships with families and communities, and Administration – to provide a holistic measure of a program’s quality.

Parents can expect all of these features to be enhanced when the Wilmette center relocates to a newly updated facility, in winter 2018. Located near I-94, between Glenview and Old Orchard Roads, the new center will feature brand new classrooms, nontoxic materials including carpeting and paint, and a dedicated gym designed specifically for early childhood gross motor activities. Families who enroll children now at the current location are guaranteed a space in the new child development center.

Families who live or work nearby may also consider One Hope United’s Des Plaines (9375 Church St., Des Plaines) and O’Hare (2300 E Devon Ave, Suite 171, Des Plaines) centers, both of which are also NAEYC accredited. For more information, visit onehopechilddevelopment.org.

Law Enforcement Officials From South and Central Asia Learn About OHU’s SPARCS

In April, a delegation of law enforcement officials from South and Central Asia visited One Hope United at our downtown Chicago office. The visit was hosted by WorldChicago, a non-profit that coordinates international visitor exchanges in Chicago sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

The goal of the delegates’ visit was to explore the role of law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting international crimes and also to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons behind youth violence and the effective practices for promoting nonviolence among individuals.

We introduced our guests to SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress), a therapy program that teaches youth how to cope with their traumas, which can make them less likely to turn to violence to solve their issues.

OHU’s Jill Novacek, SVP of Community Based Family Services, served as the presenter during the visit. One of the highlighted tools that SPARCS teaches is mindfulness, which helps the youth better understand and manage their response to stress. Jill led the group through a mindfulness exercise which encouraged everyone to stop and take a moment to acknowledge their own pulse.

DELEGATES:

Mr. Mohammad Shahriar ALAM (Bangladesh)
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Immigration, Department of Police

Mr. Prasanta BONIK (Bangladesh)
Senior Superintendent, Kashimpur Central Jail

Mr. Md Zhahidur RAHAMAN (Bangladesh)
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Department of Police

Mr. Shakir SHAYAKHMETOV (Kazakhstan)
Head, International Cooperation and Public Relations Department, Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies, Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Mr. Ishan Uthpala Sandaruwan JAYARATHNA (Sri Lanka)
Assistant Superintendent of Customs, Sri Lanka Customs

Interested in learning more about SPARCS? Check out this video featuring the program and one of its funders, Get IN Chicago.

The WINGS Program Visits Brookfield Zoo!

One Hope United’s WINGS program was chosen by the Brookfield Women’s Zoological Society to receive a free day at Brookfield Zoo on Saturday, June 4th. This outing included two free buses, admission to the zoo, lunch, and admission to the Zoo’s special attractions.

OHU’s WINGS program provides essential support services and counseling to high-risk teenage, single and other parents in Lake County, as they adjust to the responsibilities of parenthood. Targeting new and expecting parents, WINGS promotes positive parent-child interaction and works to enhance family functioning, build trusting relationships and teach problem-solving skills.

The field trip was a huge success! There were around 40 clients who participated and they all had an awesome time. The clients thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities, especially the dolphin show and the carousel.

Thank you Brookfield Zoo!

wings brookfield zoo