PACT of West Central Illinois is taking applications for their 2020-2021 program year beginning March 17th and running through March 30th. The federally funded program provides various services in Brown, Cass, Pike, Scott, and Schuyler counties as well as 4 other counties further north. Sarah Mixer, the Family & Community Services Coordinator says that programs vary by county.
Early Head Start services are offered to pregnant women and children ages birth-36 months in Adams, Brown, Cass, Hancock, McDonough, Pike, Schuyler, and Scott Counties.
Head Start services are offered to families with children ages 3 and 4 years in Cass, McDonough, Pike, and rural Adams Counties.
Teachers visit assigned families once a week for 90 minutes. The parent is viewed as the primary educator of the child, using the Parents As Teachers (PAT) curriculum. Home Based Services are supplemented by classroom socialization activities held twice a month for two hours.
Home Visits are offered to pregnant women and children ages birth to 36 months in Adams, Brown, Cass, Hancock, McDonough, Pike, Schuyler, and Scott Counties.
Infants, toddlers, and two-year-old children attend group socializations with their parents and receive a snack approved by USDA guidelines at no charge.
They also provided pre-natal and post-pregnancy services to ensure healthy pregnancies and help initiate and provide information on various health services in the counties they cover.
PACT Head Start Centers are located in Pittsfield, Beardstown, Macomb, Carthage, and Camp Point. Classroom services range from 3 1/2 hour sessions to 7 1/2 hour sessions. Family Advocates provide social service referrals and information on health needs/services in the home to families on a regular basis.
The Beardstown Center offers Head Start, in two half-day sessions for the 9-month school year for children ages 3-5 years. The Pittsfield Center offers five-day sessions for children ages 6 weeks to 36 months in the Early Head Start program. In the Head Start, one half-day session and a full-day session are offered for the 9-month school year for children ages 3-5 years.
Mixer says they encourage family wellness and education along with the student entered into the Head Start program. She says that ensuring the family’s overall health and education helps make for better student readiness as they prepare to enter kindergarten.
Mixer says that families can go to pactheadstart.com to find an application to fill out if they are interested in entering the program. Mixer says that it will send her office all the crucial information to get the application approval process going. If families do not have Internet access, they can call the Mt. Sterling office at 773-3903 or toll free at 1-800-443-7228; or visit the centers in Beardstown or Mt. Sterling to fill out an application in person.