As store aisles throughout the region begin to fill with school supplies, the staff at Southern Seven Health Department and Head Start like to remind parents and guardians if they have children, ages 3 to 5, it is now time to register for Head Start.

Head Start is a federally funded, educational program for income eligible families who live in the lower seven counties in Illinois. It provides full-day classes and has dual enrollment with Pre-K.

Children in the program learn Kindergarten readiness skills; receive health, dental and developmental screenings; participate in educational activities and socialization skills; and receive meals and snacks.

Families with children in Head Start have access to mental health services; parent engagement and training tools; and services to children of all needs and abilities. They are also able to volunteer in the program.

To enroll in Head Start, a parent will need the following:

• Child's birth certificate or hospital certified legal document approved by an ERSEA Specialist.

• Proof of income, such as Income Tax Form 1040, W-2s or one entire month of current pay stubs.

• Child's health records that include immunization record, physical/dental exams, medical card and more.

If a child has a suspected disability, a parent or guardian must provide professional documentation in order to receive additional selection criteria points for admission.

Classes for Head Start begin Wednesday, Aug. 21.

For more information about Head Start, contact Sharity Gaddis at Head Start at 618-634-9340, ext. 127 or search Southern Seven on Facebook and at

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