Southern Seven Early Head Start centers close temporarily due to COVID-19
Southern Seven Head Start last week announced the temporary closing of Early Head Start centers due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Due to the increase in COVID-19 positivity numbers in area counties, Southern Seven Head Start announced in a news release on July 21 that it had decided to temporarily close its Early Head Start center-based services effective Tuesday, July 21.
Early Head Start, a year round program that serves children age birth to 3, had resumed in early July after halting classes in March due to the pandemic.
For several months, Head Start staff members have been implementing COVID-19 guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in preparation for children and their families enrolled in the program during Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.
Teachers and staff began training in June on best practices for each of their sites.
Southern Seven Head Start stated that the temporary closure of Early Head Start is not the end of the program for families.
During this time, Early Head Start staff will be working remotely.
Packets of information and activities for parents and children will be sent home to the families.
Staff will also be contacting families to check in and assist with their needs as they arise.
Families can continue to enroll their children in Early Head Start and Traditional Head Start, so they will be ready once on-site classes resume.
Traditional Head Start, which serves children ages 3 to 5, is currently enrolling for fall classes.
Upon reopening, families will be informed of new policies, advised to support healthy hygiene practices and social distancing at home and to plan for back-up child care in the event of closure or illness.
For more information about Head Start programs and services, or to enroll your child in the program, call 618-634-2297.