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  1. Governor
  2. Office of Early Childhood Development
  3. Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships

Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships 

Congress appropriated $500 million to expand the number and quality of early learning slots for infants and toddlers through Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) partnerships and Early Head Start expansion grants. Illinois is eligible to receive up to $15.9 million in EHS-CC funding, and our goal is to submit at least $30 million worth of quality applications in order to ensure that the state is fully funded.

The EHS-CC is a new competitive grant opportunity to support the partnering of Early Head Start programs with child care providers. Under EHS-CCP, new or existing Early Head Start grantees will partner with regulated center-based or family child care providers who agree to meet the Head Start Program Performance Standards. The resulting partnerships will allow programs to leverage their funds to provide more high quality early learning slots in their community.

Applicants who propose a partnership with local child care providers and demonstrate strong alignment with other Federally, State, or locally funded early childhood programs, such as Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), will receive strong competitive priority.

The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development will keep this webpage updated with resources to help programs plan for the competition.

Main Points of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships:

  • EHS-CCP is a new competitive grant opportunity that incentivizes local partnerships between Early Head Start programs and child care programs to increase the number of infants and toddlers in high quality early learning programs
  • Competitive priority for funds will be given to applicants who create local partnerships with child care providers and align with other early childhood development programs
  • Grantees may include center-based and/or family child care program options in their partnerships
  • All EHS-CCP grants will be new, five-year grants
  • Entities currently eligible to apply for EHS funds will be eligible for EHS-CCP funds
  • Grantees will receive onsite technical assistance, but will not be subject to Designation Renewal System for the first 18 months of the grants


New Resources

Tools for Exploring Partnership Opportunities

EHS-CC Partnerships Application Template (Tool for exploring partnership potential—Editable DOC)
EHS-CC Partnerships Review Criteria at a Glance (Includes point allocations--PDF Chart)

Strategies for Child Care Partners Implementing Changes Required by EHS (PDF)

IL Dept. of Human Services (IDHS) Collaborative Program Application (Editable DOC)

Guidance on Developing MOUs between EHS and CC Partners (PDF)

Sample EHS-CC Partner MOU Template (Editable DOC)

Financial Guidance and Calculator Tools

Estimating the Cost of Community Hubs (Narrative—BUILD—PDF)

EHS-CC Partnerships Financial Impact for Prospective Child Care Partners (Narrative and Calculator--BUILD link)

EHS-CC Grantee Sample Budget (Editable XLSX Spreadsheet)

Technical Assistance Providers
*Please note that the Office of Early Child Development does not officially endorse any of the providers below, and working with the providers will not guarantee application approval. The service descriptions are posted only as supplementary resources for applicants.

Erikson Institute Technical Assistance Services

Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (ICAAP) Technical Assistance Services

Kid Koncepts Technical Assistance Services

Opening Minds USA Technical Assistance Services

Ounce of Prevention Fund Technical Assistance Services

Illinois Head Start Association Technical Assistance Services

General Grant Information

Deciding the State Role in the EHS-CC Partnership Grant (Grant Criteria Overview 6/20/2014—BUILD—PDF)

IDHS Child Care Collaboration: Definition and Provider Qualifications Policy Statement (IDHS link)

Data Files

Intended as tools for the EHS-CC partnership application, the following two workbooks provide data on 82 high-need Illinois zip codes. The files include information such as the number of 0-2 year olds being served by a Star Level 4 program, the overall poverty level, the number of children under the age of 6 that live in a home where all parents are working, and more. The workbooks enable users to filter, sort, and highlight data to identify zip codes where an EHS-CC partnership could be most beneficial. 

Data was collected from the 2012 American Community Survey, the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA), and the Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (IECAM).

EHS-CC Statistics by Zip Code: Federal Priority List (.xls)
Includes the 22 areas designated as “high poverty zip codes"

EHS-CC Statistics by Zip Code: Other High-needs Zips (.xls)
Includes 60 other high need areas in Illinois, as identified by the number of Medicaid recipients aged 0-2

Additional Resources

EHS-CC Grant Q&A (BUILD 6/20/2014)

"Crafting a Strong Application" (OECD Webinar 6/16/2014)

"Effective Budgeting" (BUILD Webinar 6/13/2014) Audio File (requires log-in

"Understanding the Grant Criteria"
(BUILD Webinar 6/12/2014) Audio File (requires log-in)

EHS-CC Partnerships Press Release-6/6/2014 (PDF)

Early Head Start - Child Care Partnership Applicant Support Toolkit

Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships 101

Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships Webinar

Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships Overview (PDF)

Child Development Associate - National Credentialing Program