Hyde Park

Family Focus Hyde Park, the headquarters and corporate office of Family Focus, is the hub for many of our early childhood, young adult, and family support programs serving South Side Chicago and the suburbs. Family Focus Hyde Park services Hyde Park, Kenwood, Washington Park, Woodland, Roseland, and Washington Heights.

Available Programs

Preschool

Located at 5467 S. University Ave, our Hyde Park Preschool is open from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and serves children from 6 weeks to 5 years old.

We offer the Head Start program as a partner of Start Early and the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services. Our teachers are accredited, and our seven state-of-the-art classrooms are filled with educational toys and learning tools, featuring age-appropriate centers for science, literacy, block building and construction, dramatic play and clay, paint, sand, and water exploration. We also have a large outdoor learning environment with play areas for different ages.

Our program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), is a Gold Circle Quality Program as designated by Excelerate Illinois and is licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the City of Chicago departments including Board of Health, Fire Department, Building, Sanitation, and Ventilation. The preschool program includes all-day classes, medical and dental check-ups, parent meetings, family literacy and STEM nights, and additional family support services.

The Hyde Park facility offers:

Judith Stofer Block Library: The library houses two computers and over 1,000 books that are available for students to check out and take home for story time with their families. By doing so, we help close the literacy gap that exists for children of circumstance residing in low-income communities.

Peggy Carr Nature Education Center: The outdoor Nature Education Center allows students to experience the wonder of nature, the lifespan of butterflies, and the migration of birds. Students witness and learn firsthand how things develop by growing their own vegetables and using them in their meals at the center.

KABOOM! Playground: The playground is in a secured space outdoors and has three sections for different ages of children. The private and safe environment facilitates the development of gross motor skills and remains a place where children can play, explore, learn, and thrive outside.

Safety and Security: A receptionist monitors the front door, and all visitors are required to check in and show photo ID. The playground area is enclosed by a tall fence, and the gates are always fastened. With 24-hour video surveillance and staff involvement, the center is always being monitored.

Parent Engagement: We know it’s important for parents to be involved in their children’s education, even in preschool. To ensure this is possible, we send home weekly progress notes, hold regular parent-teacher conferences, provide parental observation opportunities, and use an online parent portal site for parents to keep up with their child’s progress.

We also have a Parent Policy Council, which is a group of volunteer parents who work together to support the social and academic goals of our preschools. This is an opportunity for parents to voice their concerns, meet other parents and actively participate in their child’s preschool experience.

How to enroll:

For enrollment information for children ages 6 weeks to 3 years old, please contact Elisa Simmons, Family Support Worker, at 773-643-0452, Ext. 2419, or elisa.simmons@family-focus.org.

For enrollment information for children ages 3 to 5, please contact Gladys Gaeta, Family Support Worker at 773-643-0452, Ext. 2478, or gladys.gaeta@family-focus.org.

For general information about our preschool centers or to schedule a tour, please contact Claudia Rivera, assistant director of Early Childhood Programs, 773-643-0452, Ext. 2470, or Claudia.rivera@family-focus.org.

After-School Programs
After-school activities are offered Monday through Friday during the critical hours of 3 p.m.-6 p.m., the time when a lack of constructive activity and supervision can lead to risk-taking behavior. Most students attend four to five days per week through the regular school year. Programs focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), literacy, homework help, and arts activities.

Family Focus Hyde Park is currently offering after-school programming at Ruggles Elementary and Tanner Elementary.

Home Visiting
The home visiting program is open to caregivers with children from newborn to 3 years old. Parents receive visits from their home visitor to ensure their child is meeting development milestones through parent-child activities and education. Activities guide parents and children in sharing and learning activities that improve gross motor, language, fine motor, social, and emotional skills. Parent curriculum includes good maternal or paternal and child health, home safety, food security, positive parenting, and school readiness. Most home visiting programs also invite the parents to engage with other parents in the program through community events or support groups.
Student Mentoring
Mentoring and academic assistance is available to elementary and high school students who have the desire to attend college or trade school, stay goal-oriented, and reach their highest potential. Mentors assist participants with academic support, social development, college and career exposure choices, financial literacy, parenting as a student, and many other aspects of career and life preparation that students find challenging.
Extended Family Support
The Extended Family Support is an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services program that provides short-term services when a relative suddenly becomes the primary caregiver for a child. The program eases the transition by providing referrals to resources, obtaining basic goods and services needed to provide the child a stable home, and obtaining guardianship of the child.
Housing Advocacy Program
Available to families involved with the Department of Children and Family Services, this program assists with family stabilization by providing services to assist with housing to help maintain, strengthen, and safeguard the function of families to prevent substitute care placement, promote family reunification, facilitate youth development, and ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children.
Summer Camp
Summer camps keep students engaged and safe during the long break from school. Some are offered in partnership with the local parks department while others are held at the centers. Curriculum changes year to year and can vary based on what resources are nearby. Past summer camp activities include recreation activities such as swimming and yoga, arts and media projects, activism work in their local community, learning about history, and more.

Contact us about program enrollment or other general inquiries

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