Family Focus Hyde Park, formerly the headquarters of Chicago Child Care Society, is the hub for many of our early childhood, young adult, and family support programs serving the South side of Chicago and the suburbs. Our building also houses our Hyde Park preschool center. Click here to read our FY2020 Annual Program Report.
Located at 5467 S. University Ave, our Hyde Park Preschool is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and serves children from 6 weeks to 5 years old.
We offer the Head Start program as a partner of the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services. Our teachers are accredited and our 7 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.
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.
PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS INCLUDE:
JUDITH STOFER BLOCK LIBRARY
Our library houses two computers and over 1,000 books that are available for students to check out and take home for storytime 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
Our outdoor Nature Education Center allows students to experience the wonder of nature, the life span of butterflies, and the migration of birds. Students witness and learn first-hand how things develop by growing their own vegetables and using them in their meals at the Center.
Our state-of-the-art playground has two sections, one for smaller children and one for larger 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, the gates are fastened at all times. With 24-hour video surveillance and staff involvement, the center is always being monitored.
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 birth to 3 please contact Elisa Simmons, Family Support Worker, at (773) 643-0452 extension 2419 or [email protected].
For enrollment information for children ages 3 to 5 please contact Eboni Barker, Family Support Worker at (773) 363-3200 or [email protected].
For general information about our preschool centers or to schedule a tour, please contact Pamela Flowers-Thomas, Center Director at (773) 643-0452 ext. 2414 or [email protected].
Beyond Parenting is an education and support program for pregnant and parenting teens with children 0-3 years old. We provide pre- and postnatal support and education and bi-weekly in-home visits to help children meet developmental milestones. The program includes:
For more information about Beyond Parenting contact Heshima Mance, Senior Director of Programs, at (773) 643-0452 ext. 2418 or [email protected].
EARLY HEAD START
Early Head Start services are provided through weekly home visits to each enrolled child and family. The home visitor provides child-focused visits that promote the parents’ ability to support their child’s development. About twice per month, the program offers opportunities for parents and children to come together as a group for learning, discussion, and social activity. The program includes:
For more information about Early Head Start please contact Claudia Rivera, Early Head Start Home Visitor Supervisor at (773) 643-0452 ext. 2470 or [email protected].
BRIDGES TO PATHWAYS
Our Bridges to Pathways program engages teens and older youth with educational opportunities they need to build a sturdy foundation for their future.
KINGS ACHIEVING LEADERSHIP AND UNDERSTANDING (KALU)
KALU is a part of the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative to reduce youth violence. It is designed to build strong, supportive relationships between youth and their mentors.
NEXT STEP COLLEGE READINESS
Our Next Step College Readiness program encourages teens to be ambitious and provides them with the resources they need to reach their fullest potential. We begin working with students during eighth grade and follow them through high school graduation and college applications.
To find which of our young adult programs would best fit you, please contact Heshima Mance at [email protected].
EXTENDED FAMILY SUPPORT
At Family Focus, we believe in building a strong foundation for the well-being of those in our community. The Extended Family Support program embraces the entire family, specifically when a relative unexpectedly becomes the primary caregiver to a child. Our program helps ease this transition and enhance caregivers’ ability to provide physical, emotional, and social development needs to the child while receiving the support of their own as well. Resources available through this program include:
HOUSING ADVOCACY PROGRAM
The Housing Advocacy program provides services to assist clients, youth, and families, referred by the Department of Children and Family Services with a goal to “remain stable” or “return home.” We assist with locating and helping those in need to maintain adequate housing. Services are to promote permanency by maintaining, strengthening, and safeguarding the function of families to (1) prevent substitute care placement, (2) promote family reunification, (3) facilitate youth development, and (4) ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children.
For more information about our Extended Family Support or Housing Advocacy Programs, please contact Tharrie Evans at 773-643-0452 ext. 2401 or [email protected]