Welcome to the Joseph E. Hill Early Childhood Center
District 65’s Joseph E. Hill (JEH) Early Childhood Education Center is located at 1500 McDaniel Avenue on the first floor, in Evanston, Illinois. The district’s administrative offices are conveniently located on the second floor of JEH. Approximately 450 Early Childhood students and their families are served at our center annually. Early Childhood services are made possible through local, state and federal funding. District 65 receives federal funding for Head Start (HS) and funding from the Illinois State Board of Education to administer Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) and Preschool for All (PFA), through a state grant.
Each funding source has individual requirements with varying regulations and requirements. However, one common goal is shared - to provide comprehensive, high-quality Early Childhood Education services in collaboration with one another. District 65 strives to provide families with seamless services and continuity of care within Early Childhood, while ensuring both state and federal guidelines are met or exceeded in an effort to secure continued funding for all Early Childhood families.
District 65’s mission:
“Educating each student to succeed in and contribute to our global community by cultivating creativity compassion and the pursuit of excellence.”Early Childhood’s goals to:
(1) Prepare students for school and Kindergarten readiness
(2) Prepare their families for a higher level of meaningful parent engagement and self-sufficiency.
Recruitment begins in April for Fall Enrollment and is on-going during the year. Families are encouraged to apply throughout the year. Families will be placed on the Wait List if they are not selected or if space is unavailable. Families are selected from the Wait List based on state and federal guidelines. Wait List selection is NOT conducted on a first come, first served basis.
Children & Families
Our Early Childhood program is rich with diversity. We educate children and provide support to families from many different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. We encourage all families to apply. Children must be ages 3-5, not eligible for kindergarten, to be considered for the Selection/Enrollment process. Children and families are selected and enrolled according to state and federal guidelines. Selection/Enrollment is NOT conducted on a first come, first served basis. Students with disabilities are welcomed. Special education placements are based on individual student needs and recommended by our multidisciplinary special education team. Special education self-contained and inclusion placements are available, as applicable.
Early Childhood staff recognizes the important role parents play in their child’s life and acknowledge parents as their child’s first teacher. We also understand family circumstances impact student learning and school readiness. Our goal to prepare families for a higher level of self-sufficiency is supported by a strong Early Childhood team.
For families who qualify for Early Childhood Special Education self-contained or inclusion services, space is available; space is limited for all other placements and is based on state and federal guidelines, not first come, first served.
There are no costs for families who are selected and enrolled in District 65 Early Childhood.
All Early Childhood Teachers and Teacher’s Assistants, paraprofessionals, are state certified. Education Support Staff, Psychologist, Social Workers, Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists are also certified, located on-site and provide services based on individual student needs. Teachers, Teacher’s Assistants and Education Support staff work in collaboration with families to set and help students achieve their goals.
Curriculum & Assessment Tools
All Early Childhood classrooms use the same research and evidence based curriculum and assessment tools. The curriculum addresses 10 core areas of student development: Social-Emotional, Physical, Language, Cognitive, Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Studies, The Arts, and English Language Acquisition. Assessments for English proficiency, health, developmental, social/emotional and literacy skills are also administered, as applicable, per state law or parent permission, in order to determine individual student strengths, needs and progress. Classroom staff uses assessment results and student goals, selected by parents, to individualize lesson plans in an effort to ensure student strengths, needs and progress are addressed during every school day.
Family Support Staff
Family Support Staff is available to encourage and empower families, provide opportunities for parent engagement and with resources to help families move towards increased self-sufficiency.
Support families by conducting student health and nutrition assessments, educating families about health requirements, including follow-ups and by assisting families with accessing affordable medical and dental services.Parent Engagement SpecialistSupports families by coordinating and encouraging families to participate in parent engagement opportunities offered throughout the year and also assists families with accessing resources in collaboration with the Family Support Specialists and school Social Workers.Transportation SpecialistSupports families by coordinating transportation services and student arrival/departure transitions for children and their parents and educating students and their families about transportation safety.JEH NutritionistSupports families by developing nutritious menus, supervise the preparation and serving of meals and snacks, and educating children, families and staff about healthy eating habits and preventive care.