Chicago dept. of family & support services

children services division

The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Children Services Division (CSD) is dedicated to strengthening the lives of Chicago Children, Families, and Communities.

We manage Chicago Early Learning (CEL) programs, including Head Start, Early Head Start, Preschool For All (PFA), and Prevention Initiative (PI) throughout Chicago particularly those most in need from birth to five years of age.

CSD Updates

Get the latest CSD-related news and updated resources here.

Chicago Moves

Chicago Moves is a financial assistance program aimed at providing financial relief for Chicago residents struggling with transportation expenses. By applying to this program, you have the opportunity to receive a $150 prepaid gas card or a $50 prepaid transit cards.

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Chicago Resillient Communities Pilot Now Open!

As part of Mayor Lightfoot’s commitment to ensuring an equitable recovery, the pilot will provide $500 monthly cash payments to 5,000 residents hit hardest by the pandemic over the course of 12 months. Application is now open until May 13, 2022.

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Chicago's Preschool Application Now Open!

The 2022-2023 Chicago Early Learning (CEL) Preschool Application is now open! This year, families will be able to complete preschool applications on their phones with our new and improved mobile-friendly Pre-k application.

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content areas

Each Head Start content area is a building block that ensures the highest level of quality in every Head Start classroom across the city. Find the latest regulation updates, trainings, resources and more.

Safety Practices


Family & Community Engagement


Mental Health


Data Management




Program Management & Quality Improvement

Collaborative Governance