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.

Changes to Medicaid and CHIP Automatic Enrollment

Everyone on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) must reapply for their health insurance. The federal policy that kept people continuously enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP during the COVID-19 public health emergency has ended. Many children and adults may lose their coverage. Everyone enrolled in these programs will need to reapply for health insurance. It’s important to understand that each state has its own process and timeline for deciding eligibility criteria for continuing Medicaid.

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Chicago Early Learning Application open!

The 2023-2024 Chicago Early Learning Application is open! There are plenty of low-cost or no-cost early education options for every child from birth through 5 years old!

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2-1-1 Call Center Resource

This new service is a free, easy-to-access helpline that connects residents to the health and social service supports. Individuals from across Chicago and Cook County have a direct line that can help them get connected to food, housing, utility payment assistance, health care, transportation, childcare, employment, mental health, disaster information and assistance, and more.

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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