Early Childhood Education & Care (ECEC) Programs

'I Got Love'squareteacher

The 'I Got Love' campaign is all about the people in Illinois! Illinois is full of people who care, teach, and help. Across the state, in every community, early childhood education and care resources are available for families. Find out if your family qualifies!


Get the Support You Need! 

Click below to learn more about each program.

  • Child Care (centers, homes, private preschools, etc.)

    The different types of child care in Illinois, provide a wide range of options to meet the individual goals and requirements for every family. Understanding the different types of child care programs available will help you make the best choice for your children.

    More information about what child care options are available in Illinois can be found here.

    Search for child care by entering your zip code here.

  • Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

    The Illinois Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) makes it possible for families and guardians who qualify to receive financial help. The program pays for child care costs so you can work, attend training, or school. All families pay a portion of the cost of child care as a co-payment, which is based on income and family size. 

    Use this Eligibility Calculator to see if your family may qualify for the Child Care Assistance Program.

    To apply, complete the application and submit it to your local Child Cares Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R).

  • Early Head Start/Head Start

    Early Head Start and Head Start programs support the early care and education needs of families facing hardship during their children’s early years. These programs address issues of poverty and promote school readiness with resources to meet the family’s education, health, nutritional, and social service needs. Early Head Start is available for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Head Start is available for families with children ages 3-5 years old.

    For questions on how to apply for the Head Start program, visit here.

    Use the Head Start Center locator map to search for Head Start, Early Head Start, and other centers. 

  • Early Intervention

    The Illinois Early Intervention Program is designed to provide developmental support and services to families/caregivers and their children with developmental delays or disabilities. Services include coordination, evaluations and assessments, and individualized family service plans.

    Learn more about Early Intervention.

    Search for a DHS office or services provider by entering your county.

  • Home Visiting

    Home visiting programs provide support and coaching to families through planned, regular visits with trained professionals. It is a voluntary program where parents work with home visitors to improve child development, family health, parenting skills, family bonding, and more, based on the unique priorities and schedules of each family.

    Families can find and contact a Home Visiting program (or a Coordinated Intake site) in their local community. (A referral is NOT needed).

    More information on Home Visiting can be found on the igrow website

  • Preschool for All/Prevention Initiative

    The Preschool for All program is providing education services to all 3- and 4-year old children whose families choose to participate. The program focuses on providing high-quality educational programs for children who are determined to be at risk of academic failure.

    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provides more details and information on the Preschool for All program.



Find a Provider Today! 

Get access to providers for early childhood education and care.

Program Search