Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission
PO Box 127, 115 E. 4th St., Monon, IN 47959 ·
(219) 253-6658

Head Start Overview

Review the common questions below. Select a grey bar to reveal the answer.
What is Head Start?

Head Start is a comprehensive service organization providing preschool to low-income children and their families. Since 1965 the program has assisted families in the areas of health, education, social services, and parent involvement. The program is a federal program and is funded through the Department of Health and Human Services. This Head Start program has a Regional Office located in Chicago, Illinois. A Regional Officer is assigned to each program and is the communication link. Federal Review Teams conduct on-site visits to every program in the nation, focusing on a different review area each visit. The federal government awards a grant and the local match of 20% is expected to come from volunteer hours in the classroom and community exchange of goods and services.

Who is KIRPC Head Start?

In 1997, the Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission (KIRPC) was awarded a grant to provide services to 108 children and their families in Jasper, Newton, and Pulaski counties in northwest Indiana. Through expansion opportunities, 133 children are now served.

The counties served are rural with the largest community having a population of 5,000. The program is free to families who are income eligible.

Lunch is vended from Meals on Wheels to the sites in Newton and Jasper County and from the elementary schools in Pulaski County.

The most current Federal Review was conducted virtually in May 2021 where the program received zero findings. The most recent fiscal audit was conducted in September 2021 which resulted in zero Head Start findings. North Jasper, Goodland, Rensselaer, and Winamac sites became a Paths to Quality Level 3 in the spring 2019. Roselawn and West Central will be observed next to become level 3.

Where are our local Head Start Classrooms?

There are 7 classrooms among six Head Start sites within the KIRPC system serving Newton, Jasper, and Pulaski Counties. The sites are as follows:

  • Newton County
    • Roselawn: Generations Building
    • Goodland: Town Hall Building
  • Jasper County
    • Rensselaer: Community Services Building
    • DeMotte: Robert S. Fase Building
  • Pulaski County
    • Winamac: Pulaski Human Services Building
    • Francessville: West Central Elementary School
What Happens in the Head Start Classroom?

Each classroom has a teacher, assistant teacher and site aide. Children attend Monday thru Thursday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm at the part day sites and 8:30 to 3:00 at the duration sites. A Family Engagement Specialist serves at least two classrooms. A breakfast and lunch are served during the school day.

Staff and parents work hand in hand to individualize teaching to each child. Two home visits and two parent teacher conferences are held throughout the year to set individualized goals for both children and families.

Transitioning to kindergarten is made easy through the Head Start process. School Readiness is practiced by using a developmentally appropriate curriculum called Creative Curriculum to prepare children for their public school experience. Field trips are made to visit each elementary school so children feel more comfortable when arriving at Kindergarten.

How can communities help?

The best way for the community to help is to volunteer in the classrooms of your local Head Start program.

Taking time to be a guest reader demonstrates that literacy is important to adults and encourages the desire of the child to read.
Volunteering to assist in the classroom demonstrates that the community cares about low income children.
Amazon Wish List

You can help reach the local match by purchasing items off the program's Amazon wish list. Items will ship directly to the program and count 100% toward the local match.

Are there employment opportunities within KIRPC Head Start?

KIRPC Head Start employs:

  • 7 Teachers
  • 7 Teacher Assistants
  • 7 Teacher Aides
  • 5 Nutrition Aides
  • 5 Family Engagement Specialists
  • 1 Coach
  • 5 Management Staff Members

Interested in Joining Our Team?

Current employment opportunities are posted on Indeed. Applications can be dropped off at any of the Head Start classrooms or resumes emailed to tberkshire@urhere.net

 Click here for an application.

Click below to view reasons why staff love working at KIRPC Head Start:

 Why Staff Loves Working at KIRPC Head Start Video

Copyright ©  Kankakee-Iroquis Regional Planning Commission. All Rights Reserved

It is the policy of KIRPC not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin in its programs or employment policies as required by the Indiana Civil Rights Act, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1973, Title II, Title IX and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. ” Questions and concerns should be directed to: Edwin Buswell, Executive Director c/o KIRPC, PO Box 127, 115 E. 4th St., Monon, IN 47959 Phone:  (219) 253-6658