Early Intervention

Child & Family Connections #15

April 2023 Family Newsletter

Will/Grundy/Kankakee/LaSalle Counties

April Showers Bring May Flowers, and summer EI Extended Services!


Early Intervention Extended Services allows for children who turn 3 years old over the summer to continue to receive their current EI services through the summer months until the school year begins. EI Extended services are available to all children currently in Early Intervention who meet the following criteria:

  1. Turn 3 years old between May 1st and August 31st
  2. and who have been evaluated at their school district and qualify for an IEP (Individualized Education Program).

For more information on Extended EI services please read about Extended EI services on the EI Clearinghouse, or contact your service coordinator.

Save the date to join a town hall meeting with the Director of the Bureau of Early Intervention!

The Director of the Bureau of Early Intervention, Benny Delgado, is hosting virtual town halls with families of children in Early Intervention. During this time you can share your experiences, ask questions, and voice your suggestions to improve early intervention. These meetings will be held online and information will be presented in English and Spanish. Upcoming dates are:

  • May 2nd, 7:30-8:30pm
  • September 6th, 9:30-10:30am
  • November 9th, 7:30-830pm

To register for a town hall meeting, complete this form OR contact Meghan Burke. Email: meghanbm@illinois.edu or Phone: 217-300-1226

Please enjoy the information on fun activities and support resources for all families in this newsletter, as well as information on some April awareness days and holidays.

April is....

If you know someone who is concerned about their child's development please, give them the number for the Child and Family Connections 15 Referral Coordinator, (815) 768-3730.

-The staff at CFC 15

Fun Family Activities |April 2023

Will/Grundy County Events

Sensory Friendly Super Mario Bros Movie with the Special Needs Mom Squad at Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville. April 16th 10:30am-1:30pm

Reels at the Rialto April 26th - Napoleon Dynamite

Children's Day presented by the Spanish Community Center on April 29th 11am-2pm at St Peters Church

Joliet YMCA Family has fun events in April:

April 28th - Healthy Kids Day at Galowich YMCA 4-7pm

April 28th - Healthy Kids Day at Morris YMCA 5:30-7:30pm

April 29th - Healthy Kids Day at C.W. Avery YMCA 11:30-1:30pm

Will County Forest Preserve District events calendar has virtual & in-person events for children and families, such as Earth Day Festival on April 22nd

Kids Closet Connection is hosting a children's resale clothing event on April 29th & 30th at Roma Sports club in Frankfort. Presale event on April 28th.

Healthy Families, Healthy Homes Free Family Fun Day on April 29th 10am-2pm at Will County Center for Community Concerns.

Baby Raffle at Child Care Resource and Referral for Will County residents. Stop by the CCR&R office in Joliet for a raffle ticket to win baby seats, changing tables, high chairs & more! Questions? contact Corey McKnight 815-741-1163 ext. 227 cmcknight@childcarehelp.com.

To find fun events in the south suburbs go to the Chicago Southland visitors bureau

For events in Will County go to the Visit Will County website.

Kankakee County Events

Click here to view events and information about the Exploration Station children's museum in Kankakee.

Free family movie night at the KVPD Rec Center this month's movie is Hop, April 14th at 8pm

Free Family Fly a Kite Day at KVPD on April 29th 11-2pm

Little Me Studio in Bourbonnais has programs for babies and toddlers such as their Baby Art and Sensory Play group & Toddler Art playgroup on Wednesdays in April.

Mattea's Joy Super Hero Fun Run on May 6th to support families with children who are hospitalized.

Check out your local park district to find fun family events in your area!

·   Bourbonnais Township Park District

·   Kankakee Valley Park District

·   Momence Park District

To find more fun events in Kankakee County go to the Kankakee County Calendar of Events.

LaSalle County Events

Family Game Night at LaSalle Public Library April 12th, at 4-7pm

Chocolate Festival & Auction to support LaSalle County CASA April 16th, 12-4pm.

Shake Rattle and Read at Graves Hume Library April 19th at 11am for kids age birth - 2 years

Shake, Rattle, & Read at Reddick Public Library Wednesdays in April at 10am for ages 9-36 months.

The Peru Public Library has fun, free classes for ages 0-5

Sensory Friendly movies at the Eagle Theatre in Streator

May 27th - The Little Mermaid

June 3rd - Spiderman

For fun events and parenting tips in LaSalle County go to:

Illinois Valley Area Parent References Facebook page

LaSalle County Calendar of Events

Ottawa IL Pick Us calendar of events.

For family events in the Chicagoland area go to ChicagoParent.com. Check out the Fun things to do with kids in Chicagoland in March and view the March/April 2023

Issue of Chicago Parent Magazine.

Chicago Hearing Society is collaborating with the Lincoln Park Zoo for a free Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Family Day on May 7th from 10-12. Click the link for details and to register to attend.

Fun and educational places for families:

DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville. The museum offers Access membership for a reduced fee to all families in Early Intervention ($25 for a family membership!! Reduced from $135) See the website for details or ask at the museum.

Kidswork Children's Museum in Frankfort.

Discovery Center Museum in Rockford

Chicago Children's Museum

Field Museum masks are recommended.

The Museum of Science and Industry masks required in certain areas

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum masks recommended, not required.

The Art Institute is open with advanced ticket purchase.

Click here to see information about Free Museum Days for Chicago Museums

Lincoln Park Zoo

Brookfield Zoo

Cosley Zoo in Wheaton

Sky Zone in Joliet is open and has a Little Leapers program for kids age 7 and under on Saturdays from 10-11am. See their calendar for details.

Starved Rock State Park and Matthiessen State Park both located in LaSalle County are great places to get outside and enjoy nature!

Theatres with Sensory Friendly Movie Times

AMC Theatres in New Lenox, Naperville, Lombard and Morris

Marcus Theatres in Orland Park and Chicago Heights

NGC Cinema in Yorkville

Emagine in Frankfort

Eagle Theatre in Streator

Special Recreation Associations host virtual and in-person events for kids of all ages:

Mom's Night Inn with Illinois Hands and Voices

Illinois Hands and Voices is hosting a Mom's night Inn for Moms and female caregivers of children of all ages who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, on April 29th & 30th at Hilton Garden Inn in Warrenville IL. A mom's night Inn is a time to:

  • Meet & share experiences with other mom's of children like yours
  • Listen to interesting speakers
  • Have fun!
  • Eat a hot, delicious dinner
  • Have time just for you!

You can register for just the day or spend the night. More information and how to register can be found on the Illinois Hands and voices website. Registration ends April 12th! Financial Assistance is available and details can be found on the website. For questions about the event email: executivedirector@ilhandsandvoices.com

Connect with one of the CFC 15 Parent Liaisons

A parent liaison in EI works to support families and help to answer a family's questions. There are 5 Parent Liaisons at CFC 15 and we each have a different journey that we have traveled with our own children. Pictured are the CFC 15 Parent Liaisons (from left to right), Juli Thornton, Melissa Ball, Julia Bartczak, Karen Principato, and Kelli Coleman.

All parent liaisons at CFC 15 have experience raising a child with special needs and are also experienced service coordinators. If you would like to read more about the experiences of each of our Parent Liaisons, click here to learn about their EI journeys.

Parenting is challenging, and we can relate to the situations you may be experiencing with your child from having been through similar experiences. We can be a place of support and a non-judgmental listening ear for all families. We are available via email to answer questions and support you on your journey. Please contact us with your questions or concerns at ParentLiaisons@SvcIncofIL.org and we will connect you with a parent liaison to best fit your needs.

Information on Early Intervention Visits

In-person checklists for Early Intervention providers and for families help determine if it is safe to have in-person visits.

If you or a member of your family is sick with any of the symptoms on the checklist please contact your Early Intervention providers and cancel any upcoming in-person visits.

If you have to cancel your In-person visit for any reason, consider trying a Live Video Visit for that week! Please reach out to your Early Intervention providers or your service coordinator with any questions.

If you want to learn more about Early Intervention Video visits, watch these videos from ETCA (Early Childhood Technical Assistance) Center of families talking about their experiences with EI Video Visits.

Please take a moment to review this information from the Early Intervention Clearinghouse on Considerations for Families regarding Early Intervention Service Delivery. There are several options to consider:

  • Live Video Visit
  • Phone Consultation
  • In-person visits
  • A hybrid of the above service delivery options.

Families along with their service coordinator and Early Intervention team can create a plan using the above service delivery options for EI services that works best for their child and family.

If you would like to have EI live video visits but do not have internet or a device to use for the visits, the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse has a device loan program for all families in Early Intervention.

Available technology includes: Ipads, hotspots, & Ipad stands. To apply to receive a device from the EI Clearinghouse, please complete the Device Loan Request Form.

Is your Child Turning 3 soon and Graduating from Early Intervention?

Do you understand the Transition process out of Early Intervention when your child turns 3? Here are a few resources to help you during this time.

If you have any questions about your child's transition out of the Early Intervention Program, please reach out to your service coordinator.

Family Support Resources

Parent/Family Support Programs:

Do you get your health insurance through Medicaid? If so don't risk losing your health insurance and update your address online today! You can complete the change of address by clicking the link or call the Bureau of All Kids at 1-877-805-5312 and select Option 8 to report an address change.

Joliet Township is offering Free tax preparation by IRS Certified Preparers for Will County residents who made less than $56,000 in 2022. Call Patricia at 815-726-4781 x 301 befiore April 15th

Diaper Depot is a program of United Way of Will County. Families in need can pick up FREE pre-packaged diaper packets once a month from one of three locations in Will County. Click the link for more information.

Text for baby is an app that helps you track you babies, health, growth, and development from birth through your babies first year.

The Arc of IL has an Assistive Technology Consumer Stipend Program which provides funds to to pay for the assistive technology (Ipads, tablets, laptops etc) needed to attend virtual events and meetings for people with developmental disabilities and their family members. Click to download the application. Any questions? Call 815.464.1832 ext 1010.

ParentEd talks from Chicago Parent are back! Click the link to register. The 2022-2023 series features experts sharing insights on parenting topics such as overcoming trauma, ADHD, understanding depression and anxiety, and more!

Free ACES Parenting class held at We Care in Morris. This 5 week program runs periodically throughout the year and usually meets from 5-7pm, with meals and childcare provided. If your child has experienced trauma or trauma is impacting your ability to parent call 815-942-6389 for more information on this program.

2-1-1 is now available in all counties 211 is a 24/7 resource/crisis line that families can call to get connected to local human services and crisis intervention resources in their area.

9-8-8 is a new mental health suicide and crisis hotline that is free, confidential and available 24/7 to anyone experiencing mental health related distress.

Count the Kicks is an app for expectant parents to help monitor their baby's movement in the 3rd trimester. The app is free and available in 12 languages! Click the link to learn more.

The IL Cares for Kids website was created to support all IL families with children from birth through school age. On this site you can search for preschool programs in your area. Parents can also sign up for a FREE text program called Ready4K for families with kids ages 0-11.

  • Families can expect to receive 3 texts a week with fun facts and tips on ways to help their child learn and grow, as well as links to local resources.
  • TEXT IL4KIDS to 70138 to register or visit illinoiscaresforkids.org

Aunt Martha's Healthy Families Program in Cook, Will, & Kankakee Counties has a home visiting Program to support new and expectant parents. Click the link for more information.

The Jump Start homevisiting Parental Training Program is a parenting enrichment program offered in Will, Grundy, Kankakee and LaSalle counties. It is a free program that offers parent education and family support services throughout pregnancy until your child is 3 years old. In Will and Grundy Counties contact 815-725-2194 and ask to speak to someone in the Jump Start Program, or in Kankakee County call Tyler at 815-600-9744. Families can also enroll online. For more information on this great program check out their facebook page. See their current flyer here.

Easter Seals has a Parent's Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Support Group or other Social Interaction/Communication Disorder that meets the first Friday of each month 11am-12 pm via Zoom. Email Alicia ahann@joliet.easterseals.com for the zoom link to join. They also offer a Spanish Speaking group that meets weekly - Fridays at 3pm.

Easter Seals in Joliet has Summer groups that run June 13th - August 5th. They have a Mommy and me Sensory Play for ages 0-3, a play based group for ages 2-5, and more groups for all ages!. All groups are only $150 for the summer! Call Alicia at 815-207-6071 to get registered.

Easter Seals is offering Free walk in mental health screenings for children age 1-17 years old. Following the screening, families will be provided with information, resources, & tools if needed. Screenings are held the 2nd Friday of every month from 9am-11am, or to schedule a virtual appointment call 815-927-5466. Screenings are also offered in Spanish.

Erikson Center for Children and families is offering in-person and virtual mental health services to parents, caregivers, and children focusing on prenatal to 8 years old. Services available in English and Spanish. For more information contact their intake line at 312-709-0508 for English and 312-934-6446 for Spanish.

Family Resource Center on Disabilities is Chicago’s Metropolitan Area Parent Training and Information Center and supports families in 8 IL counties including Will & Grundy Counties. Call 312-939-3513, email: info@frcd.org, or go to the FRCD facebook page

Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center supports families in 94 IL counties including LaSalle and Kankakee Counties to provide information, referral, linkages, and training to parents, students with disabilities, and special education professionals. They can be contacted toll-Free: 1-866-4FMPTIC (1-866-436-7842), or FMPTIC facebook page. They host a Virtual Parent-to-Parent Chat via Facebook Live on the first Tuesday of every month (except June, July and Aug.) from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

The Illinois Respite Coalition has a Free statewide respite hotline. If you are in need of respite services please call 866-455-7377.

Will County Center for Community Concerns in Joliet has many supports for low income families. See below for information on some of their programs or call 815-722-0722:

To view additional informational online resources for families related to Early Intervention and Child Development please click here.

Do you know someone who needs help with groceries?

My Pantry Express is an online food pantry that gives those in need of food assistance, the opportunity to shop once a week for a variety of free grocery items. Items can be picked up from multiple locations in Will County. Please click the link for details.

No income or residency restrictions apply.

The Northern Illinois Food Bank has a list on their website of upcoming Mobil Food Pantries and Pop up Markets listed monthly by county. Both types of distributions are currently using a drive-thru model. Everyone is welcome – no ID or referral is needed.
Will County has created Food Access Maps where you can locate food pantries, micro pantries, mobile food pantries, and community gardens in Will and some of the surrounding counties.

Find Food IL Community Food map allows you to search by zip code for food pantries, School meal sites, grocery stores, and SNAP & WIC offices.

The Salvation Army in Kankakee has a walk through family-choice food pantry open Tuesdays from 10:00am-12pm-1:00-3:00pm. 148 Harrison Ave in Kankakee.

To get information or help with your SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program) application click the link or call 844-600-SNAP.

About Us:
Visit our website
Child and Family Connections #15 is the regional office serving as the point of entry for children and families into the Illinois Early Intervention Program. CFC #15 serves children age 0-3 year and their families in Will, Grundy, Kankakee, and LaSalle Counties.
For more information about the Illinois Early Intervention Program, please visit:
**The events and information contained in this newsletter are not sponsored by Child and Family Connections #15. This newsletter contains information from many different agencies and organizations and is provided to families as a resource.**