CNE offers two Center-Based options. CNE funds two classrooms at Family Focus operated by McGaw YMCA in Evanston serving children ages 3-5 years old. CNE also funds three classrooms at Swift Child Care Early Childhood Centers in Skokie serving birth to five years old. Both programs provide a quality early education experience to enhance your child's learning and development.

The Center-Based option is a Head Start/Early Head Start program. All participating families will be assigned a Family Support Specialist who will work with you to build a relationship, family goals, and provide any referrals that you may need to best support your family. Other supports that will be offered are comprehensive services, which include mental health services, nutrition services, health services and education/child development services to transition your children to a 3-5 year old program or to Kindergarten and position them for school success and school readiness.

Home Visiting

CNE’s Home Visiting Program is a Head Start/Early Head Start program that serves families with young children ages birth to five through weekly home visits and twice-monthly group socializations. Each eligible family is paired with one of CNE’s Parent Educators/Home Visitors, who use research-based curricula (Parents As Teachers and My Teaching Strategies) to support parents in becoming their child’s first teachers. As a team, parents and the Parent Educators work collaboratively to establish educational and developmental goals for each child. Parent Educators then prepare individualized lesson plans to help each child/family in making a smooth transition to a Head Start program or to Kindergarten and position them for school success and school readiness.

Free Perinatal Education Workshop Series

This series of workshops is designed to bring pregnant and parenting people together to learn from each other about pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period and more. This is a rotating 4 week series held on Tuesdays from 5pm-6pm via zoom. Enrollment is ongoing so you can register at anytime. 

For more information please email [email protected] and interested participants can complete this form https://forms.gle/RxaG5beauosWfHd67. This is free for EHS eligible families

Online Application

If you are interested in applying for family childcare center, center based partner programs or our home visiting program (all listed above) you may submit an online application here (aplicación en español). Please note that the application will take you about 30 minutes to complete and must be done all at one time. In order to be accepted into these programs, you must meet very specific income limits.  The chart is here so you can see if your income is below the income maximums. If you have questions before submitting an application, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].  Thank you for your interest!


Illinois State Board of Education Preschool For All (PFA)

CNE partners with the local early education centers listed below to provide PFA services for up to 118 children ages 3-5, specifically those that may benefit from additional academic support. PFA is 2.5 hours per day with a full day option available, if eligible, so that your child can attend a longer school day. PFA includes parent engagement, comprehensive developmental screening, and high-quality, research-based curriculum for children to develop a strong foundation of knowledge and skills. Eligibility for PFA is determined at our partner sites, so please contact them directly if you are interested in learning more or applying:

Learning Bridge Early Education Center: 847-869-2680 
Reba Early Learning Center: 847-475-6480
Infant Welfare Society of Evanston: 847-491-9650
Puerta Abierta Preschool:  847-328-1491
Toddler Town: 847-448-0108

Learning Together

CNE offers classroom-based mental health and speech/language therapy services through our Learning Together program. We have two mental health consultants and a speech & language pathologist that support five Evanston early childhood centers (Learning Bridge Early Education Center, Reba Early Learning Center, KinderCare and the McGaw YMCA) with monthly classroom observations, one-on-one consultations with children and families as needed, and teacher mentoring and training which provide resources and techniques that can be used in the classroom. This program creates opportunities for consultants, parents, and teachers to learn together so that they can best support each child’s needs.



For more information regarding these programs and eligibility, please contact
us at 847-475-2661 and speak to one of our Intake and Eligibility Specialists.