About the Early Childhood Center and District 99 Pre-K Program

The Early Childhood Center provides a child-centered and developmentally appropriate pre-k program. A combination of teacher-lead and student-lead learning experiences are provided every day.

The Early Childhood Center offers a full continuum of learning opportunities for students based on their individual needs.

For children who meet the criteria for Illinois' Preschool For All grant, they are placed in a pre-k classroom that ranges from 15-20 students. The majority of the students in this classroom are considered within the typical range of development or are such with a minor speech delay. 

For children who demonstrate additional support needs, or require special education services, these services are offered across the continuum of environments. The program offers supports based on student needs. Many of the children in the early childhood and pre-k programs receive their services through blended programs. The majority of the services in these programs are provided in general education programs.

For students needing more support, the early childhood and pre-k program offers a variety of special education support in self-contained classrooms. Opportunity for the children in these programs have typical experiences with children without special education support needs are a part of these programs as well. Children in this program are supported through a combination of the Preschool For All grant, Individuals With Disabilites Act (IDEA) Part B grant dollars, and local school funding.

District 99's program has recently received the Gold Circle of Excellence as part of State A Monitoring. It has also received positive reports for its inclusion of all students. 

Mission and Vision

The Early Childhood Center and District 99 Pre-K Program provide exceptional early childhood education for the children and families of Cicero. Regardless of race, religion, native language or level of functioning, we believe that all students should be afforded an equal opportunity to learn. Preparing our youngest pupils for the challenges of tomorrow, we strive to help children build their basic skills through dynamic teaching and hands on learning.

In order for our students to be successful lifelong learners, we must partner with their parents. Parent involvement at home and at school boosts program effectiveness and all aspects of school readiness. When parents take part in their child's education, they do better in school and the quality of their educational experiences improve.

Furthermore, we believe that the most important teachers in any classroom area are student's peers. For this reason, we desire to construct a learning environment to tolerance and understanding that all children might benefit from each other and our diverse curriculum. 

The Illinois Early Learning Standards are just the beginning. We strive for education and access to educational opportunity in the least restrictive environment.


Image result for 5 essentials survey

The 5Essentials were developed by the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute, in partnership with Chicago Public Schools. Past research has shown that schools strong on at least three of the five essentials are 10 times more likely to improve student learning than schools weak on three or more of the five essentials.

For 2020, Early Childhood Center is organized for improvement. To view more detailed results from the survey please click HERE



Thomas Geraghty                                        tgeraghty@cicd99.edu