Champaign County Birth to 6 Council

Family Resources

The following resources are available from the Champaign County Birth to 5 Council and other local agencies.

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General Resources

  • Family Service First Call for Help
  • First Call for Help, Champaign [405 S. State St., Champaign; 352-6300] First Call for Help provides information about community resources, and referral and advocacy for those needing services from other agencies, as well as assessment of client needs for other agencies upon their request and coordination of charitable donations. It also provides limited emergency assistance when available to qualifying individuals, including referral to food pantries, rent, utility (power only) bill and prescription assistance up to $25.
  • First Call for Help, Rantoul [520 E. Wabash, Rantoul; 893-1530] Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County (CSCNCC) provides information, referral, and advocacy services, emergency food pantry, case management, transportation, Holiday Bureau food and toy distribution, and utility and prescription assistance when funding is available.

Family Resources

  • All About Baby Prenatal and Family Education Program [Carle Foundation Hospital, 611 W. Park St., Urbana; 383-6962] Prenatal and family education programs provide expectant parents with information. Classes on a variety of topics such as childbirth, breastfeeding, newborn care and car seat use are offered, and most classes are free. Infant CPR class offered for $5 fee.
  • Car Seats [Safe Kids Coalition Buckle-up Line, Champaign County; 353-4932] Provides car seats and booster seats to income-eligible clients. Free inspections and fittings of car seats by appointment.
  • Champaign-Urbana Public Health District [] Their goal is to improve the health, safety, and well-being of the community through prevention, education, collaboration, and regulation. Service provided include; WIC; Teen Parent Services; and other services for families with young children.
  • Child Care [Child Care Resource Service; 905 S. Goodwin, 314 Bevier Hall, Urbana 333-3252] Referrals to a variety of child care options including back-up/drop in child care (Back-up Solutions) and financial assistance (Child Care Assistance Program) for child care for those who qualify. Web site:
  • Crisis Nursery [1309 W. Hill St., Urbana; 337-2730] Free 24 hour a day emergency childcare services for families with children, birth to five years old. Web site:
  • Early Intervention Clearinghouse []
    View the Family Guide to Early Intervention Services (PDF). Also available in Spanish (PDF).
  • Family Enhancement Program [Crisis Nursery, 1309 W. Hill St., Urbana; 337-2730] Free support and education program for parents wanting to take charge of their lives and learn positive parenting skills. The program focuses on parenting, self-sufficiency, responsibility and positive family growth.
  • Fatherhood Initiative [Community Elements, 1801 Fox Dr., Champaign; 693-4547] Male Infant-Parent Educator provides free, voluntary home-visiting services to fathers with a child under age 2. Information on child development, developmental screenings and support of the parent-child relationship as well as linkage to community resources are provided.
  • Specials Needs CPS Resources Center [Peoria; 877-277-6543,] CPS offers education and information to parents and caregivers on the importance of proper passenger safety for children with special needs. Services include; a resource center; proper selection and installation and fitting of special needs restraints for parents and their child; and when available a loan program to provide seats to parents in need.

Early Childhood Programs

  • Caregiver Connections (Community Elements, 1801 Fox Dr., Champaign; 217-493-0100) Free program for child care providers to support social-emotional development of children, including behavior issues. Provides free consultation and training to child care home providers or centers in Champaign, Douglas, Iroquois, Macon, Piatt, and Vermilion counties.
  • Champaign County Head Start and Early Head Start [Administrative offices: 1776 E. Washington St., Urbana; 328-3313] Head Start/Early Head Start is a federal program that provides comprehensive, developmental services for children birth to 5 years old who reside in Champaign County, including children with special needs and expectant mothers.
  • C-U Early [Washington School, 1102 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana; 384-3541] C-U Early provides support and education programs for parents of children, birth through age 5. They include parent-child playgroups, workshops, seminar series, a telephone help line and toy and book lending libraries. Topics include Parenting in the Real World; Ready, Set, Play; Why Kids Misbehave and What to Do About It; 1,2,3 Magic, and Padre a Padre - a group for Spanish speaking parents. Weekly programs for teen parents are offered in local schools as are Developmental Screenings by appointment for children birth to age 3. Normal fees on sliding fee scale. Child care available during programs.
  • Get Ready Program – Champaign Schools [Champaign Early Childhood Center, 809 N. Neil, Champaign; 351-3881] Free preschool instructional program for Champaign Unit 4 Schools for children at least 3 years. They offer free developmental screenings to check speech, language, hearing, social and motor skills.
  • Healthy Families Program [Community Elements, 1801 Fox Dr., Champaign; 693-4636] Offers support, education and long-term home visiting to families expecting their first or second child or that have a newborn under two weeks of age. At weekly home visits, services offered include developmental screenings, information, and activities to encourage healthy development and support of the parent-child relationship as well as linkage to community resources.
  • Healthy Young Families [Community Elements, 1801 Fox Dr., Champaign; 693-4537] Free, voluntary program for first-time teen parents offers support and education, long-term home visiting, support groups, and linkage to community resources.
  • Help Me Grow Helpline [1-800-323-GROW] Provides automated office locator information on WIC and Early Intervention Services. No voice connection, only recorded address and phone number information is given. If you need more detailed information about programs and services provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services, please call 1-800-843-6154.
  • Middletown Early Childhood Center [101 N. Division, Mahomet; 586-5833] Provides early-childhood services for the Mahomet-Seymour school district. Web site:
  • Parent Wonders [201 S. Sheldon, Rantoul; 893-0671] Support and education programs for families living in rural Champaign County, including play groups, parenting classes, home visits, and a parent resource library.
  • Parenting in the Real World [Washington School, 1102 N. Broadway, Urbana; 384-3541] Ten week seminar designed to help parents find effective ways to raise happy, healthy, responsible children in today's stressful world. The seminar meets Wednesdays 6:30-8pm for the Fall Semester. Registration is required, and free childcare is available.
  • Prevention Initiative [Community Elements, 1801 Fox Dr., Champaign; 693-4551] Provides free home-visiting services in Spanish and English to families with a child under age 3. Visits include information and activities to encourage healthy development, developmental screenings and support of the parent-child relationship as well as linkage to community resources. Fatherhood Initiative and Play and learn groups are also offered and transportation is provided.
  • Spectrum Early Childhood Program [201 S. Sheldon, Rantoul; 893-0306] Special education program serving rural Champaign County academically at-risk preschoolers.
  • University of Illinois Extension [801 Country Fair Dr., Suite D, Champaign; 333-7672] Provides educational programs and resources to parents in Champaign County through parenting seminars, brochures, fact sheets, newsletters, e-mail, and the Champaign County website at
  • Washington School Early Childhood Program [1102 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana; 384-3616] Provides developmental screening and diagnostic evaluation of Urbana children ages 3 to 5. Also offers classroom programs for children identified as needing special education services.

Library Services and Programs

Local libraries circulate books, magazines, videos, DVD's, compact disks, books on tape, large print books, CD-ROMs and other materials. Many provide programs for children 6 months and older.

Children's Literature

School Readiness

Special Needs Services

  • Autism Program [University of Illinois, 904 W. Nevada, Urbana; 244-1395] serves as a resource and referral center for parents and professionals. The programs offered here locally include; Phone support; Resource Room with books, tapes, teaching kits, learning aides, and free visual supports; New Diagnosis Orientation for Families; Social Skills Programs; Training and Technical Assistance; and help with Diagnostics. TAP is located in Doris Kelley Christopher Hall. For more information email them at or visit their web site at
  • Carle ECHO Program (Expanding Childrens' Hearing Opportunities) [Carle Foundation Hospital, NCW4, 602 W. University Avenue, Urbana, 383-4375] A family-centered program with team members who provide evaluations, treatment options, parent education and therapy for children with hearing loss from birth to age 21. The ECHO team provides close follow-up and supports all communication modes. Web site:
  • Carle Therapy Services [810 W. Anthony Dr. Urbana 383-3400] Provides PT, OT, SLP and Developmental Therapy services for children. Web site:
  • CASE (Central Affiliation for Special Education) Audiology [809 N. Neil St., Champaign; 355-1214] Provides free hearing evaluations for children birth through graduation from High School in all school districts in Champaign County.
  • Champaign Community Schools, Special Education [703 S. New St., Champaign; 351-3841] Offers programs for children ages 3-21 with special needs.
  • Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation [1311 W. Church St., Champaign; 398-2374] Recreation programs for those with special needs.
  • Child and Family Connections [309 N. Logan Ave., Danville; 1-800-877-1152] Provides early intervention services for children with special needs, birth to age three. Serves Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, McLean and Vermilion Counties.
  • Crusade For Collin is an autism awareness campaign in honor of 6 year-old, Collin.  The primary focus is to educate and inform parents and families about the early warning signs of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). Web site:
  • Developmental Services Center (DSC) Children’s Services  [1304 W. Bradley, Champaign; 359-0287] DSC’s Children's Services Department is an Early Intervention Program serving children and families in east central Illinois. This comprehensive program provides therapy and support services for infants and young children who have developmental delays. Additionally, consultation is provided to parents, schools, daycares, and child welfare agencies. Web site:
  • Hearing Education Program [The Christie Foundation, 101 W. University Ave., Champaign; 366-9669] Provides hearing screenings for infants at Provena Covenant Medical Center, as well as speech-language-auditory therapy for children with hearing-impairments in a home-based, parent-infant program. Sign language may be used to increase communication if the parent chooses. Program also provides a resource library and speakers bureau. TTY number for deaf/hard of hearing: 366-1387.
  • Illinois Autism Training & Technical Assistance Project Kathy Gould, Project Director, Lombard, IL 630-889-7398,
    They offer information, resources, programs, trainings, and events for families and professionals related to Autism.
  • PACE, Inc. (Persons Assuming Control of Their Environment) [1317 E. Florida Ave, Sunnycrest Mall, Urbana; 344-5433] PACE serves people who have disabilities or disability-related concerns.
  • Rural Champaign County Special Education Cooperative [201 S. Sheldon St., Rantoul; 892-8877] Special education cooperative serves all rural Champaign County school districts.
  • Speech-Language and Audiology Clinic [University of Illinois, 901 S. Sixth St., Champaign; 333-2230] Speech, language, and hearing diagnostic and therapy services.
  • UIC Division of Specialized Care for Children [University of Illinois, 510 Devonshire Dr. Suite A, Champaign; 333-6528] Provides care coordination for families and children with special health care needs. They also help children with disabilities, and those who have conditions, which may lead to disabilities, grow, and develop to the full extent of their abilities.
  • Urbana Schools Special Services [205 N. Race St., Urbana; 384-3655] Serve children age 5 to 21 with special needs who live in Urbana.

Support Groups/ Support Services

  • Autism Society of Illinois: C-U Autism Network for Parents and Professionals
    Web site:
    Provides support and education for parents of children with autism as well as involved professionals. Meets on the first Thursday of the month with a speaker and networking groups from 7:00-8:30 p.m., at Christopher Hall, 904 W. Nevada, Urbana. Child care, a sibling support group, and swimming for kids with ASD are provided. For more information, go to the website or contact Sally Mustered (Coordinator) at 217-621-8429 or
  • Birth to 6Champaign County Birth to 6 Council of Families and Agencies works to identify children age birth to six with or at risk of physical, social/emotional, and/or developmental needs. The Council recognizes the role of the family as the primary influence in promoting a child’s development, and strives to coordinate a comprehensive, family-centered system of support in Champaign County for families with young children. The council encourages parent participation and has funding to help defray costs of transportation and child care to enable parents to attend meetings. Meets 3rd Monday of the month from noon to 1:00 pm. Meeting location varies. Visit Web site: for calendar with monthly meeting date and location.  Contact:
  • Down Syndrome Network Serves families with children with Down Syndrome in Champaign County. The DSN offers support to families mainly by being a source of current information for parents, professionals and the general public. The DSN meets monthly, has a parent library and a free newsletter. Contact the DSN by e-mail at, or by mail to P.O. Box 1143, Champaign, IL  61824-1143, or visit the Web site at
  • LaLeche League [355-3738] Provides support, education, information and encouragement to breast-feeding mothers.
  • Mother of Twins and More Support Group For mothers of multiples and expectant mothers of multiples (twins, triplets, or more). By sharing joys and concerns of raising twins, members enhance parenting skills, provide encouragement, and enjoy their "double blessings." Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, 7:00 p.m., at Grace United Methodist Church, 2004 S. Philo Rd., Urbana. Library has information on multiples & raising children. Offers family outings and "Mom" events once a month. Annual membership is $25/yr. Newsletter and group literature available. National Web site:
  • Padre a Padre [384-3541] A parent support group for Spanish-speaking parents with children birth to 5 years of age. Meets one Thursday a month, 6:30-8 p.m., Washington School, 1102 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana. Must call and register before coming. Conducted entirely in Spanish. Child care provided.
  • Parent-to-Parent Resource Network and Support Group [359-0287] Provides an informal support network for parents of young children with special needs. Links parents who have an infant or toddler that was premature, is delayed or has a disability. Meetings are individually arranged between parents. Group literature available. Web site:
  • PROUDD [630-978-1615] Parents (Peoples)  Resource Organization for the Understanding of Disabilities and Developmental delays (PROUDD) is a nonprofit organization developed to provide support, resources, education, networking and advocacy to anyone living or working with children with a disability or developmental delay primarily in the Champaign-Urbana community and surrounding areas. Web site:
  • R.O.C.K.-Raising Our Children's Kids [344-1165] An informational support group for grandparents and relative caregivers raising grandchildren. Members share experiences, receive support and identify resource information and educational materials.
  • RAPVI-Rantoul Area Parents of the Visually Impaired [892-8877] Provides phone support and a lending library for parents of visually impaired children.
  • Self-Help Center-Family Service [405 S. State St., Champaign; 352-0099] Provides information and referral to self-help and support groups. Listings of a wide variety of groups can be found on Web site: They also provides consultation services to assist individuals wanting to start new groups or improve the functioning of existing groups.
  • Spectrum Express support group seeks to serve the more rural counties in east central Illinois. Spectrum Express is a traveling support group that will change locations each month (or more often) to reach more families and communities. To participate, families and communities need to: find and make arrangements for a meeting space (such as churches, libraries, or community buildings) and find volunteers to provide child care during the meeting. Topics and trainings that can be provided include but are not limited to feeding / eating problems for the child with autism; augmentative and alternative communication options for children with ASD; the medical world and the child with autism; family learning opportunities and the child with autism; the social world of the child with ASD; and lots of do-it-yourself ideas and materials.  For more information contact Alicia Hart at or 217-218-0716.  Group is on Facebook under The Spectrum Perspective.


  • Come Play With Me Call 398-2550. For ages newborn-5 years. Wednesday 9:30-11:00 am. $26.00 per family. A program of the Champaign Park District.
  • CU Early Mom’s Club An informal group for parents and toddlers. $25.00 per semester/family (sliding fee scale). Registration required: Call 384-3541. 1102 N. Broadway, Urbana. Cosponsored by Crisis Nursery
  • Good Beginnings Playgroup Call 384-1128 to register. For ages newborn – 5 years and parent. $30.00 per 6-week session. Meets at the Cooperative Nursery School at 602 W. Green, Urbana.
  • Mothers And More For ages newborn-5 years and parent. There is an after school playgroup also. Leave a voice mail message at: 353-5036. All members pay annual dues and cover expenses of activities. Activities include meetings, guest speakers, play groups and “mom’s night out”. Visit the web site at:
  • Parent Wonders [893-0671] For ages newborn–5 years. Free of charge. Playgroups in Fisher, Tolono, Rantoul, and St. Joseph.
  • Parent/Child Playgroup Contact Karen Owens at 356-7712 for more information. Meets twice a month on Wednesdays at the Illinois Disciples Foundation at the corner of Springfield and Wright. The playgroup is a sub-group of the UI Women’s Club at the University of Illinois. For ages newborn-4 years and parent. $10.00 per semester.
  • Park Districts, Libraries and YMCA’s are also good sources for current programs for parents and children: Urbana Free Library 367-4069. Champaign Public Library 403-2030, Champaign Public Library Douglas Branch 403-2090, Urbana Park District 367-1544. Champaign Park District 398-2550. McKinley Family YMCA 356-2597
  • Play and Learn (PAL) Groups Contact Michelle Styan 217-693-4598 for more information and before attending. PAL groups are small, casual, conversational parent/child groups that meet twice a month from 3:45pm to 5:00pm to provide opportunities for parents and their children to play together. Groups are a collaborative project of Prevention Initiative at Community Elements and C-U Early. Parents with one child under age 3 are welcome to come and enjoy activities with their child. Free transportation in Champaign-Urbana is available.

Child Development Portfolio and Student Snapshot

Resources on developing child and student brochures and portfolios:

Web Sites

  • Advocate for Illinois Children []
  • American Academy of Pediatrics [] Health and wellness information for families including information on developmental stages, immunizations, and parenting.
  • Ask Dr. Sears [] Advice on all aspects of caring for infants and children.
  • Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Maternal and Child Health [] Provide listings of local programs as well as links to local resources.
  • Crusade For Collin [] is an autism awareness campaign in honor of 6 year-old, Collin.  The primary focus is to educate and inform parents and families about the early warning signs of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). 
  • Do To Learn [] Provide free visual resources
  • Family Matters [] Parent Training and Information Center
  • Family Village [] Information, resources, and communication opportunities on the Internet for persons with cognitive and other disabilities, for their families, and for those that provide them services and support. Includes informational resources on specific diagnoses, communication connections, adaptive products and technology, adaptive recreational activities, education, health issues, and disability-related media and literature.
  • First Signs [] Information on the early warning  signs of autism and related disorders
  • Healthy Children [] Web site backed by 60,000 American Academy of Pediatrics member pediatricians offers information, guidance and health advice for proactive parents and caregivers.
  • HelpSource [] Human services information and referral resources for East Central Illinois, including many Champaign County resources. Site contains a variety of printable versions of specialized resource directories available for download in Adobe PDF format.
  • Infant See [] Link to free vision screening
  • National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities [] Information for families and professionals for children with disabilities
  • National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD) [] Web site contains a database of more than 1,100 rare diseases, an A-to-Z index of rare diseases, and information on research, programs and services, support groups and other sources of help.
  • One Place for Special Needs [] Links to many special needs resources
  • ParentingParenting 24/7
    Parenting 24/7 is a “one-stop” online source of news, information, and advice on parenting and family life designed for parents and grandparents of children ages newborn to teens. Features include articles with research-based information, video clips of parents and experts discussing timely age-based topics, breaking news and commentary, newsletters, and recommendations to the best parenting resources on the web.
  • Zero to Three [] Information on early child development for parents and professionals.