tired woman holding baby

This guide will introduce you community resources for parents and families. Many communities offer a variety of resources to help families find child care, financial assistance, medical/dental/mental health care, food & nutrition services, and housing. Each community is unique, so not all services will look the same.

Child Care/Education

  • Childcare Options in Illinois – This Q & A responds to questions about childcare options available to families in Illinois.
  • Child Care Provider Lookup – This searchable list from the Department of Children & Family Services provides information on currently-licensed child care facilities.
  • Find your local Child Care Resource & Referral agency – Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies can help families find quality child care in their community.
  • Head Start Locator – Head Start is a comprehensive child development program and offers preschool, child care, and home visiting services in a variety of formats.
  • Illinois School District Finder – Quickly find your school district by entering your address or the name of the district below. Then enter that district into a browser to find contact information.

Financial Assistance

  • Application for Benefits Eligibility in Illinois – Use this site to apply for and manage your healthcare, food, and cash assistance benefits.
  • Help for Illinois Families – Use this site to apply for financial assistance for energy bills, rental assistance, temporary shelter and more.
  • Utility Bill Assistance – This web page  from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provides information about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in Illinois and a list of Community Action Agencies that administer the program.

Medical / Dental / Mental Health

  • Illinois Department of Human Services Health & Medical Services – IDHS services and services provided by other Illinois agencies can be found here, including medical assistance, family case management, newborn hearing screening, and more.
  • Illinois Association of Free & Charitable Clinics – This organization has identified more than 40 free and charitable clinics in Illinois that provide medical, dental, and pharmacy services.
  • Public Health Departments in Illinois – provide maternal & child health, environmental health, teen & adult services, wellness & health promotion, dental health information through county offices.
  • American Dental Association – provides a list of Dentists based on ZIP code or address.
  • Division of Specialized Care for Children – Division of Specialized Care for Children can help eligible families access medical care and financial support for young children with certain chronic conditions. The Core Program works with a broader population of children with special healthcare needs and provides free care coordination. The Home Care Program provides care coordination to children with increased medical complexity who are medically fragile and technology dependent or who require in-home shift nursing.
  • Mental Health Treatment Locator – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA website provides listings of treatment facilities. Enter your zip code or city to find programs in your area.

Food / Nutrition

  • Map of Food Banks in Illinois – This graphic map from Feeding Illinois shows the coverage areas of Illinois Food Banks by County.
  • Food Connections – The IDHS Food Connections directory lists agencies that provide supplemental food, emergency meal, and other feeding programs. Listings are by region and county.
  • Summer Food Program – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provides listings of Summer Food Service Program sites where children can receive a nutritious meal when school is not in session. Click on “Find a Summer Meals Site”.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) In Illinois – This link provides information on eligibility and the application process for the SNAP benefits program in Illinois.
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – The Women, Infants, and Children program provides supplemental nutrition resources, including infant formula or breastfeeding supports through supplemental food and breast pumps to infants and children under age five and pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding mothers.

Housing Resources

  • Illinois Housing Search – This web site provides an online search for affordable housing in Illinois. In addition, it provides detailed information and links to housing resources, helpful tools for renters such as an affordability calculator, rental checklist, and information about renter rights and responsibilities.
  • Continuum of Care Agencies – This link provides a listing of Illinois Continuum of Care Agencies that can help to find affordable housing in local communities.
  • Emergency and Transitional Housing in Illinois – This IDHS web page provides a description of emergency and transitional housing services as well as a directory of emergency and transitional housing centers located in the State of Illinois.
  • Eviction Help Illinois – provides free legal aid, mediation services, and connections to other resources including rental assistance to increase housing stability. Mediation is an opportunity for landlords and tenants to resolve issues with the help of a knowledgeable and neutral person.