Partnering For Success

From its inception, Mary Crane Center has existed to serve communities in need, and that continues to be true today. In addition to providing high-quality care and education to young children, MCC prides itself on supporting and empowering parents and families through services offered on-site as well as partnerships that expand our reach within the communities we serve. A few examples of these community partnerships and their impact include:

  • Gads Hill Center: a years long partner that sponsors PlayStreets, outdoor events with music, food, dancing, and fun for our kids, families, and neighbors
  • Sonrisa Family Dental office & Norwegian American Hospital: health care facilities that provide immunization and physical and dental exams to MCC children for free
  • UIC Center for Literacy FAST Education & Engagement: as a Family Engagement Partner, parents and families have opportunities to attend workshops on topics ranging from financial literacy and stress resilience to teaching the ABCs at home
  • Chicago Furniture Bank: a non-profit that provides dignity, stability, and comfort to Chicagoans that face poverty by allowing clients to handpick an entire home's worth of furnishings for free

Chicago Furniture Bank, a community partner of the Mary Crane Center since 2018, has been one of our most rewarding partnerships to date. At Mary Crane Center, we share CFB’s belief is that everyone should be able to sleep in a bed, eat dinner together around a kitchen table, and enjoy the comfort of a furnished home. Mary Crane Center families can request an appointment to personally choose items from the furniture warehouse that meet their needs and match their style. Furniture packages include everything an individual or family may need to furnish a home, including artwork, which allows families to express their individuality.

Mary Crane Center Program Director, Traci Delgado, speaks very highly of the team at Chicago Furniture Bank. When reflecting on the partnership over the years, Traci noted that one of the most impressive things about CFB is how much they’ve grown while still maintaining a strong presence at Mary Crane Center sites. They are also always working to improve their services and frequently send surveys so they can better reach families in need.

And as they continue to grow, they’re able to give more, which is good because the need never stops. As a service that Mary Crane families use frequently, we are grateful for their partnership and look forward to many more years of working together.

While it is a requirement that 10% of the children served at every Head Start center have identified disabilities, Mary Crane Center exceeds that minimum, with nearly 25% of children served across our four sites receiving disability services.

Support From Day One

As a part of the network of the National Head Start Association, Mary Crane Center is committed to serving children with disabilities. Beyond that, it is our belief that in order to set children up for success in school and in life, our job is to provide high-quality, effective, individualized, and inclusive education to all of the children in our care.

Mary Crane Center staff work diligently to guarantee that all children enrolled at our sites are promptly screened, referred when necessary, and receive the services that will help them progress. Staff go through the screening and referral process side-by-side with families. Children birth to age 3 are referred to their local Child Family Connections (CFC) and therapeutic services are provided in the child’s home or their center, wherever they attend Mary Crane Center programs. Children 3-5-years-old receive services through their local school district, which is Chicago Public Schools.

MCC staff make sure that services continue to happen and make adjustments to these supports as needed.

A few ways we ensure childrens’ needs are being met include:

  • Hiring an additional paraprofessional at the Molade site in response to a higher number of children with IEPs (Individualized Education Plans)
  • “Doubling up” on services by continuing the work done through Early Intervention and CPS in the classroom by teachers and paraprofessionals
  • Offering Early Intervention services both on-site and in the child’s home
  • Providing transportation to and from services administered at CPS and offering bus passes as needed for families that travel to receive services
  • Continuing services online during COVID-19 shutdowns.

While there is much to be proud of when it comes to the disability services that Mary Crane Center provides, there was something that immediately came to Traci Delgado’s mind about the program’s success:

“When services were online during the COVID-19 shutdowns, a lot of agencies just wouldn’t do services with [children] and we did. We made sure we had the technology and that children were able to get online to access their classes while they were being served here.”


Mary Crane Center provides high quality early care and education programs and services that support school readiness, empower parents and engage the community.

Administrative Office
4006 W Lake Street | Chicago, IL 60624
Main Phone: 773-242-2860
Fax: 773-242-2881