Burpee Museum of Natural History

Provides museum tours and programs for pre-k and kindergarten classes/groups. Classes for pre-K and family programs.

  • 737 N. Main Street
    Rockford, IL 61103
  • Phone: 815-965-3433

Discovery Center Museum

Special exhibit areas for children 6 years of age and younger. Outreach programs, classes and camps for children 6 and younger.

  • 711 N. Main Street
    Rockford, IL 61103
  • Phone: 815-963-6769

View Upcoming “Mornings of Fun” Events

Boone/Winnebago Regional Office of Education

The Boone/Winnebago Regional Office of Education provides services to educators and school districts in Boone and Winnebago Counties in Northern Illinois, including credentialing and licensure.

  • 300 Heart Boulevard
    Loves Park, IL 61111
  • Phone: 815-636-3060

Boone County Public Schools

View a listing of public schools in Boone County.

Harlem School District 122

View a listing of schools in Harlem School District 122.

Rockford Public School District 205

View a listing of schools in Rockford Public School District 205.

Winnebago County Public Schools outside Rockford/Harlem districts

View a listing of public schools in outlying areas of Winnebago County.

Private/Parochial Schools

View a listing of private and parochial schools in Winnebago and Boone Counties.

Illinois State Board of Education

The’Illinois State Board of’Education will provide leadership,’assistance, resources and advocacy so ‘that every student is prepared’to’succeed in’careers and postsecondary education, and share accountability’for doing so’with’districts and schools.

  • 1661 Landmark Road
    Aurora, IL 60506
  • Phone: 866-262-6663

City of Rockford Human Services Head Start Program

City of Rockford Head Start provides services to children ages birth to five years old and pregnant women. Program options include:

  • Center-based pre-school, part day and full day
  • Child care through local partners
  • Home-based services

Eligibility for Head Start services is based on family income. The program strives to maximize a child’s strengths and provide a rich environment by providing each child a variety of successful experiences. Family support services, information and referrals assist parents and caretakers in their efforts to meet the basic needs of all family members.
Visit Rockford Head Start Web Site

Two Rivers Head Start Agency – Birth to Five

The Illinois Head Start Association (IHSA) was incorporated in 1978 to represent and provide services for all members of the Head Start community:’directors, staff, parents, and friends.’The Association is committed to enhancing the development of children, empowering families and strengthening communities. In the advocacy role, the Association speaks in a unified voice and acts on issues affecting children and families. It provides professional development opportunities for all members through conferences and institutes and awards training scholarships annually. Serves Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane&Kendall Counties.

  • Phone: 630-406-1444

Belvidere School District Early Childhood Program

  • 1201 5th Ave.
    Belvidere, Illinois 61008
  • Phone: 815-544-0301

Harlem School District Early Childhood Program

  • Donald Parker Center
    808 Harlem Blvd. Machesney Park, IL 61115
  • Phone: 815-654-4509

Visit Harlem School District Early Ed Web Site

Rockford Public School District Early Childhood Program

  • 201 S. Madison Street
    Rockford, Illinois 61104
  • Phone: 815-227-8411

Illinois Early Learning Project ECAP/CEEP U of I at Urbana-Champaign

The Illinois Early Learning Project Web site is a source of evidence-based, reliable information on early care and education for parents, caregivers, and teachers of young children in Illinois. The Web site offers printable Tip Sheets for caregivers and parents in English, Spanish, and Polish; answers to Frequently Asked Questions; a customized question-answering service; a statewide calendar of events for parents and caregivers; an easy-to-use database of links to “the best of the Web” on topics related to early care and education; activities related to the Illinois Early Learning Standard Benchmarks; the Illinois Projects in Practice Web site; and periodic “Ask an Expert” events. The IEL Web site became publicly accessible in November 2001.

  • Children’s Research Center
  • 51 Gerty Drive
    Champaign, IL 61820

Visit Illinois Early Learning Project web site

Winnebago&Boone County Public Schools Special Education Departments

View Special Education Departments Attachment

The Northwestern Illinois Association- A Special Education Cooperative

Offers a variety of direct and consultative services to member Northwestern Illinois school districts (over 70 served). Services for children 3-21 years include: assistive technology; audiology; vision; consultation team for children with autism spectrum disorders; orthopedic and multiple impairments; physical therapy; occupational therapy; supported employment; early childhood&life skills supervision; and inclusion facilitation. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Classroom in Eligin. Professional development programs are offered for educators, paraprofessionals, and parents. Parents should register their children through their home district first to access services. The Autism Library is offered free of charge through the Rockford Office. M-F 8-4:30.

  • 245 West Exchange Street, Suite 4
    (main administrative office)
    Sycamore, IL 60178
  • Phone: 815-895-9227
  • Fax: 815-895-2971
  • 3626 East State Street
    (Rockford regional office)
    Rockford, IL 61108
  • Phone: 815-964-0937, ext 214 for The Autism Library
  • Fax: 815-964-2210

View Autism Library Brochure
View Autism Team Brochure

RAMP No Limits

Provides multiple services to promote independent living for indviduals with a disability. Provides youth education and advocacy- including individual education plan (IEP) specialists, individual and systemic advocacy, peer support, community education, deaf services, information and referrals, equipment loaning, accessibility assessments, independent living skills training, community re-integration program, brain injury case management, and personal assistant services.

  • 202 Market Street
    Rockford, IL 61107
  • Phone: (815)968-7467, TTY: (815)968-2401
  • Fax: (815)968-7612
  • 530 S State Street, Suite 103
    Belvidere, IL 61008
  • Phone: (815)544-8404, TTY: (815)544-8404
  • Fax: (815)544-1896

Easter Seals Therapeutic School and Center for Autism

Accepts students 3-21 years from NW Illinois with primary diagnosis of autism, cognitive delay, behavioral disorder, or emotional disorder, must be approved by school district of origin as part of individual education plan.

Child Find

Child Find is a component of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth to 21, who are in need of early intervention or special education services. This Child Find web site is mainly focused on Part C of the IDEA, the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities. However, much of the information and many of the links listed on the Child Find web site can be useful in conducting child find for all young children, not just child find for infants and toddlers.

  • 100 N. 1st Street
    Springfield, IL 62777

Illinois StarNet

Illinois StarNet provides a variety of opportunities for personal and professional growth for those who touch the lives of young children, ages birth through eight, with an emphasis on children with special needs. STARNET supports family-centered

Community College Initiative

The purpose of the Community College Initiative (CCI) is to encourage people with disabilities to pursue college training that will’enhance skills and provide for greater employment opportunities. Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) believes that up to 1,500 individuals may benefit from the initiative through the end of the ARRA funding in September 2011.

  • 107 N. 3rd Street
    Rockford, IL 61107
  • Phone: 815-987-4964
  • General Illinois DRS Phone: 877-761-9780

Northern Illinois University

  • Rockford Campus
  • 8500 E. State St.
    Rockford, IL 61108
  • Phone: 815-332-7339
  • DeKalb Campus
  • 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy.
    DeKalb, IL 60115
  • Phone: 815-753-1000

Rock Valley College

Offers GED classes, two-year associate degrees, transfer programs, vocational programs in a variety of fields and adult/continuing education.

  • 3301 N. Mulford Rd.
    Rockford, IL 61114
  • Phone: 815-921-7821

Rockford College

  • 5050 E. State St.
    Rockford, IL 61108
  • Phone: 815-226-4000

University of Illinois Rockford

College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy

  • 1601 Parkview Ave.
    Rockford, IL 61107
  • Phone: 815-395-0600

Community Colleges – Illinois

This link is to a listing of Illinois Community Colleges.

Online College Programs

Community Foundation of Northern Illinois

The Community Foundation administers over 60 active scholarship funds on behalf of generous individuals, businesses, and service groups.’ Scholarships are available for students completing high school who are pursuing the challenge and benefits of higher education, current college students, and non-traditional students seeking to return to school.’ Scholarship funds are limited to 1) accredited institutions and 2) private non-profit or publicly supported institutions. Review the criteria below to see which scholarships you are a good fit for you.

  • 946 N. 2nd Street
    Rockford, IL 61107
  • Phone: 815-962-2110

City of Rockford Human Services Department – Community Services Division

This division sponsors a competitive scholarship opportunity for qualified students for post secondary education. Applicants must have household income below 125% of the federal poverty level, reside in Winnebago or Boone County, and plan on attending a post secondary accredited school or training program located in the state of Illinois. There is no age requirement. Applications are usually released in January through media announcement and then available at our location and on our website with deadline for return in March. Call for more details as programming, qualifications, and funding availability may change.
Rockford office:

  • 555 N. Court Street, Suite 301
    Rockford, IL 61103

Belvidere office:

  • Alerta
    130 N. State St.
    Belvidere, IL 61008

Mailing address:

  • 612 N. Church St.
    Rockford, IL 61103
  • Phone: 815-987-5711

Illinois has scholarships and grants to suit just about every type of student. If you are a nurse, medical student or teacher, there are a number of attractive incentive programs designed to keep you studying and working within the state.

Online Education Database

Bullying Resource

If you or someone you know is being bullied, there are things you can do to make it stop. Check out this website for resources to stop and/or prevent bullying.

Illinois Parents

GED – Information

GED Referral Programs for Summer and Fall 2014


The Workforce Connection- ELEVATE

303 N. Main St. 3rd Floor
Rockford, IL



Apply at the Boone/Winnebago Regional Office of Education. Applications accepted M-F from 8am-3:30 pm. $50 application fee is valid for one year.

  • 300 Heart Boulevard
    Loves Park, IL 61111
  • Phone: 815-636-3060
  • Fax: 815-636-3069

Preparation courses for taking the GED tests are not required, but are recommended. Schools offering GED courses are:

Rock Valley College Adult Education: 815-921-2001
Roosevelt Community Ed. Center: 815-966-3251
Regional Learning Center: 815-316-8450
ARK in Belvidere: 815-544-3315
Rockford Career College: 815-967-7315 –




MELD provides programs for young mothers and fathers (through 21 years of age) and their children through our MELD Moms & MELD Dads parenting and support groups. The groups meet weekly at local churches and in local high schools. Volunteers provide childcare and healthy snacks to ensure that these families are able to take advantage of our services. Families come together to discuss parenting issues and to share ideas with each other. Life skills, job skills training, GED tutoring and assistance in completing education, career planning and guidance, pre-employment workshops, and employment opportunities and job placement services provided in addition to parenting information and support/resources services. Also provides Transitional Living Program and an emergency shelter known as Trinity House (see separate entries).

  • 3703 N. Main St. #107
    Rockford, IL 61103
  • Phone: 815-633-6353
  • Fax: 815-633-8709


Rock River Training Corporation

Rock River Training Corporation provides opportunities for young people between ages 14-21 in Boone and Winnebago Counties to complete their education and train in areas that help build a foundation to enhance their future.
Youth Programs for in-school youth help youth stay in school by providing tutoring, counseling, mentoring, career exploration, work experiences, and overall support. The expectations of the workplace permeate the programs which, in cooperation with the youths’ schools, prepare youth to enter additional education/training after high school and/or full-time jobs. Youth may be in a program from several years. Programs for youth who have dropped out of school emphasize the youth’s return to school or obtaining a GED as a basic step on their road to self-sufficiency. Programs provide basic skills/GED instruction, tutoring, counseling, mentoring, career exploration, and work experience. The programs keep in contact with youth who leave the programs for at least a year.

  • 303 N. Main Street
    Rockford, IL 61103
  • Phone: 815-847-7574