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Preschool Program FAQ's

Preschool Program FAQ’s:

How does my child qualify for preschool?

A:  Through the preschool screening process.  All children must be screened and qualify in order to attend either the Preschool for All or the Head Start Preschool Program.  Please visit our website for details www.hcusd2.org >Parents/Students >Preschool Program Information >Preschool Program & Screening Details.


How do I get my child screened and when is the next screening?

A:  Screenings take place in the spring and are by appointment only.  If the screening schedule is open you can make an appointment from this website.  Go to our Main Page and click in the box labeled Preschool Screenings and a link will be provided.  If the box is not available then the screening schedule is not open.  Please click on the link below and leave your contact information so we can include you in the next round of screenings.

 Preschool Screening Contact List


How old does my child have to be for preschool screening / the preschool program?

A:  Any child who turns 3- or 4-years old on or before September 1st is welcome to be screened for preschool.  Any child that will be 5-years old on or before September 1st is considered Kindergarten eligible and is no longer eligible for preschool or preschool screening.


How do I get into Head Start?

A:  The Head Start Program is a collaboration between Kankakee School District and Herscher School District.  Therefore, you must attend the Herscher School District Preschool Screening as well as complete the Head Start application process.  The Head Start staff will determine who attends the Bonfield Grade School, Head Start Program after the screenings and the applications are processed. 


How do I contact Head Start?

A:  Head Start can be contacted at -  

Proegler School

710 N. Chicago Ave

Kankakee, IL  60901

Phone 815-933-0773


What is the difference between the Bonfield Preschool Programs?

A:  The Bonfield Grade School houses 2 preschool programs.  First, the Preschool for All Program which is provided by a state-funded grant.  Second, the Head Start Program which is provided by a collaboration between the Herscher School District #2 and the Kankakee School District #111.  Head Start is a federally funded, county-wide program. 


What do the preschool programs cost?

A:  Nothing.  Both the Preschool for All and the Head Start programs are 100% grant funded.  There are no registration, field trip or lunch fees for both of the programs. 


Are the preschool programs full day / full-time?

A:  Yes.  The Preschool for All and Head Start programs run Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.


Can I choose to send my child for only half a day?

A:  No.  We are sorry but all Herscher School District preschool students must attend full-time. 


Where can I find a school calendar?

A:  The Preschool For All Program follows the Herscher School District calendar located at www.hcusd2.org >Parents/Students >District Calendar.  The Head Start Program follows its own calendar set by the Kankakee School District.  A Head Start calendar will be provided to you by Head Start staff or you can contact the Head Start Office at Proegler School in Kankakee, 815-933-0773. 


Is there a school supply list?

A:  The only items needed for preschool are a full-sized book bag and a throw-sized blanket or beach towel for rest time.  Otherwise, all school supplies are provided by the preschool program grants.  The only exception would be potty training supplies, diapers, wipes, etc. - see next question. 


Does my child need to be potty trained?

A:  No.  Students will start a training schedule to encourage them to become potty trained as soon as possible.  But they do not need to be fully trained in order to attend preschool.  Until your student is fully trained, providing diapers, wipes, pull-ups and any other supplies, will be the responsibility of the parent. 


What documentation does my child need to start preschool?


  • Copy of child’s social security card
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Proof of Income:  see details at www.hcusd2.org >Student Registration >Forms >Proof of Income Requirements
  • Up-to-date immunization record
  • School Physical
  • Lead Screening-by your doctor or local Health Department
  • TB Test is highly recommended by not required

All documents are required by the state of Illinois upon entrance to preschool.  However, if through no fault of your own, you cannot acquire all documentation by the first day of school, a reasonable amount of time* to gather the above paperwork will be allowed.  After such time, failure to provide all required documentation will result in a loss of your child’s preschool placement.

*Medical records are due October 15th per state of Illinois law.  See next question for more information.


What if I cannot get my child into their doctor or the health department before school starts?

A:  Your child can still start school.  All medical requirements are due, by state law, on October 15th or the next student attendance day if the 15th falls on a non-student attendance day.  Note:  if you do not have your child’s medical requirements completed by October 15th, per state of Illinois law, your child will be excluded from school until the state medical requirements are met.


What are the immunization and medical requirements for preschool?

A:  Please visit our website at www.hcusd2.org >Student Registration >Forms >Preschool Medical Requirements


Will I need to send or buy a lunch?

A:  No.  The grants provide a hot lunch for all preschool students.


Can I choose to pack my child’s lunch?

A:  No, and please let us explain why.  The lunch program is part of the preschool experience.  The preschool program is designed to expose your child to play-based academic stimuli, peer interaction and new experiences in general.  This includes a balanced school lunch which introduces fruits, vegetables and other menu items.  This is an excellent age to start expanding your child’s palate for new foods.  The only exception would be a severe food allergy.  If you need to pack specific food items for your child’s food allergy, the district will require verification from your doctor.  If the allergy is life threatening, an emergency action plan created by our district nurse and approved by your doctor, will need to be in place.       


Where can I find the lunch menus?

A:  The Herscher District website www.hcusd2.org >Food Services >Lunch Menus


Do I have to live in the Herscher School District to attend preschool?

A:  No.  The Preschool for All grant is state funded and the Head Start program is federally funded.  Therefore, students from outside the Herscher #2 School District can go through our district's preschool screening process and see if they qualify for one of the programs.  Our only exclusion would be transportation.  Any preschool family outside the Herscher School District is responsible for transporting their child.  Note:  when your child turns 5-years old and is eligible for Kindergarten, you will need to live in the Herscher School District.  Proof of residency will be required prior to the entrance of Kindergarten. 


Is transportation provided for preschoolers?

A:  Yes, unless you live outside the Herscher School District or you live in the Bonfield Village boundaries.  If you live in the Village of Bonfield, your child is considered a car rider.  You will not be provided transportation while your child attends Bonfield Grade School.  Otherwise, your preschooler will be offered the same transportation as all other district students in grades K-12.


Will my preschool child ride the bus with older kids?

A:  Yes.  The preschool students are bused on the same buses and routes with the K-12th grade students.  However, preschool students, by law, are required to sit in a car seat with a harness restraint.  The car seats are located in the very front rows of the bus, closest to the driver.


Who can/will put my child on the bus and secure their car seat?

A:  A parent or an adult (at least 18-years of age) must be present at the assigned bus stop both morning and afternoon.  The parent/adult will be responsible for boarding and securing the preschooler in a harnessed car seat.  As well as unlatching the child’s harness and removing them from the bus at drop off.  The bus driver, by law, is not allowed to leave the driver’s seat and is not allowed to harness or unlatch your child.