Child Development Division


Kids sitting in classroom

The UMOS Child Development Division provides safe, nurturing and high quality, early childhood education programs with school readiness at the heart of everything we do.

The Child Development Division is comprised of Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and Migrant Child Care. The programs are operated in Wisconsin, Missouri, and soon to be in Arkansas.




Children playing in classroom



Getting young children school-ready is a central focus of the UMOS Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) program, which also includes Early Head Start (EHS) programming. The program delivers comprehensive and high-quality Head Start services designed to prepare children for school and help families to support their children’s learning. UMOS MSHS views school readiness as children possessing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school and continued learning throughout their lives.

Funded by the US Department of Health & Human Services Office of Head Start (OHS), UMOS operates four MSHS/EHS projects (known as UMOS I, II, III, and IV) as the grantee serving Wisconsin, Missouri, Northeast Arkansas and South Texas, providing early childhood development and education, health, dental, mental health, nutrition, family engagement, and parental involvement services. These services are responsive and appropriate to each child’s and each family’s development, culture, linguistic heritage, and experience.

Services are provided to children ages 6 weeks through 5 years in a center-based design for 9 to 12 hours a day. UMOS also targets 10% of its funded enrollment for children with special needs and makes serving homeless families a priority. During peaks of harvest, UMOS MSHS braids funds to also serve children during weekend hours. This additional childcare service allows parents the ability to continue agricultural work extending through the weekend while their children are in a safe, nurturing, high-quality, early childhood education program, rather than in the fields.

In 2020-2021, UMOS I, II, and III, which serves Wisconsin, Missouri and Arkansas, provided Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) services to 178 migrant and seasonal farmworker children and 119 families at multiple centers located in rural communities where farmworkers reside. UMOS IV, which began serving in South Texas in late 2020, provided services to 579 children and 429 families.

PARENT & FAMILY INVOLVEMENT: UMOS promotes parental involvement at each MSHS/MEHS site through parent-teacher conferences, parent groups, and classroom volunteer opportunities. These opportunities help parents gain the confidence and skills necessary to support their child(ren) in their educational journey. Before children enter kindergarten, they gain the academic foundation and social skills necessary to succeed. Transition to kindergarten involves UMOS facilitating parent-teacher conferences, home visits, coordination with kindergarten teachers, open houses, information packets, and field trips to local schools.

DUAL LANGUAGE LEARNING: The program also serves families and children with limited or no English language proficiency. To support dual language learners, UMOS provides services to children and families in their home language while introducing English throughout the day. The UMOS dual language program emphasizes learning, talking, and engaging with children in their home languages and cultures as an important part of their classroom day.

PHYSICAL, ORAL AND MENTAL HEALTH: UMOS provides early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services that enhance the physical, emotional, and intellectual development of children enrolled in the MSHS/EHS program. UMOS enriches these Head Start services by collaborating with other programs in the community whose purpose is to help families be healthy, thrive and move toward self-sufficiency. This includes health and dental services, including physical and dental screening, examinations, and treatment; hearing and vision screenings; mental health services; nutritional assessment; immunization; referral and follow-ups.

SCHOOL READINESS: UMOS MSHS/EHS promotes school readiness by focusing on the individual child, the involvement of the family and community to support optimal early child development. UMOS’ approach uses the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF) along with each state’s standards to establish school readiness goals and to develop curriculum planning and implementation.

UMOS’ age-appropriate school readiness goals are established in the following domains: Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional, Development, Language and Literacy, Cognition, Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development. UMOS uses the Creative Curriculum which is aligned with Head Start ELOF. MSHS/EHS personnel continuously evaluate program effectiveness in preparing children for school by measuring children’s development and learning in these domains and against predictors of school success that are aligned with each state and ELOF.



The Migrant Child Care (MCC) Program is funded through the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Children and Families. The program extends or bridges services for un-served/underserved migrant children throughout the state of Wisconsin. The program also collaborates with MSHS to support additional services needed by children outside the Head Start hours.

The MCC program also affords families with avenues for additional child care services when their children are no longer age-eligible for MSHS services. The school-age requirement for MCC is 6 to 12 years of age. MSHS children can be transitioned to MCC when they are 5 years 11 months. UMOS has several licensed centers in Wisconsin that also provide an educational, nurturing and safe environment.

The MCC program’s unique structure has
added service options:

  • Early: morning services
  • Evening: after hour of the MSHS
  • Holiday: Child Care/4th of July, Labor Day
  • Saturdays: full-day services based on family needs
  • Post: After the MSHS funding has ended
  • 6-12 Program: providing services to children ages 6 to 12 that are no longer eligible for MHS Services. Three centers operate from mid-July to the end of August.
  • Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).



Title I Migrant Education is a federally-funded program that assists selected local school districts in providing supplemental education services needed by migratory children. UMOS’ program helps children ages 6 years to out of high school, develop oral and written language, and other communication skills as well continued support to complete their high school education. The program also focuses on reading, mathematics, and other core subjects to improve student achievement. Coordinated supportive services may also be provided. This program was housed at the Berlin and Randolph sites in Wisconsin.

We take pride in meeting the needs of our families while meeting the financial and many other Head Start performance requirements.

Chan Conner

Financial Liaison Advance, UMOS Accounting Department

Children playing outside