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Employment Application Process with Heartland Head Start

Head Start and DCFS regulations require Heartland Head Start to follow a specific application process. The application process for Heartland Head Start will be as follows:

  • Submission of application and requested documents;
  • Pre-Screening;
  • Interviewing;
  • Criminal Records Check;
  • Health Screening;
  • Policy Council Approval;
  • Offer of Employment.
  • Submission of Application

    All prospective employees will complete an application form and certify the information is correct. False or dishonest information on any documentation provided by a prospective employee may warrant the candidate ineligible for employment consideration and may also be considered as grounds for immediate dismissal if the candidate is employed by the organization.

    Other Application Documents

    Initial documentation for all open positions will contain a cover letter, resume, transcripts (if required), and three (3) written letters of recommendation.

    Applicant Responsibility for Documentation

    All prospective employees must provide Heartland Head Start with documentation as requested in employment advertisements or as otherwise required for employment consideration. Heartland Head Start reserves the right to request any verification or certification from employment candidates as deemed necessary by Heartland Head Start to certify the candidate meets the qualifications of the job as well as all federal, state and local requirements.


    It is Heartland Head Start’s policy to check employment references of all job candidates to ensure that any individual employed by Heartland Head Start is qualified for the position prior to an employment offer. Reference information will follow the guidelines provided within the Illinois Employment Record Disclosure Act (745 ILCS 46/1).

    A public criminal record check which covers state jurisdictions must be completed prior to interviewing. The following websites are checked for records:

    The results and supporting documents will be reviewed by Human Resources and the appropriate content leader/director or other appropriate hiring manager.


    Human Resources will oversee all aspects of the interviewing process. This includes scheduling the interviews, making sure the appropriate forms are received and completed by the candidate(s). After an initial screening of all candidates, the best-qualified candidates will be interviewed by the pre-determined search committee. Candidate(s) not selected for an interview will be notified in writing.

    Criminal Records Check

    It is Heartland Head Start’s policy to complete a full criminal records check during the application process. This check includes state, tribal and/or federal records.

    The fingerprint-based criminal records check is conducted by an approved vendor of the Department, an approved vendor of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). This criminal records check will occur after the candidates have been interviewed. Receipt and review of the candidate’s criminal records check will be conducted prior to selection and recommendation for employment.

    As defined by DCFS standards, if an employee is already in their database of fingerprints (as checked on their website), this criminal records check may be waived by completing the “Request for Transfer” of the previous records check results to the new location of employment.

    Heartland Head Start and/or DCFS have the right to deny employment to any individual relating to results of their background check.

    Health Screening

    Heartland Head Start will work with Illinois Work Injury Network (IWIN) to provide all health screening for employees. Employees will use the appropriate office as directed for all health screenings. All examinations will be provided at no cost to the individual.

    Drug Screen

    Heartland Head Start is a drug-free workplace environment. Prospective employees may be required to complete a negative drug screen before employment may begin, as defined by the position’s job description.

    Medical Exam

    DCFS requires that all prospective employees have a medical exam (using authorized DCFS medical exam form). Continued employees are required to have a medical re-examination every two years from the date of the prior exam. “Heartland Head Start will work with current employees to keep all medical records updated as required by DCFS.

    TB Test

    DCFS requires all new employees to have a Mantoux method TB test with documented negative results completed upon hire. Should a new employee have a positive reaction to the TB test, employment is acceptable once they provide proof of a chest x-ray clear of tuberculosis or other appropriate treatment by a medical provider. This test is only required upon initial hire.

    Testing for Physical Job Requirements

    Applicants may be screened to determine if their physical abilities match the requirements of the position as defined by the position’s job description. This testing will be completed at program cost as directed by the HR Manager.

    Policy Council Approval & Offer of Employment

    Heartland Head Start has a parent committee, called the Policy Council, who is involved in and approves all employment decisions with the search committee. Prior to requesting approval for an applicant to be hired, the Content Leader and Executive Director review all of the applicant’s paperwork. Human Resources then presents the recommendation for hiring to the Policy Council for approval. Human Resources will provide an offer of employment once all the above requirements are met and approval is granted.

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