About IAFC

We Believe that Every Child in Illinois Deserves Every Opportunity to Succeed.

A series of images of young, happy children
Portrait Of Adorable Baby Sitting On Bed And Smiling Looking At Camera

It’s a Commitment that Started in 1969

Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) was founded by Sylvia Cotton and a small group of smart, politically active citizens who came together to fight for better, more affordable child care options for working families.

The goal then, as it is now, was to work with families and communities to better understand the challenges that children face and to help create practical solutions. IAFC ensures that every child in Illinois receives early care, education, and resources that promote a lifetime of health, safety, and happiness.

Our broad approach makes families and communities part of the solution. It’s a proven and effective means to address overarching issues of endemic poverty, which are the root cause of the educational failure of American children furthest from financial resources.

We give young learners the resources they need to succeed.

At IAFC, we work with parents/guardians, communities, and local and state government to create high-quality early care and education programs that help prepare children for future success. Each year we impact more than 190,000 children and their families.

Learn More About Our Impact

We’re helping to build brighter futures for children.

Working directly with children and their families is a proven and effective means to address overarching issues of endemic poverty. Our Mission and Vision are the common thread that connect everyone at IAFC.

Read our Mission and Vision

Our Leadership Team is dedicated to helping children succeed in school and in life.

IAFC works with communities, advocates, and legislators to expand access to, and ensure funding for, early care and education and other family resources. The need is ongoing, so we’re always thinking about the future and how we can do even more for the children of Illinois.

Meet our Leadership Team

Supporting children by supporting families.


Make a Career Move that Makes a Difference.

It takes truly talented people to make a difference in the lives of children and their families.

At IAFC, we have opportunities in a wide range of areas – from administration to technology and everything in between. If you share our commitment, a career at IAFC is one that is rewarding in every sense of the word.

Explore Careers

A group of IAFC employees, smiling at a registration booth together