Advocacy & Policy

Building strong families and powerful communities in Illinois.


A family is sewn together with fun memories


Advocating for Children and Families in Illinois

Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) is committed to ensuring every child in Illinois receives quality early childcare and education. That’s why we created a strong coalition of parents, early childhood professionals, advocates, and community leaders to create meaningful change in Illinois’ early childhood system.

Our coalition prioritizes community involvement, policy expertise, independent research, and strategic partnerships to drive effective advocacy. Through grassroots organizing, events, and research initiatives, we empower individuals and communities to shape the systems that impact them.

Policy Guide

All Children, All Families

Explore the All Children, All Families Policy Guide to learn about our proactive and aggressive policy agenda for child care and early education in Illinois.

Explore the Policy Guide

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Young parents with their baby girl at home

A Brighter Future for Illinois’ Children and Families

For the next 10 years, we will work to enact changes to advance the following priorities:

  • Expand family access and choice
  • Strengthen governance and funding to make care and early education equitable for all
  • Structure the system to support early childhood teachers
  • Create a better system of support for achieving program excellence across all provider types

2024 Legislative Agenda

A comprehensive roadmap detailing our key issues and priorities for the year ahead.

We’re committed to making a difference, and this agenda serves as the cornerstone of our advocacy and public policy efforts. Explore our agenda to learn more about the crucial legislation we’re championing to drive positive change in our community and beyond.

View Legislative Agenda


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Portrait of an adorable baby girl bonding with her mother at home

Get Involved to Transform the Lives of Children in Illinois

We elevate the voices and experiences of parents/guardians and providers.

To create an equitable and just child care and early education system, it’s critical for parent and provider voices and experiences to be heard and understood. That’s why we prioritize grassroots engagement along with policy expertise, independent research, and strategic partnerships in our advocacy. Through grassroots organizing, calls to action, events, research, and public testimony, together we shape the systems that impact them.

The Maria Whelan Leadership Institute (MWLI)

Empowering Early Childhood Professionals to Ascend to New Heights 

Illinois Action for Children created the Maria Whelan Leadership Institute to honor the life and legacy of its long-time leader, Maria Whelan. The MWLI offers a nine-month fellowship program offering comprehensive professional development, leadership and advocacy training, networking opportunities, mentorship, and more to early childhood providers.

Learn more about the Maria Whelan Leadership Institute

Contact Us!

Connect with our Public Policy and Advocacy Team.

For more information and questions, please contact:
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