With more than 30 years of leadership in Chicago’s early care and education community, Tom Layman serves as the Vice President of Program Development for Illinois Action for Children. Layman oversees the agency’s early learning programs, which operate in collaboration with child care centers and community-based organizations and include Illinois Preschool for All, Early Reading First, and various other training programs and community planning initiatives. Layman collaborates with staff, community residents, and potential funders to develop and implement new programs that meet the needs of low-income, working families. Prior to joining Illinois Action for Children, Laymen spent 21 years as the Executive Director of North Avenue Day Nursery and eight years as the Executive Director of the Chicago Metropolitan Association for Education of Young Children.
Layman earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy from National-Louis University as part of the McCormick Fellows program. His work in the program included a thesis on the usefulness of child assessment information, and laid the groundwork for his subsequent career accomplishments.