Transforming Children’s Lives with Child Care and Early Learning Opportunities

Since 1969, we’ve advocated on behalf of children and families while transforming child care and early learning programs in Cook County and across Illinois.

Image showing a child and adult giving each other a high five, a man holding a smiling toddler, and a smiling woman holding a laughing baby.


Illinois’ Child Care and Early Learning Leaders

By listening to the voices in our community and taking action, we improve access and create lasting change in the child care and early learning systems.

Our approach interweaves research, advocacy and policy, and innovative programming, so all children and families have access to high-quality, affordable child care and early learning opportunities.

Yellow circle background shape
Black teardrop background shape

Every child deserves safe, high-quality child care and early learning opportunities.

Improving Access to High-Quality Child Care and Early Education

We serve 150,000 children and families every year, ensuring access to high-quality early care and education opportunities.

See Our Impact


Advocates educating and empowering families and the public across Illinois


Children (ages 0-5) receiving high-quality early care and education through IAFCs Early Learning Programs


Total Children Served


Children, Families, and Providers Served

Illinois Department of Human Services Logo

Need help with CCAP?

Illinois Action for Children is the largest administrator of the Child Care Assistance Program in Cook County. See how we help providers and families find and pay for child care in Illinois.

Get help with CCAP

Purple teardrop background shape
Purple half circle background shape

Featured Webinar

Funding Priorities of Child Care Providers: Where Would Increased Investment Go?

In this recorded webinar, our team and policy makers share how increased funding for child care providers could be distributed.

Watch the Recording

A group of children smiling and raising their hands in the air
A mother and her daughter smiling and laughing together on a couch

Our History

Taking Action for Children and Families Since 1969

“What about the children?” — Sylvia Cotton

Outraged by the lack of quality child care alternatives for working parents in Chicago and across the state, Sylvia Cotton founded the Day Care Crisis Council of Metropolitan Chicago in 1969 — what is today known as Illinois Action for Children.

For more than 50 years, we’ve helped working families find safe, affordable, quality child care and early learning opportunities, while simultaneously advocating for the permanent change needed to best serve our communities’ children and families.

Discover Our Story