Our Mission

We are a catalyst and champion for real change and better life outcomes for children and families in Illinois.

Our mission is to be a catalyst for organizing, developing, and supporting strong families and powerful communities where children matter most.

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We believe that all children and their families, particularly those experiencing poverty, must have access to quality early care and education, and systems of family and community support that lead to success in school and in life.

Our 27 comprehensive, two-generation programs, advocacy initiatives, and research provide vital support to children, families, early childhood professionals, and communities to ensure ALL children in Illinois receive high-quality child care and education and wrap-around services. An authority and champion in the early care and education field, we use our expertise to create quality structures of care and education that support the whole child, family, and community. To ensure racial, gender, and economic equity, we partner with a network of community-based organizations, child care providers, educators, advocates, elected officials, and donors to transform lives and foster success.

We are creating a future where every family in the United States has equitable access to affordable, high-quality child care and education in their community.

Access to equitable, excellent, and enriching early childhood programs:
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Improves educational and social outcomes for children.

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Provides parents and guardians with the freedom to pursue careers and opportunities.

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Improves the quality of life in communities isolated from vital resources and opportunities.

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Are led by caregivers and educators who have access to affordable and high-quality training, technical assistance and supports.

We Strengthen families and communities

We believe that lasting change comes only by providing families and communities with the knowledge, support, and resources to support them in pursuing their goals.

Through these strategies, our families and communities can become strong, resilient, and thriving.

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We Believe

Children will achieve their greatest potential when they have:

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Consistent, stable, and nurturing care

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Exceptional early education

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Access to services that support their overall health and well-being

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Parents and guardians that are equipped with information and resources to make the best decisions for their families

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Well trained early care and education professionals with access to professional resources that enable them to deliver high-quality programs that support every child

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A universal, fully coordinated early care and education system that enables families, providers, and communities to access essential services