Research Reports: Achieving Program Excellence and Equity

Elevating Parent Voices: An Evaluation of the Family Advisory Committee of the Illinois Early Learning Council in Year Two (2023)

The Family Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Early Learning Council is Illinois’ first permanent advisory body of parents focusing on early childhood programming and policy. In 2022, we interviewed parent-members of the FAC and stakeholders who helped found the group in order to evaluate the successes and challenges of the group’s first two years and to recommend actions for improving its role.

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A Lead-Free Future Report (2020)

This special report summarizes findings from the past four years of work supporting the child care community in complying with lead in water testing and mitigation requirements in Illinois. Findings will help inform local and national efforts to address lead in drinking water. This report is co-authored by Elevate, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to create a just and equitable world in which everyone has clean and affordable heat, power, and water in their homes and communities — no matter who they are or where they live.

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New Research on Subsidized Family, Friend and Neighbor Providers: Implications for Investing in Quality (2019)

Thousands of children in Cook County who receive Child Care Assistance are under the care of a family member, friend or neighbor. New rules require many of these providers to complete health and safety training and meet monitoring requirements. This report explores characteristics of subsidized family, friend, and neighbor care in Cook County and the implications for designing a successful training and monitoring program.

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State-Funded Preschool Availability in Illinois Depends Upon Where You Live: An Equity Analysis of ISBE Pre-K Resources in FY2019 (2019)

This report seeks to answer the question, “Who gets to go to preschool in Illinois?” and takes a hard look at just how equitable access is to high-quality, affordable early childhood programs in our state. We offer policy recommendations on how to bridge that gap.

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Chicago’s Roadmap for Implementing Universal Pre-K: A Plan for Investment in Chicago’s Early Learning System* (2019)

Four-year plan for providing a robust early childhood system that includes universal access to free, full-day pre-kindergarten for all Chicago four-year-olds, regardless of income, by the fall of 2021, while sustaining the City’s investment in birth-through-three-year-old services.

*Chicago’s Roadmap for Implementing Universal Pre-K was developed with input from many stakeholders, including the Department of Family Support Services (DFSS), Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the Mayor’s Early Learning Executive Council, early learning community-based providers, and early childhood advocates. Illinois Action for Children conducted the financial analysis to model costs to implement the Universal Pre-Kindergarten Plan (Technical Report above).

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Illinois Action for Children’s Trainings on Nutritional and Physical Activity Standards in Child Care Settings and How Providers Perceive and Practice the New Standards (2012)

Child care providers reflect on the role they can play in helping children form good exercise and eating habits.

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