About the IL ECFC


The Early Childhood Funding Coalition is a group of advocates, non-profit organizations, child care providers, school districts, parents and others who have come together to fight for the well-being of Illinois’ youngest children.

  • We are working together to make sure that ALL families and early childhood providers have the resources they need to help children succeed.
  • We want adequate, equitable, sustainable, reliable funding for children's services from birth through age 5.
  • We want to ensure all children can access quality education and care, as their parents choose.
  • We want resources to be invested in the children and communities that need it most, in order to eliminate racial, socio-economic, and other disparities.

Want to join this great group in our fight for Illinois’ youngest children?

Sign up here!

Coalition Structure

The strength of our coalition resides in the power of all our members, and all of our decisions are based on our guiding principles (below).

The direction of the coalition is guided by the work of our three committees: the strategy committee, communications committee, and organizing committee.

The execution of our activities comes from the steering of the core members.

  • Strategy Committee: This committee identifies how to best leverage our power. They execute power-mapping activities in order to align tactics and activities that will help us achieve our goal as a coalition over time.
  • Communications Committee: This committee helps to act as the megaphone for the coalition. They create communication tools for coalition such as newsletter language, social media posts, and how-to guides so all members feel empowered to talk about the coalition’s activities with others.
  • Organizing Committee: This committee identifies potential new partners to bring them into the coalition. These organizers love building a base of support and rallying others to join our cause.

Guiding Principles

These are our organizing principles for a new early education and care funding system.

Coalition members agree to organize and make decisions based on the following principles. These outcomes-based principles will allow our coalition to focus primarily on what matters most—the outcomes. 

Provides the level of resources needed for programs and communities to deliver quality services to children and families.

  • Ensure that expectant families and those with children under the age of 3 can access evidence-based home visiting services, Early Intervention or other child development-centered supports;
  • Make quality infant and toddler care available in a range of settings for all children under the age of three whose families choose to enroll;
  • Make quality preschool available in a range of settings for all 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds whose families choose to enroll;
  • Ensures full funding for and programmatic connections between core early childhood services, including programs such as Early Intervention, Early Childhood Special Education and Bilingual Education supports; and
  • Make the system more affordable to parents and families, with particular focus on the affordability of quality infant and toddler care.

Resources are first directed to children and communities where investments are most needed to eliminate the role of disparities—particularly racial and socio-economic disparities—as a predictor of life outcomes.

  • Ensures that funds across the system are directed first to families in least well­ resourced communities with the least access to the quality services they need;
  • Delivers additional supports to children and families who face the greatest barriers to opportunity;
  • Improves compensation for the chronically underpaid early childhood workforce, especially in home and community-based settings, to be commensurate with K-12; and
  • Makes equitable the support for previously mentioned services and other state capacity and infrastructure needs, (e.g. better integrating Family, Friend, and Neighbor care as a valid parent choice) as part of the cost for a fully funded quality system.

Provides stability and transparency for children, parents, and providers.

  • Provides a stable, sustainable system that helps all providers achieve a high-quality level of service;
  • Fund adequately the system1s infrastructure needs, as part of the cost for a fully funded quality system;
  • Makes the early childhood system more understandable, accessible and affordable for families to ensure they can choose - and are able to receive - the services and supports they need;
  • Provides compensation stability and transparency across providers;
  • Supports the economic stability of parents, providers and communities by ensuring funding will not arbitrarily or suddenly end, lapse, be delayed, etc.; and
  • Brings transparency to the public and parents about program how public dollars are spent in programs, across provider type.