April 2020

April 13, 2020

IAFC Service Updates and Office Closures

“There is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups.”

—Ibram X. Kendi

Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3)

In the interest of the health and safety of our staff and participants, the Community Systems Statewide Supports team has cancelled all in-person trainings through June. You can still access numerous virtual learning resources on our Partner Plan Act website. Catch up on previous webinars, read up on toolkits and resources, sign up to be part of our online community, WeConnect, and take a course through our On-Demand Learning.


The first online learning course, Early Childhood Collaboration Data, takes you through six interactive modules that explore how to focus your purpose, collect data, make meaning from the data, communicate findings to drive action, and build a data culture. Find out more and sign up today. Register today for a short webinar to learn more about the online course on May 12, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.

Census 2020

Help us get a fair and accurate picture of our community

census2020-ppa.jpgDuring this uncertain time, it is more important than ever to complete the 2020 Census and ensure that you are your community are counted accurately! You can now go online and complete the Census. If you didn’t receive a postcard or letter from the U.S. Census Bureau, you can still complete the Census online or by telephone at 844.330.2020. Visit our Census page for more details.

Collaboration Highlight

Breakfast with Baby and the Community Consolidated School District 93 Birth to 5 Community Coalition


In October of 2019, the Community Consolidated Schoold District 93 Birth to 5 Community Coalition, which serves the communities of Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, and Hanover Park, had a stroke of good luck: Our Savior Lutheran Church knocked on their door. Co-led by Rosary Horne and Michelle Scharinger, the Birth to 5 Coalition had always wanted to partner with faith-based organizations to deepen their connection with the community. Our Savior needed partners for their new Breakfast with Baby program and reached out to the Birth to 5 Community Coalition. Quickly realizing the mutual value in working together for the benefit of the children in their community, Our Savior joined the Coalition as an active partner. Since then, Breakfast with Baby has been operating with the assistance of Coalition members and various community volunteers.

Funded in large part by the Northern Illinois District of the Lutheran Church and supported by community donations, Breakfast with Baby’s goal is to provide families with baby-care essentials. Every third Saturday of the month, families speaking Burmese, French, Spanish, and English come together to eat breakfast and listen to a five-minute devotion. Afterward, parents receive 50 diapers and one box of baby wipes per baby. Parents have an opportunity to “shop” in the donation closet with the help of a volunteer personal shopper while their children are cared for by other volunteers. They are invited to select up to three outfits for each baby, as well as other donated items that might be available. To date, Breakfast with Baby has had 12 to 20 families participate each month. Through word of mouth and vigorous outreach supported by Birth to 5 Community Coalition partners and numerous community entities, its popularity and attendance continues to grow!


Although still relatively new, CCSD 93 Birth to 5 Community Coalition’s partnership with Our Savior Lutheran Church has already proven to be powerful and mutually beneficial. In Our Savior Lutheran Church, the Birth to 5 Coalition now has an active partner that provides a unique connection to the community and that can use its insight to help inform the Coalition’s work; in the Birth to Five Community Coalition, Our Savior Lutheran Church has a partner that can help it develop important relationships with other Coalition members that will help further its mission.  

If your collaboration is looking to partner with faith-based groups, Breakfast with Baby Coordinator Karen Farruggia has some words of wisdom: “Partnering with faith-based organizations is a key for any type of coalition any time you want to make a difference in a community… Everyone is trying to accomplish the same goal; we can all work together, [no] matter your faith background.”



COVID-19 Resources for Communities

Stay up to date with COVID-19 resources. The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development is the central hub for relevant resources for children, families, providers, and communities. To learn more, click here

Fourth Trimester Project

Pregnancy, birth, and bringing a new baby home are all big transitions and all parents deserve support during this time. During the “4th Trimester” many women and their families – especially those with limited resources – face considerable challenges that are not well supported by communities, businesses and society. The 4th Trimester website is designed to provide the latest medical evidence as well as real, honest stories to inform postpartum planning. This is the first postpartum self-care resource designed for new moms, by moms.

Resources on the website include:

  • Expert-written resources on topics such as healing/recovery, breasts, emotions/hormones, bottom/pelvic, and sex/contraception.
  • Assistance in creating a postpartum plan and communicating with partners, family, and friend so mothers can build their own village.
  • Information on taking care of the baby within the whole family’s needs such as feeding, sleeping, bonding, the baby with other children, NICU and special needs, and loss.
  • Stories from new moms and the ability to connect with other mothers.

Upcoming Trainings and Events

CS3 On-Demand Learning Overview Webinar

This webinar will guide participants through CS3’s On-Demand Learning to:

  • Learn how to use the platform
  • Understand the components of the Early Childhood Collaboration Data course
  • Learn how to take advantage of the new support

Register HERE!


Partner Plan Act Annual Conference

June 8, 2020 – June 12, 2020

In the interest of the health and safety of our staff and participants, the Community Systems Statewide Supports team has cancelled all in-person trainings through June, including our annual Partner Plan Act Conference.

Since we won’t be able to convene, we will instead offer a virtual summit. Throughout the week of June 8, participants will be able to attend virtual breakout sessions and keynote presentations. For the latest information, please visit the Partner Plan Act website.