December 2018

December 3, 2018

(CS3) Updates – December:

Deadline for Partner Plan Act Collaboration Institute Application Just Days Away!

css3.pngThe deadline to apply for the Partner Plan Act Collaboration Institute (PPACI) is this Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 at 5 pm! Collaborations will be notified by email communication on December 21, 2018 whether they will be accepted. We look forward to reading your applications and commencing the first cohort in January 2019.

This opportunity is for early childhood collaborations interested in receiving free training and technical assistance supports on how to improve local community systems efforts.

If you missed the informational session, you can watch the webinar here. The webinar reviews various aspects of the application and explains the scoring rubric.

From all of us on the CS3 team, happy holidays! We close out the year grateful for your continuous work to improve early childhood systems in Illinois. We wish you all a joyous new year full of peace and joy.

Local Collaboration Spotlight

Big Wins Through Collaboration

Glenbard.pngThe Glenbard Early Childhood Collaborative (GECC) has made great strides in just two short years. Funded by a Bright and Early DuPage grant from the DuPage Foundation, and with the support of the Cooperative Association for Special Education (CASE), GECC identified a need for birth-to-three services and saw a great opportunity for local school districts to meet this need when the Illinois State Board of Education released applications for Prevention Initiative (PI) expansion funding and the Early Childhood Block Grant PI recompete.

Unfortunately, elementary school districts that serve the Glenbard area were not able to take on either grant independently. District leadership knew that there was high value in programming for birth-to-three, but they chose not to write for PI funding since their focus was on strengthening and expanding Pre-K.

However, GECC felt strongly that with PI funding, they would be able to serve a population that was being overlooked. Conversations with stakeholders in their area, including the local health department, the county Home Visiting Network, Head Start, and the Regional Office of Education, pointed toward a strong need for home visiting programs. They understood the immense value to school districts in getting to know families in the community as early as possible.

csse_Dec.jpgAlthough home visitors focus on the infant, the infant might have siblings already in school. Additionally, the infant may eventually attend one of the five school districts. Because GECC strongly believes that home visiting needs to be embedded within the school districts for the greatest impact, they decided to take the lead in applying for PI on behalf of all five districts.

Building on the established relationships between the districts and CASE, GECC convinced all five districts to jump on board. They decided to come together on behalf of the community at large, and in doing so, demonstrated some of the qualities essential to systems-building: strong relationships, collaborative thinking, and openness to new ideas. It is no surprise, then, that GECC applied for and received both grants, and has since seen significant change in the community as a result.

If your collaboration has a highlight that you would like us to recognize, please send an email to


Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (IECAM)

iecam_logo.pngIECAM provides information on existing services, the demographics of young children and their families, and state resources that serve young children. Many of you have probably heard of IECAM before and may even have used it to answer some specific questions when writing proposals for funding, but there are a number of resources on there that you may not have tapped into yet.

IECAM has standard reports you can run to get a snap shot of child care, early care and education services, and child population in a given geographic area. All you need to do is go to IECAM’s website (, hover over “Data Search Options,” and select “Standard Reports.” You can then select the kind of report and the kind of region you want and get a report immediately generated.

County Snapshot reports provide early childhood and demographic countywide data, highlight the most recent demographic data overlaid with early childhood program location-based data, and describe unique feature from the county. Go to IECAM’s website, hover over “Publications,” and select “County Snapshots” to get a 2-page report.

IECAM has Geographic Information System (GIS) maps and tables for demographics and service types. On IECAM’s website hover over “Data Search Options” and select “GIS Maps & Tables.” On the map select what you want to look up and a geographic area.

If none of the reports built into IECAM or the datasets available meet your needs, you can request a customized report, dataset, or maps directly from IECAM. Just go to their data request form and submit!

Calendar_icon.pngUpcoming Trainings

Engaging Families in Early Childhood Collaborations | February 5, 2019 and April 9, 2019

This training will help participants identify strategies to reach priority populations, empower parents, and sustain a welcoming environment for families.
The Community Systems Statewide Supports program will host three of these trainings in:

  • Chicago
  • Southern Illinois
  • Bloomington during the Partner Plan Act Conference

The first Engaging Families training will be:
February 5, 2019
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Lawndale Christian Health Center
3750 W. Ogden, Chicago, IL

The second Engaging Families training will be:
April 9, 2019
John A. Logan College
Carterville, Illinois

Details for registration coming soon!

Partner Plan Act Conference

Please save the date for this year’s Partner Plan Act conference! This annual conference brings early childhood system stakeholders to learn, network, and deepen their community systems knowledge and skills.

  • June 11, 2019 
    Bloomington, IL