December Partner Plan Act E-Newsletter

December 14, 2022

You have to get over the fear of facing the worst in yourself. You should instead fear unexamined racism. Fear the thought that right now, you could be contributing to the oppression of others, and you don’t know it. But do not fear those who bring that oppression to light. Do not fear the opportunity to do better.“– Ijeoma Oluo 

Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3)   

Thank you to those who submitted your votes for the dates for this year’s Partner Plan Act Conference! The CS3 team is excited to announce the annual Partner Plan Act conference will take place virtually on May 16-18, 2023. 

This year’s conference theme is Equity from the Start: Overcoming Obstacles, Leveraging Opportunities. At last year’s conference, we explored how to take action and shift power to communities most impacted by racial inequities and why it is important. This year, we want to take the how to the next level and explore ways in which communities are moving the needle towards equity by overcoming obstacles and leveraging existing opportunities. 

Is your community making efforts towards creating a more equitable Early Childhood Education and Care system? We want to hear from you! Please consider submitting a conference breakout session proposal. You can find the application here in English and here in Spanish. Submissions are due Friday, January 27, 2023 and should be submitted to with the subject line [2023 PPA CONFERENCE RFP]. Any questions, please reach out to Kristen Garcia at  

Highlight: 2023 Partner Plan Act Conference Advisory Committee 

The CS3 team is excited to announce the restructuring of the Partner Plan Act Advisory Committee for our annual Partner Plan Act Conference, Equity from the Start: Overcoming Obstacles, Leveraging Opportunities. Now more than ever, we are committed to shift power and co-create with the people most impacted by the conference and the community systems work it aims to support. 

As in past years, our team will convene an advisory planning committee made up of early childhood education and care stakeholders to inform our conference planning and make it a success. However, this year our Advisory Committee will have more decision-making power than ever before. The decisions being made by the Advisory Committee are sure to influence the conference in a significant way, so it is important to make sure the Advisory Committee members are representative of the populations that attend our conference and of the populations that our communities serve.  

This year the Advisory Committee will primarily consist of collaboration leaders and parents/community members across Illinois and represent the diversity of our state. Additionally, our diverse set of collaboration members, regional partners, and parent leaders will have a hand in the planning and execution of the conference by: 

  • Participating in a series of meetings related to the conference  
  • Helping choose our keynote speakers 
  • Promoting conference Request for Proposals (RFP) and registration 
  • Selecting workshop presentations 
  • Facilitating workshops at the conference   

Restructuring the Advisory Committee was a critical decision made by the CS3 team. We want to ensure that we take measures to shift power and co-create important events with the communities we work with and support.  

Thank you to all our Advisory Committee members for your time and expertise. Your participation helps us put on a conference that reflects the needs, interests, and strengths of our communities. 

You too can help us make our conference a success! We are currently accepting proposals for workshop presenters. If you are interested in presenting your work at our conference, please consider submitting a proposal!  Click here to access the application and send it to with the subject line [2023 PPA Conference RFP] by Friday, January 27, 2023. And of course, we hope to see you at our conference.  Save the dates on your calendars now: Monday through Wednesday, May 16-18, 2023! 


Expectant Black mothers find support with doulas and midwives 

Doulas and midwives providing support for expectant Black mothers were highlighted during a segment on the ABC News program Nightline. The show looks at the impact of doulas and midwives on reducing infant mortality and improving birth outcomes. 

Community Systems Development Toolkit 

The BUILD Initiative is a national organization that advances work on behalf of young children from prenatal to five, their families, and communities. The Community Systems Development Toolkit supports the hands-on implementation of collaborative systems work at the local level, providing resource tools that cover the full spectrum of community systems and coordination work.  

Tailored to the needs of community-based collaboration and organized around the Six Functions of an Early Childhood System, the toolkit is designed to provide accessible, comprehensive resources supporting the changing stages and needs of communities engaged in collaborative work. Tools include forms, examples of community level strategies, questions, guidance, samples, and processes. The Six Core Functions or EC Systems Assessment is designed to help identify where tools may be most needed. 

Trainings and Events  

Introduction to Systemic Racism | January 25-26, 2023  

The CS3 Team is working with CROAR to offer a workshop called Introduction to Systemic Racism on Wednesday, 1/25 and Thursday, 1/26, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Understanding the idea that oppression, and in particular, racism, is not only a matter of individual prejudice but a systemic, institutional problem of power and requires structural intervention to dismantle is foundational to the Introduction to Systemic Racism workshop. The workshop is for individuals who want their staff as well as their leadership to understand the systemic nature of racism and the role institutions play in its maintenance.   

If you are interested in attending, please complete this form!   

*There is limited capacity for these trainings. Please only sign up if you are committed to attending both days. Signing up does not guarantee a spot. The form will close once we reach our capacity of 30. 

How to Engage Parents in the Role of Family and Community Expert | Tuesday, January 31, 2023 

To engage parents in the role of Family and Community Expert is to ask them about their lived experiences and have their feedback influence your collaboration’s community systems change work. In this role, collaborations ask parents for input through a variety of mediums such as surveys, focus groups, small in-person meetings, etc. Join the first part of a four-workshop series to gain practical steps to engaging parents as Family and Community Experts.