December Partner Plan Act E-Newsletter

December 16, 2021

IAFC Service Updates and Office Closures

“Hope is the belief that our tomorrows can be better than our todays. Hope is not magic; hope is work.” – Deray McKesson

Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3)

The annual Partner Plan Act conference will take place virtually June 7- 8, 2022. This year’s conference theme is Equity from the Start: Taking Action, Shifting Power. At the last conference, we reimagined what the sector could look like when we center those most impacted. Now we want to hear how folks are operationalizing racial equity in their communities.

Have ideas for how to shift power to communities in the early childhood system? If your community is doing great work and taking action to create a more equitable and just system, we want to hear from you! Please consider submitting a conference breakout session proposal. You can find the Request for Proposals here. Submissions are due January 10, 2022, and should be submitted to Kristina Rogers (

Every two years, the CS3 team releases an updated Collaboration Directory. The Collaboration Directory serves as Illinois’ most comprehensive list of early childhood community collaborations advancing community systems development efforts locally. We are reaching out to collaborations to request an update on their collaboration information. If you have not been reached or are want to be included in the directory, please email

Collaboration Highlight

Early Childhood Community Coalition of Lake County

The Early Childhood Community Coalition of Lake County was established in 1989 by representatives from the Lake County Health Department and Department of Children and Family Services, Head Start, United Way, and the Lake County Child Care Director’s Network. Then-Senator, Adeline Geo-Karris, gave this group $100 to start this non-profit. This group collaborated efforts in developing strategies to achieve quality early childhood care and education, as many children at this time were being cared for in less-than-ideal conditions.

The original mission and vision continue today which is to be a community where children develop to their highest potential in a healthy and stimulating environment. They are a united voice comprised of community partners and leaders in Lake County who advocate, collaborate, and strategize to support healthy early childhood growth, development, and school readiness.

Through the Partner Plan Act Collaboration Institute, the Coalition saw a need to bring in more diverse stakeholders and thus build relationships with other agencies. In addition, they completed a community assessment and system scan of Lake County’s early childhood landscape. Collaboration members produced county-level maps that provided snapshots of county-wide and town-specific needs of young children and their families.

The collaboration’s systems scan included a survey that was sent to providers in Lake County to learn about their needs, along with a production of a video – “A Day in the Life” to showcase what quality care and education should look like. Link to the video – ECCC Video

In the Fall of 2021, another survey was sent to providers in Lake County to find out how the COVID-19 Pandemic affected them. The survey results will be compiled and along with the video, will be shared with legislators to showcase the importance of Early Childhood Care and Education.

The collaboration is situated in the northeastern part of Illinois. According to Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (IECAM), 50,718 of the 704,476 (7.3 percent) people living in Lake County in 2017 were children five years old or younger.
For more information about the coalition please visit the collaboration’s website at


 2021 KIDS COUNT Data Book + Voices for Illinois Children’s 2021 KIDS COUNT Report

The 32nd edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT® Data Book describes how children across the United States were faring before — and during — the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s publication continues to deliver the Foundation’s annual state rankings and the latest available data on child well-being. It identifies multi-year trends — comparing statistics from 2010 to 2019. In addition, the report shares data on how families endured throughout the pandemic. The report on national data can be found here.

Voices for Illinois Children’s annual Illinois Kids Count reports examining the quality of life facing children and families throughout the state. The county-level and statewide statistics demonstrate trends, illustrate needs, and support policy proposals. By providing these measures of child well-being, Illinois Kids Count aims to enrich discussions about ways to ensure better futures for all children. The complimentary report on Illinois data can be found here.

Bridging Differences Playbook

The Greater Good Science Center’s Bridging Differences initiative highlights and disseminates key research-based principles for fostering positive intergroup relationships. This includes the Bridging Differences Playbook, a guide to key evidence-based skills and strategies that foster positive dialogue and understanding. Skills and Strategies are shared in three different sections:

• Intrapersonal (skills to practice on your own)
• Interpersonal (skills to practice with others)
• Intergroup (strategies for bringing people together)

Collaboration members may find these skills and strategies helpful to view as they work cross-sector to bring a diverse set of stakeholders together to work towards a shared vision for their community.

Training and Events

Intro to Systemic Racism | March 16 – 17, 2022

It is impossible to talk about systems-change without recognizing the insidious nature of racism and its role within systems. For this reason, the CS3 team contracted with Chicago Regional Organizing for Anti-Racism (CROAR) to provide trainings on this important subject. This event will take place virtually over the course of two days, March 16th from 9:00 am -12:30 pm and March 17th from 9:00 am -12:30 pm.

This event’s registration is full. If you’d like to join the waitlist, please complete the form here.

Equity from the Start: Taking Action, Shifting Power | June 7 – 8, 2022

Save the Date! The annual Partner Plan Act conference will take place virtually June 7- 8, 2022. Registration will open in the Spring.