October Partner Plan Act E-Newsletter

October 19, 2021

IAFC Service Updates and Office Closures

“Without community, there is no liberation.” -Audre Lorde

Welcome, Cicely Fleming!

Illinois Action for Children welcomes Cicely Fleming as the new State Director for Regional and Community Systems. In the newly created role based out of Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA), she will work to build Illinois’ regional planning council infrastructure. We look forward to working alongside her and the entire Early Childhood Transformation Team to improve outcomes for children and families across Illinois.

Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3)


The CS3 team continues to provide coaching and consultation to communities across Illinois on topics related to supporting community systems development. Collaborations can access those supports by completing an On-Demand Consultation form online at our Partner Plan Act website.

With the summer release of our Parent Engagement resources, including the online modules and handbook, coaches are equipped to provide technical assistance around this important topic. Download the handbook here and access the latest on-demand learning course specifically designed for collaboration members.

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 on efforts in developing strategies to achieve good 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 continues today –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 training offered by 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 change strategy also included a survey sent to providers in Lake County to learn about their needs. They also created a video – “A Day in the Life” to showcase what quality care and education should look like.

In the Fall of 2021, the Coalition came together to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting providers in their community. The action step led to distributing another survey to get community input and understand their needs. The survey results will be compiled, and along with the “A Day in the Life” video, will be shared with their legislators. The hope is that this information will help to showcase the importance of early childhood care and education to our public officials.

The Coalition 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 www.EarlyChildhoodLC.org.


Illinois Risk & Reach Report


The Illinois Risk and Reach Report (Report) presents a set of data indicators representing Risk factors that could undermine optimal child development and compares them to the Reach of publicly funded programs and services that support early childhood well-being. This report reflects 2019 data to establish a baseline measuring the conditions for children and their families prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bryan Stevenson’s video on Power of Proximity


In this video, Bryan Stevenson, the Founder and Executive Director of the Equity Justice Initiative, challenges listeners to turn the narrative of racial indifference and create a more just world.

Watch here

Training and Events

Intro to Systemic Racism | March 16th and 17th, 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.