October Partner Plan Act E-Newsletter

October 17, 2022

Indeed, all the great movements for social justice in our society have strongly emphasized a love ethic.” – bell hooks 

Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3)  

We are hiring!   

The CS3 team is pleased to announce that there are two open positions available within the team to be filled ASAP- Assistant Director and Program Manager of Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3).   

The Program Manager will provide leadership in the logistics and implementation of key work related to community systems projects. IAFC is searching for an experienced, reliable, and task-oriented individual to ensure administrative systems are in place and well-maintained to support time-sensitive constituent communications, grants reporting, event logistics, and contract management. The Program Manager will interface with diverse constituents including leaders from school districts, community collaborations, elected officials, and senior staff.  

To read more about the Program Manager job description and to apply, click here.   

The Assistant Director of CS3 job description will be posted soon. Please check here periodically for updates and other opportunities.  

Collaboration Highlight  

Birth to Five Illinois has recently announced that they have issued $2.5 million in Implementation Grants to 21 Local Early Childhood Collaborations and 35 counties across the State. According to Birth to Five Illinois, the purpose of this funding is to help collaborations apply systemic strategies to the challenge of regaining and increasing enrollment into early childhood programs and services. Congratulations to all the recipients!  

We’ve reached out to the collaborations receiving the grant to hear about their plans and what receiving this funding means for their collaboration. Here’s what some of them had to say:  

  • “Elgin Partnership for Early Learning (EPEL) is honored to be chosen as one of the twenty early childhood community collaborations in the state to receive Birth to Five funding. The funding is a win for our community as we work together to move the early childhood work forward to offer more equitable access to high-quality opportunities that ensure that Elgin is a city of choice for families to raise young children.The Birth to Five funding allows Elgin Partnership for Early Learning (EPEL) to hire our first full-time employee other than the Executive Director. In addition to hiring a Family Engagement Coordinator, EPEL will expand the collaboration’s reach by hiring part-time neighborhood resource ambassadors to meet families where they are to support awarenessof the importanceand access to high-quality early care and education opportunities.” –Amber Peters, Elgin Partnership for Early Learning (EPEL)  
  • “On behalf of the Champaign County Home Visiting Consortium, we are honored and grateful to have been selected to receivethese funds. To know that the relationships and collaboration we’ve been building has been validated with this kind of support is a real boost of energy! These funds will allow our community to execute ideas we’ve had for years, Coordinated Intake, public awareness of all thewonderful early childhood programming our county has to offer, and to develop and strengthen true coordination around screenings for Birth-to-Five-year-olds.” –Kelly Russell, Champaign County Home Visiting Consortium  
  • “Birth to Five funding will support sustainability of our collaboration work that was kick started with PDG-B5 funding two years ago. Most importantly funding will provide backbone staffing to advance the collaboration’s priorities and presence in the county through community outreach and events that will impact enrollment to unserved families.”— Heidi Elliot, Madison County Coordinated Intake  
  • “Our collaboration is thrilled to receive this grant to be able to continue the work we began last year with support from Illinois Action for Children as part of the Community-Based Planning project. 1) Promote and connect families to ECEC programs through awareness, education, and family engagement activities. 2) Develop and strengthen collaborations and partnerships between organizations to promote equitable access to ECEC services for all children. 3) Implement strategies locally to grow-our-own ECEC-qualified workforce. For each of these areas we have identified the next steps that our coalition will be working on, and these funds will provide staff and resources to move this work forward.”— Lois Meisenheimer, Sauk Valley STARS Early Childhood Education Coalition  
  • “We will be able to fully fund a social service professional to lead and deeply engage and grow the Willowbrook Coalition to leverage resources and inform partners of the needs of this fragile community. We will be hiring a designated professional for the community to create the trusted relationships with the families and community leaders. This person will ensure the families that are often difficult to engage have access to high quality early childhood services and interventions as well as awareness of whole family resources and kindergarten readiness.”— Peggy McGuire, Willowbrook Corner Early Childhood Collaboration  
  • “The Village Early Childhood Collaboration receivingthe implementation funds enables us to connect people with the Early Childhood Education and Care System in our region. The goal of connecting people varies with each person: 1) first, supporting the current workforce to increase qualifications to meet DCFS standards (collaborating with resource and referral training coordinator and higher education navigator) 2) second, increasing the early childhood education and care system workforce by reaching up and coming individuals through recruitment (collaborating with local Regional Office of Education’s career pathway programs and local school district’s vocational departments) 3)increase enrollment in programs that have available spaces for children (collaborating with early childhood education and care programs in the region, birth to 5) 4)fourth, support individuals that have a goal of creatinga child care program in their home (collaborating with Home Child Care Network) 5) fifth, make sure families are aware of their regional choices within early childhood education and care system”—Rhonda Hillyer, The Village Early Childhood Collaboration  
  • “The Early Childhood Coalition of the Illinois Quad City Area (ECC) recently was awarded funding through the Birth to Five Illinois Implementation grant. We intend to address the staffing crisis in childcare by providing a mentoring program for new staff to better recruit and retain them in the early childhood field, which will enable programs to enroll more children. Additionally, we plan to inform families of the spectrum of care available in our area to meet their diverse childcare needs. We will also hire a consultant to further the work and mission of the ECC.”— Cindy Mahr, Early Childhood Coalition of the Illinois Quad City Area   
  • “North Lawndale Early Learning Collaboration is elated to receive the Birth to Five grant. This grant means more early learning partners will be supported with identifying and connecting families to their early childhood programs. It will help to remove the siloed programs and build cohesion to assist families as a whole in the North Lawndale Community. Illinois Action for Children’s goal will be to raise public awareness in North Lawndale for the community’s ECE programs and services. We will develop and implement targeted marketing to North Lawndale families as a collective and host community-wide resource events. The hope will be to create synergy and increase outreach and engagement to the North Lawndale community by inviting all ECE programs to promote their services. Throughout this process, we will also identify, recruit and empower four parent ambassadors to share event information with their network, building parent leaders across the community.” — Rarzail Jones, North Lawndale Early Learning Collaboration 



What happens to women who are pregnant in prison, and to the babies born to them? This documentary short from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon provides a rare and intimate look at pregnancy and motherhood behind bars. FRONTLINE and The Marshall Project go inside Alabama’s Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in “Tutwiler” — an unforgettable window into the lives of pregnant women in prison, and what happens to their newborns. 

Casey Stockstill on Economic and Racial Segregation in Preschools 

In this Institute for Research on Poverty podcast episode, we hear from Dr. Casey Stockstill about research she did to better understand economic and racial segregation in preschools. Dr. Stockstill spent time observing in two highly rated preschools in the same city: one was a Head Start location where nearly all the children were students of color and from lower income families and the other was a private preschool in a more affluent part of town where nearly all the students were white and from higher income families. Her observations offer insights about how inequality and segregation in early childhood education can play out in the classroom for students and their teachers.  


Trainings and Events  

Introduction to the CS3 Early Childhood Collaboration Parent Engagement Framework | November 1, 2022 

This training offers an engaging and interactive introduction to the CS3 Parent Engagement Framework. Participants will have the opportunity to walk through the steps to deepen or begin parent engagement in their collaboration’s community systems development work. Training Objectives: 1) Review the CS3 Early Childhood Collaboration Parent Engagement Framework 2)Learn about the four typical parent engagement roles 3) Gain ideas for creating an inclusive and supportive environment for parents. If you are interested in attending, please complete this form 

Facing Race | November 17 – 19, 2022 
Race Forward is hosting its annual conference, Facing Race on November 17-19. Coming just weeks after the 2022 midterm election, a very critical election for the future of what America now calls democracy and for the true multicultural democracy we envision and work toward, Facing Race ‘22 will provide a unique collaborative space for discussions and strategies to continue advancing racial justice. If you are interested in attending in-person, please note that we will not be able to support your travel costs, only your registration. If you are interested in attending, please complete this form. Registration is not guaranteed and will be offered on a first come, first served basis as there are limited spots available. If you are interested in attending, please be sure to complete the form ASAP. Please reach out to Kristen Garcia at kristen.garcia@actforchildren.org with any questions.