Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3)

The Community Systems Statewide Supports team envisions a future where local communities work together to provide holistic, equitable support for children from birth to age five, centering family voice and equity. While the early childhood landscape is complex and fragmented, we want community collaborations and early childhood leaders to know; you don’t have to navigate this environment alone!

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What is Community Systems Development?

It is challenging to make impactful and long-lasting change alone. Addressing the barriers that prevent families from accessing early childhood services requires a strong and effective coalition of families, organizations, agencies, schools, and community leaders. A high-quality, accessible early childhood system becomes achievable when agencies, organizations, and communities come together to develop a shared mission, strategy, and action plan.

When we work together to identify the issues, the root causes, and the solutions, we are better equipped to create impactful and meaningful change in the early childhood system. This collaborative process is called community systems development.

Program Overview

The early childhood system in Illinois is complex. Community systems development relies on building strong, trusting relationships with community stakeholders to understand issues in the community and to engage people directly impacted.

Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3) is a statewide training and technical assistance system, building the capacity of community collaborations to improve early childhood education systems. CS3 aims to ensure that local communities are working together to help children birth through five to receive the support they need.

A playful happy african american child is playing a game with a Montessori train toy while his parents are laughing at him from the background. A happy child is having fun while learning from home.
Elementary school teacher greeting his students at the door. Male teacher welcoming his class with a high five outside their classroom. Child mentor motivates his pupils in a primary school.

CS3 Project Goals:

  1. Provide free foundational support (training, access to planning, and collaboration tools) to early childhood professionals focused on improving local early childhood systems.
  2. Provide targeted support to communities focused on increasing the number of children ages birth-to-5 enrolled in high-quality early learning services.
  3. Collaborate and coordinate with statewide early childhood training providers to align training opportunities across systems.
  4. Implement a data and evaluation process to support continued system improvement at the community and state level.

Partner Plan Act

The Partner Plan Act website is a central place for early childhood care and education professionals to learn how to use a community systems development approach to strengthen and improve early childhood services and systems in your community.

Visit the Partner Plan Act website

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