Spring Into Action 2018 Workshops

Spring Into Action 2018 Is Shaping Up to Be the Best Ever! Don't Miss it!

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1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Room: Caucus
Why Community? Why Systems? Why Development? How Can CSD Strengthen Our Early Care and Education System?

Julia Zhu , Community Systems Policy Director, Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development.

What is the role of community collaborations in strengthening our early care and education system? Attendees will learn the state’s vision for a strong system, explore why a systems approach is essential for success, and learn alongside their peers. Session will be participatory and interactive.


Room: Assembly
Accessing Higher Education: Pathways & Models

Dan Harris, Executive Director, Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
Cathy Main, Senior Lecturer and Program Coordinator, College of Education, University of Illinois-Chicago

How can Illinois build a pipeline of qualified early childhood teachers and practitioners? This workshop will discuss strategies to minimize obstacles for new and existing professionals to enter the early childhood system and move up the career ladder. Learn about the efforts to create alternative pathways and models to support access to credential and degree programs.


Room: Session
From Flat to Fair: Campaign for a Fair Tax for Illinois

Alex Tindal Weisendanger, Responsible Budget Coalition
Dan Lesser, Director of Illinois Policy & Economic Justice, Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law

Illinois’ flat, regressive income tax structure is unfair and unsustainable. In this session, leaders from the Responsible Budget Coalition will provide an overview of the Fair Tax Campaign and how a progressive income tax structure would benefit the state. Learn how to engage in Fair Tax Campaign efforts to advocate for long-term, sustainable revenue sources


Room: Gallery
illinois early childhood policy & budget updates

Maria Estlund, Policy Associate, Illinois Action for Children

Join us for timely updates on recent and proposed state policy changes impacting the early childhood field – including status updates on the implementation of policies, such as the new laws on early childhood expulsion and testing for lead in water. Participants will also learn about opportunities to engage in advocacy efforts related to early childhood policy issues.

2:45 – 3:45 p.m.

Room: Caucus
Advocacy 201

Megan Donahue, Community Engagement Associate, Illinois Action for Children
Maria Estlund, Policy Associate, Illinois Action for Children

What does it mean to engage in administrative advocacy, and how does it differ from legislative advocacy? What is a ‘witness slip,’ and why should I file one? This workshop is for more seasoned advocates to deepen their understanding of the different forms of public policy and what advocacy strategies are effective for each. Participants will learn about communication and messaging for different audiences and how they can put these skills to use during Early Childhood Advocacy Day and their future advocacy efforts.


Room: Assembly
child care & development block grant (CCDBG) Implementation: Updates & Provider Strategies

Dan Harris, Executive Director, Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies
Anita Rumage, Executive Director, Circles of Learning

Join this session to for updates on Illinois’ progress in implementing the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant. Hear from an early childhood provider about their experience and effective strategies to comply with new regulations and leverage opportunities to enhance program quality.


Room: Session
Family-Friendly Policies: How Labor and Tax Policies Can Support Working Families

Julie Vogtman, Director of Job Quality and Senior Counsel, National Women’s Law Center
Marci Ybarra, Assistant Professor, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

Join this workshop for an in-depth conversation about the challenges faced by today’s low-wage workers and the impact of labor practices, including nonstandard work schedules, on working families. Participants will learn about family-friendly policies, such as paid family leave and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), that promote stability and economic security for families, as well as how they can advocate for expanding these policies.


Room: Gallery
Suspending Expulsions: Supporting Early Childhood Providers and Staff

Alli-Lowe Fotos, Policy Manager, Illinois Policy, Ounce of Prevention Fund
Deborah Chalmers, Director, Consultation Programs, Illinois Action for Children
Elysia Aufmuth, Assistant Director, Consultation Programs, Illinois Action for Children

As Illinois implements the new law prohibiting early childhood expulsions, it is critical that early childhood professionals are able to build their capacity to understand and address challenging behaviors. This workshop will discuss available supports, such as mental health consultation services and the Pyramid Model, as well as program-specific best practices that providers can implement to support staff.

4 – 5 p.m.

Room: Caucus
Gearing Up for the 2018 Elections: Effective Engagement

Tommie Robinson, Community Engagement Associate, Illinois Action for Children

The ultimate form of advocacy is voting for elected officials who support the issues that matter most to you. As we approach the 2018 midterm elections, learn how early childhood providers can engage children and families in the process, including getting others registered to vote.


Room: Assembly
Federal Policy & Budget Updates

Nadeen Israel, Policy Director, EverThrive Illinois
Samir Tanna, Assistant Director of Policy, Illinois Action for Children

Over the past year, there have been significant policy debates at the federal level on several critical issues – including healthcare, tax reform, and early care and education. This workshop will provide updates on policy proposals and changes, highlighting the impact on children, families, and the early childhood field in Illinois.


Room: Session
illinois early childhood policy & budget updates

Maria Estlund, Policy Associate, Illinois Action for Children

Join us for timely updates on recent and proposed state policy changes impacting the early childhood field – including status updates on the implementation of policies, such as the new laws on early childhood expulsion and testing for lead in water. Participants will also learn about opportunities to engage in advocacy efforts related to early childhood policy issues.


Room: Gallery
Suspending Expulsions: engaging & Supporting families

Carie Bires, Senior Policy Manager, Illinois Policy, Ounce of Prevention Fund
Deborah Chalmers, Director, Consultation Programs, Illinois Action for Children
Elysia Aufmuth, Assistant Director, Consultation Programs, Illinois Action for Children

Engaging with families is critical in preventing expulsions of young children, but it can be challenging or uncomfortable to do so. This workshop will discuss strategies to engage and support families, including connecting with community resources, in order to prevent expulsions and help children thrive. Learn how and when to engage families to better understand the experiences and needs of children and their families.