Early Learning Insights
Newsletter of the Illinois Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development
In This Issue
Alignment. Quality. Access.

GOECD leads the state's initiatives to create an integrated system of quality early learning and development programs to help give all Illinois children a strong educational foundation before they begin kindergarten.  Learn more.
Upcoming Events
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GOECD Initiatives
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Greetings Early Childhood Community,

In this issue we celebrate up and coming early childhood leaders. The graduating Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellows have already contributed to our understanding of the critical issues facing early childhood in Illinois. I recommend reading the policy memos. Some of their ideas might become laws. And a special acknowledgment goes to the Fellows from GOECD: Lesley Schwartz and Julia Zhu.

Speaking of Julia, GOECD is sad to lose such a valuable, intelligent, passionate staff member. We wish her great success and fulfillment in her next endeavors.

The Early Childhood Community consists of many partners, including parents and families of young children. We can do a much better job of including their voices in our work. We welcome Iris Hildreth to GOECD to lead our efforts to include parent voice in our systems building work.

In this issue we have also linked to resources for families at risk of potential immigration raids. Young children in families and communities targeted for these raids experience fear and trauma at levels that are hard to imagine. And yet, this is reality in this environment. We must, as an early childhood community, provide information, resources, and support to help families navigate this turmoil.

Best Regards,
Cynthia L. Tate, Ph.D.
Executive Director, GOECD
Welcome Iris Hildreth!

Iris Hildreth has joined GOECD as the Preschool Development Grant B-5 Family Engagement Manager. Iris will be planning and overseeing the implementation of several family engagement activities under the grant. Iris' overall goal is to provide greater community access to resources and information that support families to inform policies that affect their families and communities.

Iris has a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from DePaul University, and a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Concordia University. She is a Master Teacher attaining National Board Certification (NBCT). Prior to coming to GOECD, Iris worked with families and youth in care at UCAN, served as an Induction Coach for teachers new to the profession at New Teacher's Center, and taught grades pre-K to 3rd for over 18 years.
GOECD is Accepting Applications for MIECHV Assistant Project Director
Congress created the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program to support voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services for at-risk pregnant women and parents with young children up to kindergarten entry. The MIECHV Program builds upon decades of scientific research showing that home visits by a trained professional during pregnancy and in the first years of a child's life improves the lives of children and families by preventing child abuse and neglect, supporting positive parenting, improving maternal and child health, and promoting child development and school readiness. The MIECHV Program is administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). In Illinois, MIECHV is programmatically administered by the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services who provides fiscal administration.

GOECD is hiring an Assistant Project Director to provide programmatic and operational leadership for the MIECHV grant. Stacey McKeever has recently taken a new position outside state government, and we thank her warmly and wish her all the best.

Cover letters and resumes should be sent to the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development c/o lesley.schwartz@illinois.gov. 
Please share this job posting widely!
First Anniversary Of Partnership To Build Strong Foundations For Young Learners

In July of 2018, the Infant Welfare Society of  Evanston  (IWSE) and School District 69 partnered to create Ready For Success (RFS), an innovative national model for early childhood education. Ultimately RFS will provide District 69's youngest children and their families with resources and services essential during the critical periods of child development and lay the foundation for their continued success and a bright future. The IWSE-District 69 partnership is uniquely positioned to track children from birth through 12 th  grade by means of a single student information database, allowing for the study of the long-term impact of early prevention services on children during early childhood, specifically from ages 0-5. 
In its second year, RFS is undertaking a number of speaking engagements to share its early childhood model with other communities and encourage the dev elopment of similar initiatives to educate and prepare young families for success in the public school system and beyond. 

Visit  ReadyForSuccess69.org  to learn more.

Click here to read the full press release.
Cross-sector of Illinois Leaders selected for
McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows 2019 Cohort 

Composed of local and state officials, high-ranking law enforcement, judges, top educators as well as community and faith-based leaders, the 2019 cohort of the McCormick Foundation Executive Fellows (MFEF) program will begin a two-month executive education series at Erikson Institute on August 7, 2019. A program of Erikson's Early Childhood Leadership Academy (ECLA), the MFEF program brings together influential leaders across multiple sectors to participate in a collective and dynamic learning experience that provides a comprehensive understanding of the long-term benefits of investing in early child development. 

Read the official announcement with links to bios here
Important Issues
Resources for Families at Risk of Potential Immigration Raids

On July 23, 2019, Gov. Pritzker signed two new laws protecting immigrant youth. Read the press release

Click here for pertinent resources and information from the National Immigrant Justice Center, including an overview of Know Your Rights (KYR), information on hotlines and where to seek support, and resources to find legal representation.

The Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition's Refugee and Immigrant Children (RIC) Committee has created " Supporting Immigrant/Refugee Children: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers" in English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.

Click here for Unidos US's Know Your Rights landing page, which includes infographics and other helpful information.

CLASP created a resource page for service providers with guidance on supporting children and families affected by raids.
Policy Corner
IDHS Makes Policy Updates to Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has made several updates to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), described in a recent memo (available in English and Spanish). These updates, which are effective beginning July 1, 2019, include:
  • Decreasing family co-payments to no more than 9% of a family's gross income.
  • Re-indexing income eligibility guidelines, with initial eligibility at 185% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and an exit ramp at 200% of FPL at time of re-determination. Effective October 1, 2019, initial eligibility will increase to 200% of FPL and the exit ramp will increase to 225% of FPL.
  • Doubling the investment in the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program (more information and application here).
  • Increasing the maximum wage for participation the Great START Wage Supplement Program from $15 per hour to $18 per hour (more information and application here; access a flyer to print and share here).
Featured Resources 
2018-2019 KIDS Report and Data Released

The Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) is an observational tool designed to help teachers, administrators, families, and policymakers to better understand the developmental readiness of children entering kindergarten. The 2018-2019 KIDS report, plus state- and district-level data, are now available on the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) website. This is the second year of statewide KIDS implementation.
2019 KIDS COUNT DataBook

The Annie E. Casey Foundation 2019 KIDS COUNT DataBook has been released. The annual report on child well-being includes state rankings, child well-being trends, and the latest data on kids at the national and state level.  Download the report.
Recent Events
Illinois Participates in Annual BUILD Initiative QRIS Conference 
On June 25-27, 2019, the BUILD Initiative hosted its annual QRIS Conference in New Orleans. Illinois was represented by nearly 80 participants, several of whom were presenters. GOECD was represented at the conference by Tom Layman, Jamilah R. Jor'dan, Julia Zhu, and Cynthia Tate. Julia Zhu presented on,  "Using Racial Equity to Inform Leadership Through Communities of Practice and Evaluation"; "Social-Emotional Supports for the Asian Cultural Context"; and "When Data Perpetuates Inequities: Interpreting the Asian American Experience."  Tom Layman, Cynthia Tate, and Toni Porter of INCCRRA gave a workshop presentation on "Strengthening the 'I' in QRIS: Helping Program Leaders Develop Cultures of Improvement."  And Cynthia Tate, Executive Director of GOECD, served on the final Town Hall panel, which was a large scale general discussion covering a number of important issues in QRIS to conclude the conference.

Illinois' very own Cathy Main from the University of Illinois was featured in the Opening Plenary Session, "Cracking the Critical Nut: Early Childhood Education Workforce Pipeline and Pathways." As always, Cathy spoke from a passionate heart with a deep understanding of the challenges to building the early childhood workforce. Framing early childhood care and education as "social justice," she inspired us all!
Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellows 2018-2019 Cohort Graduates

We are proud of Erikson Institute's Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellows who concluded their 10-month program this month. GOECD's Julia Zhu and Lesley Schwartz were members of  this year's cohort .  The fellows each crafted a policy memo  with solutions for issues in the early childhood field and then had the opportunity to pitch their recommendation to key stakeholders and peers as part of the culminating experience. Congratulations to this new group of diverse advocates who are committed to advancing racial equity through early childhood policy.    
Pyramid Model
New PFAE Pyramid Model Cohort Begins Fall 2019

Congratulations to the new PFAE (Preschool For All State Funded Extended Day) programs who have been selected to begin program-wide implementing of the Pyramid Model! The Pyramid Model State Leadership Team is announcing the new cohort of 8 programs. They were selected in an application process through the Pyramid Model Consortium. Each program will be assigned an individual Process Coach to support their leadership team; leaders will also participate in specific trainings to learn strategies and interventions for staff to support children with challenging behaviors.The Leadership Implementation Academy Launch will take place in September of 2019. 

The 2019 PFAE Pyramid Model Cohort includes: 
  • Carrollton CUSD #1 
  • ECDEC in Arlington Heights
  • Harmony District #715 in Belleville
  • Havana CUSD #126 
  • Peoria Public Schools
  • Smart Start Learning Center in Belleville
  • Unity Point CCLUD #140 in Carbondale
  • King Early Childhood Program Urbana District #116
Illinois Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development | earlychildhood.illinois.gov
160 N. LaSalle St. Suite N-100
Chicago, IL 60601