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
October 7 |

See the 
calendar for more events and details.
GOECD Initiatives
Stay Connected
New Distribution Schedule for GOECD's Early Learning Insights  

Thank you for reading our newsletter! Moving forward, we are changing our distribution from monthly to bi-monthly (every other month). You can expect your next issue of the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development's Early Learning Insights in November. Thank you! 
PDG B-5 Renewal Grant FOA is Available 

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly with the Department of Education (ED) is soliciting applications from eligible states to carry out the renewal grant activities of the PDG B-5. The PDG B-5 Renewal Grants seek to empower state governments to lead the way in leveraging federal, state and local early care and education investments.

These renewal grants will assist states in helping low-income and disadvantaged children to enter kindergarten prepared to succeed. In addition, these grants will help improve the transitions between early care and education settings and elementary school. The overall responsibility of the PDG B-5 Renewal Grant is to assist states in the coordination of existing early childhood funding streams, resulting in services being provided to more children birth through five in a mixed delivery system.

States awarded a renewal grant may use a certain portion of funds to award subgrants to programs in a mixed delivery system across the state.

Welcome William (Nate) Sanders!

GOECD welcomes Nate Sanders, our new PDG B-5 Data Manager! Nate is joining our team to support the development of the data and performance management system for the PDG B-5. Click here to read Nate's full bio
Welcome Callie Silver!

Callie Silver has joined GOECD as a Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) Pre-Doctoral State Policy Fellow. Callie was one of four doctoral students nationwide selected for this fellowship that seeks to build bridges between research, policy, and practice. Callie is currently a PhD Candidate in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and a member of the Social-Emotional Teaching and Learning (SETL) Lab, where she is mentored by Dr. Kate Zinsser. Callie holds a B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University and a M.S. in Community and Prevention Psychology from UIC. She has research experience on a wide range of early childhood education topics, including social-emotional learning, exclusionary discipline, and mental health consultation. Callie will be working closely with GOECD staff on IL's statewide Pyramid Model implementation and the state's response to suspension/expulsion in early childhood programs.
Erikson Institute Announces 2019-2020 Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellows

Sixteen early childhood leaders were selected to take part in Erikson Institute's 10-month Barbara Bowman Leadership Fellowship, starting mid-October of this y ear.  This  opportunity is designed to enhance the capacity of diverse child advocates to advance racial equity through early childhood policy. The fellowship, now in its fourth year, bridges the gap between practice and policy by providing respected and experienced leaders in the field with policy expertise. In collaboration with policy experts, fellows will ultimately create a policy memo outlining recommended changes on a current early childhood issue. 
Featured Resources 
GOECD Launches New Web Pages! 
We are excited to announce that we have launched several new pages on our site:
  • The PDG B-5 page outlines Illinois' vision, major activities, and additional resources for the Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5) Initial Grant. 
  • The Early Learning Council's Approved Recommendations page lists and links to all of the recent reports and recommendations that have been approved by the Early Learning Council Executive Committee. 
  • The For Families page provides information and resources for expectant families and families with young children on how to find and navigate options for early care and education.
  • The For Providers page includes helpful information and resources for all types of providers.
The Illinois Prenatal to Three Initiative (PN-3) 
The Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) and the Ounce of Prevention Fund are leading a new process to develop a policy agenda for expansion of Prenatal to Three services across systems. The process will include a series of meetings with a core planning and coalition team and multiple opportunities for engagement. Click here for a more complete description. If you would like more information or to get involved, please contact Karen Berman at advocacy@theounce.org or visit our website
NAEYC Releases a New Position Statement

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has released a new position statement on Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education. This position statement, one of five foundational documents that guide the work of NAEYC and the early childhood field, describes what all early childhood professionals need to know and commit to doing in order to ensure all young children have access to equitable early learning opportunities. The new position statement is available in English and Spanish.
Preventing Postpartum Depression through Home Visiting
About one out of every nine expectant mothers in the United States experiences symptoms of postpartum depression,  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Postpartum depression not only affects the mother, but also the health of her child. In a study funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Darius Tandon, PhD, and his team are examining the Mothers and Babies Program, a cognitive behavioral therapy intervention focused on preventing postpartum depression. The study, which includes Illinois home visiting programs, compares the program's effectiveness when led by mental health professionals and home visitors. 
New Report on Disparities among Illinois Children

Voices for Illinois Children, an independent advocacy organization committed to public policy and investment for our state's children, recently published a report,  2019 Illinois KIDS COUNT Report: A view by region, race, and ethnicity, outlining the significant disparities among Illinois children. The report dives deeply into four key areas: socioeconomics, education, health and safety, and housing. The report highlights great variation in poverty rates by race/ethnicity, with Black and Latinx families earning significantly less than their White and Asian counterparts. Data from ISBE also reveals that in the 2016-2017 school year, the majority (just over 50%) of Illinois K-12 public and charter school students were in low-income households. In addition to findings from across the state, the report highlights recommendations for addressing the stark inequalities that exist across a variety of important issues.
Recent Events
Cross Systems Training of Trainers on Suspension & Expulsion in Early Childhood Education

Early childhood leaders from the Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Human Services, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development, Illinois Head Start Association, Illinois State Board of Education, Early Intervention Training Program, Illinois Action for Children, Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and The Ounce of Prevention Fund partnered in the curriculum development and the launch of "Suspension & Expulsion in Early Childhood" Training of Trainers (TOT).  
Four TOT's occurred across the state in July and August with 118 early childhood professional development providers in attendance from child care (35), DCFS (15), early childhood community collaborations (5), Early Intervention (14), Head Start/Early Head Start (7), higher education (3), home visiting (3), Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health (13), early childhood block grant (19), parent program (1) and "other" early childhood systems (3). 

The TOT members will provide the local training delivery of the "Suspension & Expulsion in Early Childhood" workshop. The purpose of the "Suspension & Expulsion in Early Childhood" workshop is to increase public awareness around PA100 - 0105 and provide access to resources and best practices to effectively address suspensions and expulsions.  

Click here to view Suspension & Expulsion Resources

A special thanks to:  INCCRRA, who donated staff resources to develop the final PowerPoint and manuals and printed the manuals for the TOT's, as well as space for a TOT. Helen Miller - SEIU Member Education and Training Center, who donated staff resources to translate the PowerPoint and manuals into Spanish. Carole Robertson Center for donating space for one TOT.   DCFS (Mt. Vernon) for donating space for one TOT.  Gail Borden Public Library for donating space for one TOT. And to the TOT presenters:  Alli Lowe- Fotos, The Ounce of Prevention Fund; Maria Estlund, IAFC; Lori Orr,  GOECD; and Libby Mitchell, INCCRRA, for the day of TOT coordination and support.  
Pyramid Model
Preliminary Evaluation Brief from the PDG-E Pyramid Model Pilot 

Through the PDG-E, Illinois became a Pyramid Model state and began implementing the evidence-based approach to fostering children's social-emotional development at several PDG-E preschool programs. Preliminary findings from this pilot study can be found in this  Evaluation Brief. Implementation of the Pyramid Model in PDG-E programs to date has included extensive professional development for staff, in addition to individualized support from an experienced coach. Initial results from a measure of program-level implementation (EC-BOQ) revealed that on average, all critical elements are at least "partially in place" and that there has been growth over time (from a subset of pilot programs with two data time points). Classroom-level measure results (EC-BOQ) showed that, on average, teachers are reaching or nearing fidelity on some key practices. Leadership team members believe in the potential of the Pyramid Model to improve social-emotional outcomes for children and to reduce suspension and expulsion rates. The pilot will continue through December 2019 and additional evaluation activities are currently being conducted. A full evaluation report will be produced at the end of the grant period from our partners at Evaluation Partners, LLC.  
Illinois Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development | earlychildhood.illinois.gov
160 N. LaSalle St. Suite N-100
Chicago, IL 60601