Below are resources for early childhood professionals and those serving the early childhood community.

Obstacles to Instilling an Education EthicPreschool Matters! Many speak to the necessity of possessing a strong work ethic in adolescence and adulthood. Perhaps we’d be better served by instilling an insatiable “education ethic” from the start, and making chronic absenteeism one diagnosed obstacle that can be overcome.

Build Initiative Releases Prologue! Rising to the Challenge: Building Effective Systems for Young Children and Families. This e-book shares learning from the initial implementation of the Early Learning Challenge efforts and highlights state experience, trends and reflections stemming from the significant federal investment in this strategic work. In the prologue Coming of Age: Review of Federal Childhood Policy 2000-2015, Joan Lombardi, Jessica F. Harding, Marcia Connors and Allison Friedman-Krauss review the march of early childhood federal policy and share lessons they glean from this history.

The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development is happy to announce the launch of the new Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) website, igrow. igrow houses information on best practices, professional development, and quality evidence-based home visiting services for expectant parents and families with new babies in Illinois. Additionally, for the first time ever, igrow Illinois has provided a comprehensive map of all home visiting programs across the state.

Illinois Teams Up with the National Research Council: Illinois received some positive press in a recent release from the National Research Council. In February, five state teams, including Illinois, met for the first time to discuss the Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: Implementation Planning report from 2015. This “blueprint for action” for the early childhood workforce is directed towards stakeholders at local, state, and national levels. Over the next six months, the teams will continue to meet to develop state-specific plans.  See the report for more information or connect with Christi Chadwick, workforce development policy director at OECD, at

Illinois Early Learning (IEL) Project Website is a source of evidence-based, reliable information on early care and education for families, caregivers, and teachers of young children, ages birth to 5 years old. The website, available in both English and Spanish, includes resources aligned to the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS), the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines for Children Ages Birth to Three (IELG), tip sheets, and examples of the Project Approach (ILPIP).

Illinois Early Learning Council’s Data, Research, and Evaluation Committee: the following is the first working draft of our Research Agenda. The goal of the Research Agenda is to help inform members of the research community about where they can have the greatest impact on policy and practice, by itemizing areas that policymakers and practitioners believe are important—and where having deeper research could help us make better decisions. It includes a broad list of potential research questions, with some of our most important research questions prioritized.

Does homework do more harm than good for youngsters? A comprehensive review of 180 research studies shows homework’s benefits are highly age dependent: high schoolers benefit if the work is under two hours a night, middle schoolers receive a tiny academic boost and elementary-aged kids? It’s better to wait. (Time, March 8).