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

Should Children Be Ready for Kindergarten or Should Kindergarten Be Ready for Children?  Providing all children opportunities to develop social and cognitive skills in early childhood is critically important. But the concept of kindergarten readiness is more complex than is usually acknowledged, and its current use has important downsides. (Education Week)

Building Systems that Work for Families: Training for Community Systems Leaders  Join the Ounce of Prevention Fund Illinois Policy Team—in partnership with Illinois Action for Children’s Community System Statewide Supports team, Illinois State Board of Education, and the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood—for a full-day training for early childhood community systems leaders.  This four-part training is grounded in a framework for systems integration and alignment that focuses on reaching children and families with more complex needs. The training will feature a session on best practices in systems integration and alignment followed by two topical sessions on early childhood mental health and immigration. This free training is offered twice in May:

  • Urbana, Illinois (May 7, 2019)
  • Naperville, Illinois (May 16, 2019)

Applications are now open for the 2019-20 Teach Plus Illinois Teaching Policy Fellowship and the Early Childhood Educator Policy Fellowship.  These highly selective leadership opportunities are for outstanding Illinois teachers looking to deepen their knowledge of education policy and gain a voice in decisions that affect students and the teaching profession. Teachers will expand their influence without leaving the classroom, and receive a $1,600 stipend for their commitment. No prior policy experience required.  Applications are due May 6 and May 20, respectively. Please reach out to Sarah Campbell at with additional questions.