Our Approach

Grounding our work in guiding principles

In developing and driving implementation of our policy objectives, our coalition took time to ground our work in guiding principles. In both our strategic direction and ongoing operations, we keep the following priorities at the forefront of our decision-making:

Racial Equity

By approaching all our efforts through a racial equity lens, we work to close the opportunity gap for infants and toddlers, their families and early care providers from historically marginalized backgrounds. Access our racial equity toolkit here.

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Family & Beneficiary Voice

We anchor our Coalition’s work in family and beneficiary voice, particularly from families of color and those from under-resourced communities, to guide our priorities, decisions and actions.

Priority Populations

Too often, expecting families, infants and toddlers fall into what we call “the gap within the gap” because they face more barriers to high-quality early care and supports. In our work, we focus on improving access for those furthest from opportunity through policy change.

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Data-Driven Decision-Making

To maximize our impact, we use verified data to track our progress, inform our priorities and target our efforts. We actively seek additional data sources and stories from families and providers to help deepen our understanding of nuanced problems.

Collective Effort

To ensure every family in Illinois has the strongest foundation for success in school and life, a comprehensive and all-hands-on-deck approach is required. We are fortunate to have so many stakeholders committed to our earliest learners across our state. We work to align with, support and steward existing efforts in the prenatal-to-age 3 space to amplify our efforts and increase our impact. 

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