Equity and Access to Preschool

All children should have access to high-quality preschool, no matter who they are. In addition to the many preschool and child care options available in Oak Park and River Forest, three agencies in Oak Park receive grants to provide state-funded Preschool for All programs: ABC Toon Town II Educational Center, Oak Park Elementary School District 97 and Oak Park River Forest Day Nursery. These high-quality preschool experiences that support the development of the whole preschool age child are available to families who meet eligibility criteria such as active military duty, developmental delays, and income level.

To learn more about whether your child qualifies for Publicly Funded Preschool, email preschool@collab4kids.org or call 708-613-6122 ext. 8.

The Publicly Funded Preschool Committee

The Collaboration leads a committee composed of the directors of the four public preschool programs to coordinate outreach and recruitment of children and families. The group has developed common recruitment materials and works together to assure proper program placement of children. The committee has identified and used multiple methods for outreach including word-of-mouth campaigns, participation in community outreach activities and a formal referral process with more than 25 social service agencies in Oak Park.

The Collaboration’s Work to Reduce Preschool Expulsion

The Collaboration for Early Childhood received a grant through IDEO and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that works to revitalize child care through the development of a racial equity roadmap that can be adapted for any community that is seeking guidance around how to pave the way for Black boys to succeed and for Black men to find a place for themselves in early childhood.

The interconnected roadmap will address early childhood expulsion, the absence of men from the early childhood workforce, and most ambitiously, build community-wide supports for men who have recently had a their criminal record expunged as a result of the legalization of marijuana. Specifically, to help these individuals secure the training and schooling required to become early childhood educators, and to serve as role models for young boys. Learn more about this work.

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