Our Commitment to Equity

The Collaboration for Early Childhood began in 2003 with the purpose of ensuring opportunity for all children. Equity is embedded in the red outer band of our program services model because it encircles all parts of our work. It is in how we work with other agencies and how we partner shoulder to shoulder with the Oak Park and River Forest communities. Whether you’re a parent, provider, or systems leader, caring about children means working to ensure that they have access to opportunity. 2020 elevated the importance of our equity work and the importance of agencies like ours in a crisis.

The health pandemic and racist violence of 2020 called for us to focus our work in both health equity, racial equity, and the places where the two intersect. It means supporting people at their most vulnerable, and hoping that the support facilitates healing.

Oak Park residents painting the Black Lives Matter mural on Scoville Avenue. Photo by Paul Goyette.

An Invitation

The Collaboration invites members of our community to take action. Help us to light the way for young Black and Brown children and ensure a path of promise for Black families in our community. Here is what you can do today:

  • If you are a parent and you think that your child has been deprived of opportunity because of his/her race, we would like to know about your experience. We would like to listen to you and use our position in the community to help resolve issues around access to opportunity.
  • If you are a teacher or program staff and you would like training on how to identify your own biases, and gain strategies on how to adopt equity as your lens, or if you want to make sure that you are creating a bright path for Black children in your preschool classroom, we would like to hear about your needs and make training opportunities available to you.
  • If you are a program director, or teacher and one or more of your classrooms is struggling to understand and navigate the impact of stress or adversity in the life of a child in your program, let us know. The Collaboration would like to pair you with a clinician who will work with you to examine and understand what you are seeing in the classroom and give you strategies for retaining and helping this child to thrive in your classroom.

Email us at equity@collab4kids.org.

To learn more about our work in 2020 around equity, read our Annual Report or delve into our chapter titled “Elevating the Importance of Equity” in our 2020 Report to the IGA Governing Board.

Looking for More Information?

Head to our Contact Us page and fill out our contact form and someone from our team will get back to you. We look forward to hearing from you!