See what’s new at the Collaboration! This is the space where we share timely information from the world of early childhood. Learn about our new initiatives, successes, and read messages from our Executive Director here.

The League of Women Voters of Oak Park and River Forest Civic Forum

The conversations across agencies explored the many ways that the pandemic has impacted young children's mental health, social development and school progress. This is an extremely difficult time for so many families. we remain hopeful that our community has so many services to provide support to those who need it. We are grateful to the League of Women Voters of Oak Park & River Forest for convening such a wonder conversation! Read More

Preschool Registration for Fall Has Begun!

It's that time of year! Preschool programs in Oak Park and River Forest are beginning to open registration for the 2022-23 school year. Read More

To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow

Support the work of the Collaboration for Early Childhood in 2021. Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Newsletter: November 2021

October is over and it was just packed. We had our Outdoor Open House and Ribbon-Cutting, IGA meeting, parent workshops and new parent meet-ups, and our fall Physicians' Network Event hosted by Dr. Shalowitz. Thank you all for joining us at these events.  Read More

Letters From Santa and Holiday Friends!

Complete the form to have a customized letter sent to a young child in your life to ring in the holidays. Read More

The Collaboration Joins the #CareConstellation Cohort!

The Collaboration for Early Childhood joins seven other organizations across the nation with bold visions for the future of the United States' child care system as a member of the Care Constellation Cohort. Read More

Vaccine-or-Test Requirements for Child Care Workforce

On Friday, October 22, Governor Pritzker announced that child care professionals in licensed day care centers will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination or be tested weekly starting December 3, 2021. Read More

The Child Care Workforce Bonus Application is Now Open

The application for the Child Care Workforce Bonus is now open. See full details on the Gateways to Opportunity website. We at the Collaboration for Early Childhood are here to ensure that every child care worker in Oak Park and River Forest who qualifies can get the bonus, and that any directors who have questions about the application can get their questions answered. Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Newsletter: October 2021

All eyes are on the critical work of our child care workers and early childhood educators. Read More

Celebrating National Child Health Day!

Every October, the nation celebrates Child Health Day. This is a time to spread awareness about all aspects of our children's physical, mental, and emotional health, and to take an active part in building healthy routines into your child's daily life.  Read More

Gov. Pritzker Announces Childcare Investments to Support Parents and Providers in COVID-19 Recovery

Last week, Governor Pritzker announced child care investments to support families and providers in COVID-19 recovery. You can read the full press release here. It describes the investments that have taken place already during the pandemic as well as the new supports that were announced on September 13th, 2021. Here are the key takeaways. Read More

Help Us Plan a Fabulous Community Celebration: Join the Gala Planning Committee

As a member of the Gala Planning Committee you will help us select the menu and sample signature drink options. You will help with design concepts and all the details that take an event from "nice" to "fabulous." Interested in joining the team? Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Newsletter: September 2021

In the flurry of back-to-school schedules and adjustments, take a minute to pause and pat yourself on the back. Then, check out all the ways you can get involved in supporting next year's kindergarteners. Read More

Join the Collaboration’s Professional Development Committee!

Are you an educator or someone who works in the field of early childhood in Oak Park or River Forest? Join the Collaboration's amazing and mighty Professional Development Committee! Read More

Get Ready…Parenting Workshops Start in September!

Workshops are starting the second week of September on Zoom and are open to all parents and caregivers of children ages 2-5. Read More

Breastfeeding Support and Local Resources for Oak Park and River Forest Parents

YOU are the expert on what your baby needs and how best to give it to them and we celebrate all the ways that babies can be cared for, loved and fed. So, whether you decide to breastfeed, bottle feed, or a bit of both, you have the support you need for us here at the Collaboration. Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Newsletter: August 2021

  Hello from the dog days of summer. In July, we officially welcomed six superstars to our Board of Directors: Charisse ... Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Newsletter: July 2021

  Summer is here and it's a new program year. Summer is a time to watch things grow and to get organized here are the ... Read More

Goodbye and Congratulations to Heather Duncan!

At the end of July 2021, our Director of Early Learning, Heather Duncan, will be transitioning out of her role with the Collaboration. Read More

Children’s Books that Celebrate LGBTQ+ Stories

Looking for some fun books to read with your child that tell positive and inspiring LGBTQ+ stories? Community Ambassador, Whitney ... Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Newsletter: June 2021

  June Already?! Next week, watch for some familiar faces at Illinois Action for Children's conference, Equity From the ... Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Deepens their Partnership with Sarah’s Inn

The conditions in the places where people are born, live, learn, work, and play that affect health and impact people’s life outcomes ... Read More

Celebrating New and Expectant Mothers

On Saturday May 8, with support from West Cook YMCA, our Family Engagement program partners worked together to plan a special Mother’s Day Baby Bundle Giveaway. Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Will Unveil Their Equity Framework at Their Early Childhood Equity Summit

In partnership with the New Teacher Center and sponsored in part by the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, the Collaboration for Early Childhood will host their inaugural Early Childhood Equity Summit on May 22. The event is free and open to the public. Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Newsletter: May 2021

  Updates from the Merry Month of May Say hello to the fully-staffed Collaboration for Early Childhood team! Emily Norman ... Read More

3 Ways to Celebrate Moms (or Mother-Figures) This Year

Everyone knows May brings flowers. May also brings...Mother's Day! If you are wondering how to celebrate the mothers in your life in a ... Read More

Announcing the 2021 Growing Gardener Program Cohort!

  We are very excited about spring for many reasons, but the launch of the Growing Gardeners program might take the ... Read More

Play is FUNdamental!

Children at play are highly motivated, developing physical, social, emotional and cognitive skills at the same time as they are ... Read More

Dailela: Early Childhood Hero

Dailela Williams, Co-owner and Director of Future Leaders Learning Center   Dailela Williams Directs Future Leaders Learning ... Read More

Bernadette: Early Childhood Hero

Bernadette Hicks, Director of ABC Toon Town and member of the Collaboration for Early Childhood Board of Directors With a background ... Read More

Vaccine Eligibility for All Illinoisans Age 16+ Starts April 12

Starting April 12, all Illinois residents who are 16 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Don't expect to pick and ... Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Newsletter: April 2021

Spring has sprung and hope is in the air. This coming Saturday, April 10, we will be hosting a drive-in screening of the documentary ... Read More

Preparing for Kindergarten in 2021

Starting kindergarten is a big and exciting step for all our five-year-olds. It also can be a brand new experience for parents and ... Read More

Our Hearts are Broken Once Again

Our hearts are broken once again.  The recent Atlanta-area shootings that claimed the lives of eight people, six of them Asian ... Read More

Recapping the 2021 Early Childhood Symposium: ComPASSION Matters!

As you may have heard, this year's Symposium was a little bit different.   Attendees joined virtually from their computers or ... Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Newsletter: March 2021

Spring is just around the corner!  And with spring comes a feeling of energy and renewal: the perfect time to embark on building an ... Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Newsletter: February 2021

February is packed with early childhood action!   We hope you are enjoying this snow-filled start to February. This month, ... Read More

Recognizing and Supporting Children Who have Faced Trauma

This is the third of our three-part resource series. Read our previous posts: "How to Talk to Your Child About the News" and "Continue ... Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Announces Lifting Little Voices 2021: Planning for Change – An Early Childhood Forum

JANURARY 21, 2021 PRESS RELEASE [Download the Press Release as a PDF] Contact: Sophie Grimes, Communications Coordinator Organization: ... Read More

How to Talk to Your Child about the News

This is the second of our three-part resource series. Read the first post here: Continue Dr. Martin Luther King's Legacy -- Talk to ... Read More

Continue Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy – Talk to Your Child

On the third Monday in January of every year, we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We remember what he stood ... Read More

5 Ways to Support L¡VE Café

What happened at L¡VE Café and Creative Space yesterday was a racist hate crime and we are heartbroken. We share your grief. We ... Read More

The Collaboration for Early Childhood Newsletter: January 2021

Welcome to the Collaboration for Early Childhood's Monthly Newsletter.  In the spirit of the New Year, we are excited to kick off ... Read More

The Joan White Scholarship Application

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Taking Care – Supporting our Healthcare Staff this Holiday Season

The news of a COVID-19 vaccine is filling people with hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. But at the same time COVID-19 ... Read More

Contribute in 2020

Support the work of the Collaboration for Early Childhood in 2020. Read More

Our Annual Early Childhood Resource Fair Has Gone Virtual!

At this year's Virtual Early Childhood Resource Fair, you can learn about early childhood resources and programs for children birth - 5. Read More

Why George Floyd Matters to Early Childhood

Why George Floyd Matters to Early Childhood   “Hope begins in the dark.” -Annie Lamott Normally, when I write to the ... Read More

Oak Park COVID-19 Mandates for Child Care Facilities

VILLAGE OF OAK PARK ORDERS "SHELTER IN PLACE" DUE TO COVID-19   To all child care centers, preschools, and family child care ... Read More

Collaboration Response to COVID-19

UPDATE FROM THE COLLABORATION FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DURING COVID-19 Updated 4/13/20 Dear friends, The hearts and minds of the ... Read More

Protected: Collection of Resources for Health Professionals

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post. Read More

Good Life Race Announces Gift to Charitable Race Partners

The Oak Park Runners Club (OPRC) has announced a $20,000 gift of race proceeds from the Good Life Race in support of both the ... Read More

John Borrero Appointed Executive Director of Collaboration for Early Childhood

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Amy McCormack Board Chair 312-827-6470 JOHN BORRERO APPOINTED EXECUTIVE ... Read More

Announcement from the Collaboration for Early Childhood

On behalf of the Board of the Collaboration for Early Childhood, I have some news to share with our partners, stakeholders, donors and ... Read More

Request for Application – Chicago Parent Program

Notice Collaboration for Early Childhood Parenting Resource Program Request for Application - Chicago Parent Program Background: ... Read More

Child Care Meet and Greet

Parents and caregivers please join us for a meet & greet with child care providers! There’s a lot to consider when you are choosing ... Read More

Support Us with Beet Bucks!

The Collaboration has been selected as one of three Sugar Beet Co-op partners for January and February! When you shop at the Sugar ... Read More

Your Support in 2017

Friends, As we come to the end of 2017, we are grateful as we reflect on all that we have accomplished together. This year, your ... Read More

A Collaboration that works

A Collaboration that works Wednesday Journal / Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 12:44 PM Opinion: Editorials Our Views It is ... Read More

Gains reported in early childhood support

Gains reported in early childhood support Collaboration touts hike in screenings, access to resources Wednesday Journal / ... Read More

Notes from Our Community Conversation

Following a special presentation by Geoffrey A. Nagle, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Erikson Institute, David ... Read More

Early Childhood Resource Fair

Thanks to all of our partners who helped make our first Parenting Resource Program a success! Over 25 organizations were present at ... Read More

New Parent Leadership Program

Community Organizing & Family Issues (COFI) and Collaboration for Early Childhood About: COFI is a 22-year old nonprofit ... Read More

Early Development Instrument (EDI)

The Collaboration for Early Childhood has been selected to be one of four partner communities for Erikson Institute's Early ... Read More

Champions of Children Everywhere

At its Annual Meeting, the Collaboration for Early Childhood confirmed its commitment to children across the globe by approving a ... Read More

Good Life Race Donates Proceeds to Local Partners

The Oak Park Runners Club (OPRC) has announced a $24,000 gift of race proceeds from the Good Life Race in support of both the ... Read More

Mission, Vision, Values & Principles

Early in 2017, key stakeholders met to discuss our organizational values and foundational principles in order to craft the new mission ... Read More

Week of the Young Child Celebrations 2017

Thank you to all our partners for hosting special events during Week of the Young Child. The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual ... Read More

Register for the Good Life Race

For 35 consecutive years, the Oak Park Runner’s Club (OPRC) has hosted the Good Life Race, one of the most prestigious 5K race events ... Read More

District 97 Referenda Presentation

At their February 13, 2017, meeting, the Collaboration for Early Childhood’s board of directors heard a presentation from Oak Park ... Read More

State Budget Status

The Collaboration for Early Childhood strives to keep those who are interested in issues affecting families at the state policy level ... Read More

Our 14th Annual Symposium

The Collaboration's Annual Symposium has been a signature event for the past 14 years. Organized by a volunteer team of top-notch ... Read More

Thank You for Supporting Early Childhood

Friends, Every day, the Collaboration for Early Childhood works to ensure that children, parents, and early care providers have the ... Read More

New Research on Early Childhood Investment

Nobel Laureate James Heckman has recently released new research showing that investing in high-quality child care for children from ... Read More

Anan forum to feature Collaboration for Early Childhood director

Anan forum to feature Collaboration for Early Childhood director Forum set for Oak Park's Main Library on Tuesday, Dec. 13 Monday, ... Read More

Legislator Contact Info

  Look up your legislators here.   Governor Bruce Rauner Phone: (217) 782-0244 Email Governor Rauner using this ... Read More

Gender Identity in Early Childhood

A Letter from Dr. Rebecca Barbato: I will never forget my first experience with a transgender patient. I was a few years into my ... Read More

Are You Considering an Early Childhood Degree?

Join the Collaboration for Early Childhood and National Louis University to earn a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Practice! Interested? ... Read More

Our Commitment to Quality Child Care

Everyone agrees: young children deserve high-quality care and education. Just as elementary and high school teachers have professional ... Read More

Our Developmental Screening Program

A “developmental screening” is a brief check that provides a snapshot of a child’s communication, motor, cognitive, self-help and ... Read More

Kizzie Harris Earns Bronze Rating

Congratulations to Kizzie Harris! She is the first family child care provider in Oak Park to receive a Bronze Level rating from the ... Read More

State Budget Crisis Needs Action

As of today, it appears likely that the Illinois General Assembly will pass a six-month spending plan that does not include any new ... Read More

Jeanette Streeter Receives FCCP Credential

Congratulations to Ms. Jeanette Streeter, licensed family child care provider at the Early Learning Center in Oak Park, for receiving ... Read More

Call for a Budget Now

From the Responsible Budget Coalition: We Need a Fully Funded Budget Before July 1 Illinois cannot afford to enter a second year ... Read More

Preventing Child Heatstroke in Cars

Tips to Avoid Child Heatstroke From Always Look Before You Lock Always check the back seats of your vehicle before ... Read More

Free Summer Meals for Kids and Teens

The Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry is providing FREE meals to kids age 18 and under. June 20 - August 19 Monday - Friday 12:00 to ... Read More

Thank You, Good Life Race

Oak Leaves 2016 Good Life Race donates $25,000 to charity partners By Erin Vandenberg, Community Contributor The Oak Park Runners Club ... Read More

Appreciation for Ann Courter

Resolution of Appreciation for Ann C. Courter Whereas Ann Courter served as Chair of the Collaboration for Early Childhood July 1, ... Read More

Baby Fair Resources

We were thrilled to see so many people at the Baby Fair on April 16, 2016. The Baby Fair was sponsored by the Oak Park Public Library ... Read More

Alma Martinez Receives New Credential

Congratulations to Ms. Alma Martinez, licensed home child care provider of Quetzali Child Care, for receiving a Level 2 Gateways Early ... Read More

Proposed FY2017 State Budget

Statement on Governor Rauner’s FY2017 Budget Proposal By Illinois Action for Children, Fight Crime: Invest In Kids Illinois, Illinois ... Read More

Welcome Penny!

Penny Williams-Wolford became the Collaboration’s Professional Development Coordinator in January. She has a wealth of experience in ... Read More

Kindergarten Registration is Open

Kindergarten registration is now open in Oak Park and River Forest for the 2016-2017 school year. Register your child for Kindergarten ... Read More

The New Edition of the Early Childhood Resource Directory is Now Available

The Collaboration's Early Childhood Resource Directory is a printed and online guide to finding information on quality child care, ... Read More

Register for the 13th Annual Symposium

Register online to select your favorite workshop choices! With the theme "Turning Obstacles into Opportunities: Navigating the Tough ... Read More

Carollina Song Earns Excellence in Philanthropy Award

We are delighted that Carollina Song, immediate past Chair of the Collaboration for Early Childhood, is being honored by the Oak ... Read More

Melody Robinson Receives New Credential

Congratulations to Melody Robinson, for being the first family child care provider in Oak Park to receive Illinois' new Family Child ... Read More

Announcing Partnering with Parents

Partnering with Parents supports children prenatal to three years old in Oak Park and River Forest through home visiting and group ... Read More

Legislator Discussion Nov 2

The Collaboration for Early Childhood is partnering with Oak Park School District 97's Committee for Legislative Action, Intervention ... Read More

The Oak Park Runners Club Donates $25,000

The Oak Park Runners Club (OPRC) has announced a $25,000 gift to support the Collaboration for Early Childhood. “The 2015 Good Life ... Read More

Letter from Ann Courter, Board Chair

As a result of the differences in early childhood environments and experiences, approximately two-thirds of the achievement gap ... Read More

Call for Qualifications and Proposals

Collaboration for Early Childhood's 13th Annual Symposium Percy Julian Middle School, 416 S. Ridgeland, Oak Park IL 60302 Saturday, ... Read More

‘Social Competence’ in Kindergartners Linked to Adult Success

The results are in from a 20-year study on how a Kindergartner's social/emotional skills (cooperating, resolving problems with peers, ... Read More

Pols fight, families suffer

Pols fight, families suffer Opinion: Editorials Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 2:21 PM Article by Wednesday Journal / If there ... Read More

Daycare providers: New subsidy rules ‘devastating’

Rauner cuts income benchmark for new families applying for aid Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 1:44 PM Article by Wednesday Journal / ... Read More

Importance of Relationships (Video)

This 5-minute video describes the need to focus on building the capabilities of caregivers and strengthening the communities that ... Read More

From Birth to Third: Aligning Education Systems

Oak Park District 97: Leveraging Resources for a Comprehensive, Collaborative, Community-Based Birth to 3rd Grade System "This is one ... Read More

Report analyzes quality of early childhood education

Collaboration for Early Childhood report notes marked racial disparities in income, kindergarten readiness Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 ... Read More

First collect the data

First collect the data Opinion: Editorials Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 11:31 AM Article by Wednesday Journal / From Day One ... Read More

Oak Park area could be state model for early childhood data

Oak Park area could be state model for early childhood data Collaboration partners with leading policy center to monitor children's ... Read More

Collaboration Enters into Contract with Village of Oak Park, D200 and D97

In April 2013, the Village of Oak Park, Oak Park High School District 200 and Oak Park Elementary School District 97 approved a ... Read More

Opportunity and Consequences

Opportunity and consequences Article by Wednesday Journal / Opinion: Editorials Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 10:00 PM By ... Read More

Professor James Heckman: Investing in Early Childhood (Video)

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Support a strong start and a bright future.

We champion high-quality early childhood care and learning experiences and support for families so all children develop their full potential.