Celebrating Our Supporters, Sponsors, and Partners

We wouldn’t be able to nurture and support the children in our community without financial support and partnership. Support for early childhood takes many different forms, and we are thankful for all forms, which we acknowledge here.

Grants and Contracts, 2021-2024

Intergovernmental Agreement ContractIn April 2013, the Village of Oak Park, District 97 and District 200 began their contract with the Collaboration to provide a comprehensive system of early childhood services on their behalf. At the contract’s backbone are 11 indicators of measurement that guide a large portion of the Collaboration’s work. Those indicators focus on outcomes for children, services, and systems. This was also the establishment of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) Governing Board. You can learn more about the work of the IGA on our Meeting Documents webpage under “Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) Governing Board.” 

American Rescue Plan Act, 2022-2026 – The Collaboration is currently working to strengthen a child care industry that was severely destabilized and continues to be challenged as a result of the global pandemic. The Collaboration is increasing support for families enrolled in home visiting programs, providing mental health and wellness support to early childhood professionals, and infusing classrooms with a suite of resources to address social emotional needs. Early learning programs are not only places where children learn and play. They are also small businesses, so another aspect of our work within this grant is supporting early childhood programs in accessing grants and resources. You can read about our ARPA work in more detail here

Birth to Five 2022-2023, continued for 2023-2024 – With the goal of increasing enrollment in early learning programs and to amplify awareness around the benefits and availability of affordable preschool programs, the Collaboration for Early Childhood has teamed up with Wonder Works Children’s Museum to connect with families. Wonder Works, in partnership with the Collaboration, offers free monthly workshops for parents/caregivers and play sessions for little ones along with sharing early childhood resources and family support. You can read more about this partnership here

Women Leaders in Philanthropy 2023-2024 – The Collaboration is promoting self-regulation and social emotional skill building through a program called “Social Emotional Tools & Techniques” or, SE TnT. Cohort 1 of SE TnT has 19 early childhood educators working with a total of more than 229 children across their programs. We are providing these professionals with resources and professional development, coaching with an Occupational Therapist and sensory kits that can be used in their classrooms. Learn more about the project here

Berwyn Development Corporation 2023-2024 – Funding from the Berwyn Development Corporation allowed us to expand our Parent Leadership Training into Berwyn, in alignment with our strategic goal to “Widen System Impact.” You can read the press release about the launch of the Berwyn-based Parent Leadership Training here

Illinois Department of Public Health, 2023-2024 – IDPH gives us funding to administer hearing and vision screenings to young children in early learning programs across Oak Park and River Forest.

CATCH Grant, 2022-2023 – Dr. Weller, a member of the Collaboration for Early Childhood’s Health & Development Committee in partnership with the Collaboration for Early Childhood, applied for and was awarded an American Academy of Pediatrics, Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) grant for the 2022-2023 grant year. She oversaw the exciting work of the new “Community Connect” program which connected families to needed community resources via an “Environmental Screening” pilot. Learn more about Social Determinants of Health here. As a result of the responses we heard from families through this screening, we developed a video library that explore topics families expressed interested in. 

IDEO.org, 2021-2022 – IDEO, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, created the Care Constellation Grant, an open call for organizations to reimagine child care in our nation. The Collaboration’s former Executive Director John Borrero proposed the creation 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. It consisted of building a roadmap, or program model that communities could use that addressed the early childhood educator shortage, equity and representation in the field of early childhood and preschool expulsion. More information about the Care Constellation Cohort can be found here. More information about the Collaboration’s work with IDEO can be found here.  

Albrecht Poss Family Foundation, 2021-2022 – Thanks to a grant from the Albrecht Poss Family Foundation, the Collaboration for Early Childhood awarded supplies and materials that expanded STEM concepts to eleven early childhood programs in 2021, with a refresh of materials to those programs the following year. These materials included a raised garden bed, a composting system, tools, seeds and a garden curriculum. See the programs with their little gardeners in action here. Explore the Garden Growers curriculum, which is free and available to anyone, here.

Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, 2021-2022 – The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation allowed us to mitigate some of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families and young children through the implementation of a summer kindergarten readiness programs (Ready, Set, Kindergarten!) that took place virtually with resource delivery to participants. We also focused on early childhood mental health by providing early childhood mental health consultations to early learning programs and thanks to this grant, we were able to operationalize our Baby Bundle program for new and expecting families and host an Early Childhood Equity Summit virtually.

The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation also provided us with an general operating grant for the 2021-2022 program year.



An important part of our community, the following businesses and individuals enabled us to continue to provide our programs and services and expand into critical surrounding communities through their sponsorship. Learn about the Collaboration’s sponsorship opportunities.

  • Byline Bank
  • Colin Fane, State Farm
  • Deborah Wess, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
  • Individual & Family Connection
  • Little Teeth Big Smiles
  • New Rose Catering
  • Oak Park Bank A Wintrust Community Bank
In-Kind Contributors

In-Kind Contributors

The following organizations and individuals have provided services to us at reduced prices (or free) and/or provided materials to us at no cost during this fiscal year. We gratefully acknowledge them below.


  • Angela Searcy, Simple Solutions Educational Services
  • Bespoke Flipbooks
  • Buddha Belly Kids Yoga
  • CAYR Connections
  • Chicago Blue Dolphins
  • Dynamic Lynks
  • Elizabeth Hanigan, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP
  • Empower Family Therapy
  • Individual and Family Connection
  • In Touch Pediatrics
  • Kari Harris
  • Kids Unlimited Therapy Services
  • Lux Ballons
  • MEAVIA Toys
  • Mindful Family Management
  • One Lake Brewing
  • Park District of Oak Park
  • Paul Goyette
  • Pickle Hill Parties
  • Pilgrim: A Community Preschool
  • POP Pediatric Therapy
  • River Forest Community Center
  • Spilt Milk Pastry
Community Partners

Community Partners

The following organizations, programs, and individuals are a part of our early childhood community. They sit on our committees, they offer their expertise, they host workshops, and they do their part to help us make our community a nurturing place for young children.


Star Supporters

Star Supporters

The following organizations played a powerful role in moving our work forward through their generosity. 

  • Good Heart Work Smart Foundation 
  • Good Life Race / Oak Park Runner’s Club
  • Gia Publications
  • Grand Victoria Foundation

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.