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Early Childhood Public Policy

Advancing policy, changing systems.

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Advocating for Families and Children Through Partnerships and Collaboration

We seek solutions that will transform the Illinois early childhood system.

A transformation to one that is fully funded, comprehensive, and coordinated, and results in racial equity for the workforce, young children and families, and equitable access to high-quality care and early educational experiences.

By partnering with early childhood advocates and researchers, engaging the public, and strengthening our community leaders, Erikson provides racial equity and child development knowledge along with data to inform advocacy efforts.

Leading with Racial Justice To Support Young Learners

Maura Daly
Maura Daly
Chief External Affairs Officer, Erikson Institute
“ We lead with racial justice to ensure all of our youngest learners thrive in their development and families have the resources to support their growth. ”

Deepening Early Childhood Policy Knowledge and Forging Partnerships

The Policy and Leadership Department staff actively participate in various policy tables as thought partners, contributing expertise on early childhood public policy with a special focus on critical issues:

  • Racial equity
  • Workforce compensation
  • Career pathways into early childhood field
  • Diversifying the pipeline of educators and field leaders
  • Access to high-quality programs and services

Elevating Lived Experiences

Collaborative partnerships to advocate on behalf of children.

In partnership with many organizations and stakeholders, we examine the efficacy of existing statewide early childhood policies, help identify opportunities that lead to systems change and collaborate on advocacy efforts that champion equitable access to the resources for healthy child development.

Latino Policy Forum and Local Census Office

Erikson partnered with Latino Policy Forum and the local Census office to provide family-serving organizations with messaging tools communicating the importance of capturing data on children under age 5 for Census 2020.

Start Early

Erikson and Start Early led the effort to include children who have a parent or legal guardian in the criminal legal system on the state’s priority list of children to ensure access to early learning programs.

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law

Erikson partnered with The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law to inform family-serving organizations on the Public Charge Rule and its effect on immigrant families and children accessing social services.

Perspectives on Early Childhood

Learn about our viewpoint on issues connected to early childhood.

Join A Network to Champion Early Childhood

You can help advocate for better policy and resources for early childhood.

Erikson is active in connecting a network of people including staff, alumni and interns to serve on several local and state government and non-government advisory councils, and committees. Learn how you can become a member of We, the Village; Raising Illinois; and Birth to Five Illinois.

we the village logo

A fight for equitable and sustainable funding for children’s services. We’re building a coalition of families, caregivers, educators, and providers to ensure all families have access to quality education and care of their choosing.

A collective effort to close the opportunity gap for our youngest learners. By investing early, we can lay the foundation for all Illinois children to have a strong start in school and life.

Birth to Five Illinois logo

Birth to Five Illinois organizes 39 Action Councils and 39 Family Councils statewide with the goals of engaging local stakeholders, gathering family perspectives, creating an action plan to expand quality early learning in every region and convening local stakeholders to address the early childhood needs within their own communities