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Early Childhood Public Policy

Advancing early education 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 childhood education.

By partnering with early childhood advocates, researchers, and community leaders, Erikson uses early childhood studies, child development data and racial equity knowledge 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 solutions with a special focus on critical issues:

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

Elevating Lived Experiences

Collaborative partnerships to advocate on behalf of young children.

In partnership with many organizations, policy leaders, and stakeholders, we examine the efficacy of existing statewide early childhood policies, help identify opportunities that lead to systems change and collaborate on upcoming advocacy efforts. We are focused on championing equitable access to resources for high-quality early education and 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 the United States 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 from the state and federal government.

Perspectives on Early Childhood

Learn about our viewpoint on issues connected to early childhood care.

Join A Network to Champion Early Childhood Programs

You can help advocate for better early care policies and resources for the families of Illinois.

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 to support early childhood education policy.

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 child 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 young children in Illinois 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 development needs within their own communities.