Our Story

Our Mission and Vision

Mission - Our Purpose

Illinois Action for Children is a catalyst for organizing, developing, and supporting strong families and powerful communities where children matter most.

Vision - Our Desired Future State

Illinois Action for Children envisions a future in which:

  • Every family in the United States has equitable access to affordable, high-quality child care and education in the community. 
  • Having access to enriching early experiences and environments improves life outcomes for every child, while freeing their parents and families to pursue opportunities for their own development and the family’s benefit.
  • Equitable, accessible, and innovative systems providing high-quality child care and education are a lever for improving the quality of life in communities that are the most isolated from resources and opportunities.
  • Providers of child care and education have access to affordable and high-quality training, technical assistance, and supports.
  • Advocates fiercely promote and government enacts policies and laws that favor universal access to high-quality child care and education.
  • Excellent research on issues related to quality child care and education is widely supported, findings are accessible to all who want/need them, and the results are factored into public policy, provider training, educational quality, and supports for families.
  • Donors and grant makers – individual, corporate, foundation, government – understand the importance of and are eager to contribute to the cause of universal, affordable, equitable and accessible high-quality child care and education.

What We Believe

Theory of Change

We believe that lasting change comes only by empowering families and communities with knowledge leading to power; that institutions change only with resources and leadership; and that systems change only through the lever of informed power. Our work is therefore delivered in a series of concentric and interwoven circles of engagement, education and empowerment, with children at the center of all we do.

Our Principles of Practice

These principles articulate what we believe, why we believe it, and guide us to do our work uniquely in our constituent communities.

As a catalyst for organizing, developing and supporting strong families and powerful communities where children matter most, we believe that all children and their families, particularly those experiencing poverty, must have access to quality early care and education, and systems of family and community support that lead to success in school and in life.

What We Believe for Children

We believe all children will achieve their greatest potential when they have:

  • Consistent, stable, and nurturing care;
  • Exceptional-quality child care and early education; and
  • Access to services that support their overall health and well-being.

What We Believe for Parents and Families

  • We believe parents and families want what is best for their children and must have the information and resources that will empower them to make the best decisions for their families.

What We Believe for Child Care and Early Education Providers

  • We believe early care and education providers should be well-trained, educated, and have the professional resources that enable them to deliver high-quality programs that support every child.

What We Believe for Early Childhood Systems

  • We believe in an early care and education system that is universal and fully coordinated, enabling families, providers, and communities to access essential services at any point of entry.

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