Illinois is investing in local systems building in targeted communities around the state through three initiatives.

All Our Kids (AOK) Networks are working in 13 Illinois communities to connect and coordinate services across sectors of the early childhood system, including health care, mental health services, early learning and care, family supports, and more. At the center of the initiative’s conceptual framework is a set of child and family health and well-being outcomes.

The MIECHV (Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting) Program supports expanded and enhanced evidence-based home visiting programs in six Illinois communities. The initiative is also testing and refining systemic strategies for universals screening and coordinated intake as well as focusing efforts and resources on developing or supporting local early childhood collaborations.

The Innovation Zones are an Illinois initiative funded through the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge to develop and implement locally-determined strategies for identifying, engaging, and serving children with highest needs with high quality early learning services.

Most recently, Illinois has been awarded a federal Preschool Development Grant, which will enable 18 communities to develop seamless “pipelines” of services across the early childhood years.

Additionally, there are many local collaborations throughout Illinois that focus on improving outcomes for young children and their families.

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