Take Action with Communities
Illinois established 11 Early Childhood Innovation Zones under its Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant. In these communities, organizations worked together to enroll and serve the highest-need children in high quality early learning programs.
The community collaborations experimented together with various strategies and shared experiences with other zones and with policy-makers. They identified strategies with the greatest impact for advancing the state’s early learning priorities using existing resources. The following toolkits have been created to share the unique strategies and best practices from this innovative project.
School District ToolkitThrough our partnership with the McCormick Foundation, Illinois Action for Children has developed the Engaging School Districts in Early Childhood Collaborations Toolkit as a resource to support local early childhood collaborations leading community systems efforts that deepen engagement with school districts.
Additional ToolkitsA number of toolkits have been developed expressly for building and strengthening community-based, cross-sector early childhood collaborations. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS) Transforming Early Childhood Community Systems (TECCS)
- BUILD Community Systems Development Resource Toolkit BUILD Community Systems Development Resource Toolkit
- Community Toolbox This is a free online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. Though not developed specifically for early childhood, the Toolbox has a wealth of information, ideas, tools, and process guides that may be useful for your collaboration.
- Pathways to Early School Success Developed by the National Center for Children in Poverty, the toolkit includes guides for engaging stakeholders, programs and services mapping, demographic and community data, and strategic planning.