When learning is encouraged (and fun), children want to learn more.


Illinois Action for Children uses two research-based curricula in our Early Learning Programs.

For our Home Visiting program, we use the research-based Parents as Teachers curriculum because we know that you have the greatest impact on your child’s education. That’s why we focus on child-centered parenting, parent-child interaction, and family well-being.

In our Early Learning Centers—and with our Early Learning Partners—we use the play-based Creative Curriculum®.. This allows children to learn through their own interests. Teachers create a classroom environment with interactive areas that promote learning, and children select the projects that interest them most.

The result is happy, motivated young learners!

Children are assessed three times a year using the Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment system. This assessment measures child growth in 10 areas:

  • Social-emotional
  • Language
  • Physical
  • Cognitive
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Studies
  • The Arts
  • English Language Acquisition
Results are shared with families during parent-teacher conferences. These conferences are also a great time for parents to set and discuss goals for their children.

By setting School-Readiness Goals, we help make sure children are ready for school.

Our School-Readiness Goals are aligned with Early Learning Outcomes Framework, Illinois Early Learning Guidelines (0-3), Illinois Early Learning Standards (3-5), and Teaching Strategies GOLD. Growth is measured across several domains:

Domain: Approaches to Learning  
Goal: Children will demonstrate interest in and curiosity about their learning environment in school, home, and beyond.

Domain: Language and Literacy
Goal: Children will learn to use receptive and expressive language.

Domain: Social and Emotional Development
Goal: Children will foster and practice healthy and safe practice.

Domain: Cognition
Goal: Children will demonstrate the ability to increase memory, recall, and store past experiences to become able to utilize higher order thinking skills.
Goal: Children will use math and science regularly and in everyday routines to count, compare, relate, identify patterns, and problem-solve.

Domain: Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development
Goal: Children will demonstrate increased control of large muscles for movement, navigation, and balance.
Goal: Children will demonstrate control of small muscles by using eating utensils, self-care, block building, writing, and manipulation.

Big Book Reading