We’re working to help great teachers become even better.

Together, we can help children gain the skills they need to succeed.

Illinois Action for Children implements high-quality programs that are based on comprehensive early learning standards, addressing the whole child in a developmentally-appropriate manner.  Teachers customize methods to address each child’s strengths and interests. 

We believe that children construct their ideas through critical thinking, social-emotional and cultural competence skills, mathematics, literacy and science. Our classrooms create an environment where children explore and express their curiosity and ideas through play. This Project Approach method integrates content across the curricula for authentic learning and guides students through in-depth studies of real-world topics.

Adult relationships and interactions are important for children and have a great impact on early brain development and ongoing learning. Family members are the primary caregivers who provide this important foundation. When children enter preschool programs, strong partnerships between home and school can support positive family relationships and promote learning.

The Early Learning Department provides intentional professional development for staff. The purpose of this professional development is to increase capabilities of staff through a systematic approach to their work.

Professional Development Philosophy

Vision: IAFCs Early Learning Programs department will intentionally facilitate a professional development practice that provides individualized support for each staff member with the goal of fostering professional growth for all.

Professional Development Tiers

Tier 1
: All staff will receive foundational training in their functional area that encompasses IAFCs core capabilities, along with agency and department policies and procedures. Curriculum, assessment, and data management tools used within our programs will also be a focus of training. These are critical elements that support a strong foundation for staff success.

Tier 2: IAFC will provide opportunities for our staff to enhance their competencies, develop knowledge, skills, and abilities in specific areas. Skill-building opportunities will be tiered based on current knowledge, identified needs, and staff goals.

Tier 3: Supervisors will use an intentional, collaborative approach to create individual professional development plans with staff to set their professional goals, identify required skills and create a concrete plan for competency development. Individual plans will set clear objectives for staff that will support their continuous quality improvement and career development. Supervisors will identify internal and external professional development opportunities, and support staff in pursuing continuing higher education to reach their professional goals and meet the needs of the agency.