June 2023 Partner Plan Act Newsletter

June 6, 2023

“In a world of possibility for us all, our personal visions help lay the groundwork for political actions.” Audre Lorde 

Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3)  

The Community Systems Statewide Supports work is funded through Illinois State of Education. Current funding ends on June 30th. Stay tuned for updates on CS3 work. In the meanwhile, the Partner Plan Act e-newsletter will be published quarterly.

Partner Plan Act Conference Recap 

The annual Partner Plan Act conference, Equity from the Start: Overcoming Obstacles, Leveraging Opportunities, took place on May 16-18, 2023. We are still experiencing that post-conference joy! Thank you to all the presenters, support staff, and importantly, all the participants that helped make this conference a success.  

Read below for some of the collaborations that made this conference a success: 

Rachel Linzy of St. Clair County’s iGROW/MIECHV Coordinated Intake presented on The Ins and Outs of Coordinated Intake. The session provided a clear definition and overview of coordinated intake (CI), how to create and build a successful CI collaboration, and equitable outcomes that can be achieved through this process.  

Elgin Partnership for Early Learning (EPEL) in partnership with the Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map (IECAM) and CS3 facilitated, “Using Maps to Understand Community Assets and Needs. The presenters were Amber Peters of EPEL, Bryan Preston of IECAM, and Brittain Ayres of CS3. The session provided an overview of how to use IECAM maps and database as a tool to better understand communities and target outreach and resources. EPEL shared real life examples of how they used maps to target family engagement, guide their work, and make decisions about early childhood resources and programming.  

The Plano Area Alliance Supporting Student Success (PAASSS) held their session “You Can’t Do It Alone: Developing Partnerships In Order to Meet the Needs of Families in Your Community.” The presenters Laurel Mateyka, Dana Lowe, Angelica Nicola, and Sherri Rachford provided an overview on how PAASSS leveraged its partnerships to “do more with less.” They shared the importance of diverse partnerships in supporting families as well as how to identify prospective partners and obstacles to collaboration, engage and collaborate with partners, and develop strategies for communication and outreach.  

The session “Community Parenting Support Saturation: Centering Families in Systems Building” provided an overview of the work being done with the Community Parenting Support Saturation Program at IAFC and how it leveraged Human-Centered Design (HCD) to impact early childhood systems with three collaborations: North Lawndale Early Learning Collaboration, Alignment Rockford Ready to Learn Movement, and SPARK Early Childhood Collaboration. Presenters included Alexander Bui, Esther Lodge, Kassia Eide, Bri Stormer, and Candice Washington. The presenters defined the elements of the human-centered design process to their work as well as direct on-the-ground examples of humancentered design from pilot communities while centering equity considerations.  

You can access all three days of the recordings here and presentation materials here. 



The National Equity Project (NEP) supports leaders to transform their systems into equitable, resilient, and liberating environments. This is done through consulting, coaching, and professional learning experiences. NEP centers equity work as being done in communities to allow learning in public, holding one another accountable, trying new approaches, and working through complex challenges collectively. They provide resources including articles, equity tools, podcasts, blog posts, free live webinars, research, equity frameworks, videos, and resources on navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and racial violence. 

This tool provides a close look at the data of the cost and affordability of childcare in Illinois including by family type, county, and federal poverty level. 

Trainings and Events  

This two-part training was designed to engage and enhance community collaboration knowledge around grant writing and financial sustainability. Missed the workshop? No worries! You can view the recordings for parts one and two.