March 2021 Partner Plan Act Newsletter

March 6, 2021

IAFC Service Updates and Office Closures

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”


Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3)

Save the date for the Partner Plan Act Virtual Summit – June 8 -10, 2021!

This year, the conference theme is Equity from the Start: Reimagining the Early Childhood System. The conference will feature Vu Le as the opening keynote speaker, with additional announcements of featured speakers in the coming months. You do not want to miss this! As always, the conference is free to attend. We hope you will join us!

Collaboration Highlight

The Alliance for Early Childhood was established in Winnetka, IL in 1989, with a mission to “…support[ ] and guide[ ] families and educators to nurture the healthy, well-rounded development of children from birth to eight years old.” Today, Executive Director Stefanie Maiuri believes that living up to that mission is more important than ever. She talked to us about their Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program, an innovative way in which The Alliance has been able to support both parents and educators during these unprecedented times.

As in much of the world, the COVID pandemic brought about a sudden loss of closeness, connection, and support that has had deep repercussions for children and families. Ever adapting to the changing needs of the community, The Alliance for Early Childhood created the Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program in the fall of 2020 with a focus on supporting the mental health of the most important people in the lives of young children – parents and educators. The program consists of two discrete tracks, one for parents and another for educators, both facilitated by Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant, Parent Coach, and Speaker and Trainer Molly Pope.

Consisting of four virtual sessions, the parent series, Pandemic Parenting Tools and Tips, is free of charge and open to the public. These sessions “engage parents in relational and responsive parent education on a range of topics relevant to family life with young children.” Although some have already taken place, you can watch recordings of them in the links below.

October 2020 – Empowering Parents: Embedding Patience into Discipline

December 2020 – Creating Cozy Connections at Home February 2021 – Stop Yelling! Holding Boundaries at Home to Stay Balanced

Recognizing Anxiety and Depression in Young Children

The educator series, Embracing What Counts: Professional Learning for Educators, provides support with the especially challenging task of teaching while also having to navigate the pandemic with their own families. The educator series is available to Alliance member schools. Learn more about membership.

By staying true to its values of embracing innovation and adapting to the needs of the community, The Alliance for Early Childhood’s Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program provides rich learning experiences for parents and educators that will ultimately benefit the children in their community. We have no doubt that they will reach their program objectives: “Through an indirect service model to children, collectively support mental health in these challenging times for our community. We are supporting the adults who show up for children every day.”

Get in contact with Stefanie Maiuri or find out more about The Alliance for Early Childhood.

If your community collaboration would like to be highlighted in a future e-newsletter, please email


NAEYC: Advancing Equity Initiative


Creating equitable learning opportunities for young children is at the core of the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC’s) mission. These opportunities help children thrive by recognizing and building on each child’s unique set of individual and family strengths, cultural background, home language, abilities, and experiences. This mission cannot be achieved unless we face head-on the longstanding inequities that prevail in our field. To assist in facing these inequities, NAEYC has created a position statement on advancing equity in early childhood education that can be used as a resource for collaborations on their own journey. In addition, NAEYC has compiled resources to help live the position statement including books, articles, reports, websites, and videos. Learn more about NAEYC’s Advancing Equity Initiative.

The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture

From Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups, Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun share a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture that show up in our organizations. Just as racism is powerful because it is so present that it is difficult to name or identify, these characteristics are damaging because they are used as norms and standards without being proactively named or chosen by the group. While we may find that we and the organizations, institutions, and systems we are part exhibit some or many of these characteristics, Jones and Okun also share antidotes that we can all use. Their discussion questions are helpful to keep in mind while reading:

  • Which of these characteristics are at play in your life? In the life of your organization or community?
  • How do they stand in the way of racial justice?
  • What can you and your community do to shift the belief(s) and behavior(s) to ones that support racial justice?

This resource, along with many others, can be found on our Partner Plan Act website on the Racial Equity Resources webpage.

Trainings and Events

Governance Workshop Series

A widely-watched BUILD Institute video, which describes the promise of early childhood community systems building, asks the question: “What would happen if we all worked together on behalf of kids? Everyone!” As many collaborations know, working together as one and achieving results is easier said than done—and governance is often the missing ingredient.

The CS3 team has developed a five-part series of workshops to address this need. If you did not attend the first Governance Workshop* (10.28.2020), please contact Kim Zalent before registering for the upcoming workshops.

Tamarack Institute Workshops

The CS3 program partnered with the Tamarack Institute to provide a “Week of Webinars” in November 2020. The webinars were designed to build communities’ capacity to advance systems change.

Tamarack Institute is conducting in-depth workshops on a range of topics that may support your collaboration or individual growth. There is one upcoming training:

In addition, Tamarack Institute will offer coaching sessions to participants as a follow up to the workshops. Those dates will be scheduled at the time of the training.