Vision is the art of seeing things invisible
A critical first step for new community early childhood collaborations is to develop a vision together. A “vision statement” is a brief sentence or short phrases about your collaboration’s hopes and dreams for young children and families. A powerful vision statement can help collaborators understand their values and beliefs and provide a way of working together by setting principles.
In Illinois, the state’s vision for early childhood is for each and every child to enter kindergarten safe, healthy, ready to succeed, and eager to learn. While it is important to connect the community or collaboration’s vision to the state’s vision to ensure alignment, your community’s vision may be more specific to address the particular needs and interests of your community.
When developing your vision, bring together key partners and community stakeholders to discuss and form the vision statement. This process can be powerful for building relationships and strengthening the group dynamics and support for the collaboration efforts.