Collaboration Institute: Request for Supports (RFS)

IAFC has partnered with the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Community Systems Development Subcommittee of the Illinois Early Learning Council to design the Collaboration Institute. We invite all early learning collaborations in Illinois to complete the RFS for the Collaboration Institute, where communities wishing to receive more in-depth support will focus on increasing enrollment in early learning programs and quality of programs serving young children and their families.


Collaboration teams that are accepted in the Collaboration Institute form a yearlong cohort. Based on their RFS application, collaboration teams of three to five people will be offered one of two types of support: Coach-Guided Track and Process-Guided Track. If the collaboration wants to include more than five people on the team, this should be discussed during the consultation call with the Director of Community Systems Statewide Supports.


Coach-Guided Track: Collaborations receiving unstructured supports will receive 24 hours of coaching and technical assistance in-person or over the phone.

Process-Guided Track: Collaborations receiving structured supports will receive four in-person trainings (24 hours) based on the Collaboration Institute framework along with monthly coaching, with 24 hours of coaching for the year.

The Collaboration Institute structure and supports are built upon the Community Systems Statewide Supports Framework which includes four core components.

  • Community Assessment & Targeted Problem Identification
  • Systems Scan & Root Cause Analysis
  • Strategy Design
  • Implementation & Action Learning

All collaborations intending to submit a RFS must first complete a consultation call with Grace Araya, CS3 Project Director, before submitting. This is to ensure that collaborations have a clear understanding of all expectations and benefits of participating in the Collaboration Institute prior to completing an RFS. Please contact Grace at well before the submission deadline of June 1 to arrange a consultation call at which all collaboration team members must be present. An RFS submitted without conducting a consultation call will not be accepted.

The RFS is a comprehensive, seven-page document and should be completed with collaboration members and submitted by the collaboration leader. Please email the completed electronic file, along with a scan of the signature page, to Grace Araya by June 1, 2020. Collaborations will be notified of the results by June 19, 2020.

View the Application | View the Application Description

View the first Collaboration Institute cohort's Year in Review

Webinar: Application Walk-through

The CS3 Team is hosting a short webinar on May 5, 2020 at 11am to walk prospective Collaboration Institute members through the application. This is a great opportunity for folks to ask questions and better understand what to expect once accepted into the Collaboration Institute. 

Register here!