Birth to Five Illinois has issued $575,000 in planning grants that will help to establish nine Local Early Childhood Collaborations in 22 counties across the state. The grants are funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and the Early Childhood Governance and Finance Project of the New Venture Fund. Birth to Five Illinois recognizes the work to establish new collaborations takes time, commitment, and funding. Grantees will leverage these funds to solidify community partnerships, hire dedicated staff, and develop coordinated intake processes to ensure families are connected to the programs and services for which they are eligible.

In early October 2022, Birth to Five Illinois published the eligibility requirements for the planning grants to Local Early Childhood Collaborations. The lead-time for the application process was intended to allow time for applicants to solidify the SAM.gov registration, secure a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), and become Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) certified, per the IDHS requirement. The application opened on Oct. 20 and closed on Dec. 1, 2022.

"At the start of this process, when Birth to Five Illinois looked at the map of existing Local Early Childhood Collaborations across the State, there were large areas and numerous counties without any indication of a Local Collaboration,” said Angela Hubbard, Grants and Relationship Manager for Birth to Five Illinois. “Now, thanks to a robust response to this funding opportunity, some of those spaces are now dotted with grant recipients eager to form partnerships, improve Early Childhood Education Care (ECEC) at the community-level, and demonstrate the importance of funding local efforts.”

These planning grants follow $2.6 million in Implementation Grants (funded by IDHS) awarded to 24 existing Local Early Childhood Collaboration recipients. Information about all Birth to Five Illinois Grants may be found at www.birthtofiveil.com/grants.

Birth to Five Illinois FY23 Planning Grant Recipients

  • Arcola Community and Economic Development (ACED) - Douglas County - $48,872*
  • Birth to Five Forum of South Cook County - Cook South - $68,000
  • Carbondale Early Childhood Impact Table - Jackson and Williamson Counties - $62,000
  • Clay County 0-5 Advisory Board and Effingham County Early Childhood Collaborative - Clay and Effingham Counties - $99,000*
  • Northwest Illinois Early Childhood Consortium - Carroll, Stephenson, Jo Daviess, and Ogle Counties - $52,128*
  • Regional Office of Education #13 Preschool for All Collaboration - Clinton, Washington, and Marion Counties - $62,000
  • ROE26 IRIS Community Collaboration - McDonough, Fulton, Schuyler, and Hancock Counties - $62,000
  • Southernmost Illinois Early Learning Special Education Collaborative - Alexander, Pulaski, Johnson, and Massac Counties - $59,070
  • Villa ParkArea Early Childhood Collaborative - DuPage County - $62,000

* Asterisk indicates grants funded by the Early Childhood Governance and Finance Project of the New Venture Fund