We all benefit from programs that help children receive a strong start in life. The good news is that nurturing, responsive parenting in children’s early years can buffer the disadvantages of poverty and promote resilience. To help the next generation thrive, we need to listen to and learn from parents on how we can best support caregiving.
Ensuring a Great Start: What Illinois Parents Say Is Needed for Their Children to Thrive details what families with young children find most helpful, what barriers keep them from accessing needed support, and what other services they would like to have available in their communities. From discussions throughout the state with low-income parents and the professionals who interact with them, we have learned that the state is falling short in providing parents the supports they need in the years from birth to age three to raise healthy, thriving citizens.
The report was produced in partnership with Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), a leadership development and community building organization focused on the well-being of children, youth and families. COFI also staffs POWER-PAC (Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew – Policy Action Council) Illinois, a statewide organization of parents working to make systems change around a number of issues.
The Shriver Center is committed to ensuring that low-income parents and communities in Illinois have equitable access to the programs and resources they need to raise healthy, thriving children. We’re interested in connecting with grassroots community groups and others across the state working with parents of young children. For more information, please contact our Early Childhood Staff Attorney, Verónica Cortez.