New DCFS Licensing Standards

New obesity standards have been added to the licensing standards for child care centers. The new regulations address physical activity, screen time and new nutrition standards for juice, milk, water and meals for  infants and older children.The new standards are available at



Joint Statement from Illinois Early Childhood Advocates on Early Learning and the Child Care Funding Crisis

Governor Rauner pledged to “increase funding for early childhood education so that
more at risk children can enter kindergarten ready to succeed” during his inaugural
State of the State address.

We applaud this commitment to our state’s youngest and most vulnerable learners,
and we look forward to seeing more details of the Governor’s early education plan in
his Budget Address on February 18th.

The Governor also stated that “from cradle to career, our children’s education needs to
be our top priority.” We could not agree more. For that reason, we call on Governor
Rauner and the General Assembly to fully fund all aspects of early care and education
--- including child care.

High-quality, affordable child care is often the very first connection that young children
have to an educational experience – in conjunction with, or even prior to, preschool. In
addition to the work support it provides to parents and the economic impact it has on
the state, child care is a critically-important step on a lifelong path of education.

To truly realize the Governor’s stated priority, the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program
must be fully-funded – both to alleviate the $300 million funding crisis facing child care
during this fiscal year and to ensure its viability in Illinois for the coming fiscal year. Now is
the time for the Governor and the General Assembly to take bold and decisive action
on behalf of Illinois’ children and families.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois
Illinois Action for Children
Latino Policy Forum
The Ounce of Prevention Fund
ReadyNation Illinois
Voices for Illinois Children

Contact: Adam Summers, Illinois Action for Children
773.564.8801 or


Each one of us can make a difference,and together we can bring about change.


Children's Champion Day 2013!

GoAEYC nominated Wendy Mertes, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at Harper College. She, along with other nominees from across the state, were recognized by the Illinois House of Representatives for their work with young children. It was followed by a reception at the Governor's Mansion. 

                                                Vice President of GoAEYC Tara Mathien along with Wendy and Drake Mertes

Wendy being presented with the Children's Champion Award


Chicago becomes 1st city to ban crib bumper pads

September 08, 2011|By Ellen Gabler and Hal Dardick | Tribune reporter

Chicago today became the first city in the country to ban the sale of crib bumper pads because the popular products pose a suffocation risk to babies.

The City Council approved the ordinance without debate. It was introduced in response to Tribune investigations that found federal regulators for years have received reports of babies suffocating in cases that involved crib bumpers, yet have failed to warn parents or investigate all deaths.

Bumper pads, which wrap around the inside of a crib and tie to crib slats, are frequently displayed in stores as staples in a baby’s nursery. But babies can lack the motor skills and strength to turn their heads if they roll against something that blocks their breathing.

The state of Maryland is considering a similar proposal to ban the sale of bumper pads, and the federal agency responsible for regulating consumer products — the Consumer Product Safety Commission — has said since December that it is investigating the issue.

The trade group that represents the makers and sellers of bumper pads says the products are safe and insists there is no evidence of a causal connection between crib bumpers and suffocation.

Rick Locker, general counsel for that group, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, has said banning bumpers could bring about unintended consequences, such as parents putting pillows and adult blankets in babies’ cribs if bumper pads aren’t available.On Wednesday, the ordinance passed a joint health and consumer protection committee meeting despite opposition from industry representatives.

"This is our attempt to sound the alarm that something has to be done," said Cardenas, chairman of the Committee on Health and Environmental Protection.

Cardenas and other aldermen acknowledged that the task of overseeing product safety should fall to federal regulators but said nothing has been done.

"If they don't get their act together, municipalities like Chicago will have to do it on their own," Cardenas said.

In December the Tribune reported that federal regulators have failed to warn parents that bumpers pose a suffocation risk even though they know about the potential hazard.

It's unclear exactly how many babies have died from suffocating against the products, but the Tribune found that the federally funded National Center for Child Death Review has since 2008 received 14 reports of infant suffocation in which a bumper was relevant in the death.

Babies often lack the motor skills and strength to turn their heads if they roll against something that blocks their breathing.

Federal regulators have said they are trying to determine if there is a scientific link between bumper pads and suffocations, or if factors such as blankets, pillows or medical issues played the primary role in the deaths. However, the Tribune found that regulators did not investigate at least 17 reports of children's deaths even though the agency had reports on file suggesting bumper pads played roles in the fatalities.

Reprinted from:

Budget Resources/Information

Call the Governor’s office:

Springfield Office:  217-782-0244 TTY: 888-261-3336
Chicago Office:       312-814-2121

The main message needs to be “no cuts to children and families”.  Be sure to use your own words and explain how detrimental this will be to you and the children/families of their districts. Describe what this state will look like with no day care for our children.

Illinois AEYC plans to send action alerts (in conjunction with Action for Children) as often as needed to update you on any action.  You can also follow Illinois AEYC on Facebook and Twitter as they are posting updates often.  

Here are a few other great places to access information on a daily basis:

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Illinois Public Policy and Advocacy Groups

National Public Policy and Advocacy Groups