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The Program

The Program

The Illinois Early Childhood Fellows Program prepares new leaders to strengthen the field of early childhood policy and systems building in Illinois. 

Fellows come from diverse backgrounds and significant professional experiences. They share a passion for early childhood, and they understand that policies and systems in local communities, and across the state in areas like education, health, and child welfare, shape the life chances of children. They are passionate about finding strategies to enhance child development, expand early learning, and eliminate the achievement gap from the earliest weeks of life. 

Over two years, through a variety of experiences, Fellows deepen their knowledge of the field, build their professional networks, and hone their leadership skills. More

The Illinois Early Childhood Fellows Program was created by six leading Illinois funders in 2008. 

The inaugural class of Fellows began in 2009, followed by the second cohort of five Fellows who began in June 2011, and the third cohort of five Fellows who were announced in June 2013. The Illinois Early Childhood Fellows program is using its sixth year to evaluate its impact on the emerging leadership of Early Childhood institutions in Illinois and focus its resources on current Fellows and program alumni. As we allow time for this evidence-based decision-making and strategic planning, we are suspending recruitment of new Fellows. We anticipate announcing our plans moving forward this summer.

Why early childhood?  More

Why Illinois?  More

Equal opportunity
The Fellowship is committed to equal treatment and opportunity in all aspects of its relations with applicants without regard to race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, parenthood, marital status, age, HIV/AIDS status, or military status.