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Illinois Action for Children

Building Stong Families & Powerful Communities

aka Action for Children   |   Chicago, IL   |  https://www.actforchildren.org
GuideStar Charity Check

Illinois Action for Children

EIN: 36-2712912


Mission

Illinois Action for Children is a catalyst for organizing, developing and supporting strong families and powerful communities where children matter most.

Ruling year info

1972

CEO

April Janney

Main address

4753 N Broadway St 1st Floor

Chicago, IL 60640 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Day Care Action Council of Illinois

Day Care Crisis Council of Metropolitan Chicago

Action for Children

EIN

36-2712912

Subject area info

Early childhood education

Human services

Population served info

Infants and toddlers

Children

Families

Parents

Economically disadvantaged people

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (P01)

Child Day Care (P33)

Family Services (Adolescent Parents) (P45)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The United States is one of few developed countries without publicly funded systems for child care and family leave, disproportionately impacting children of color and families with limited economic resources, who live and work in Illinois communities hardest hit by systemic disinvestment and inequity. In 2023, high-quality, affordable, and accessible child care is as much a path to economic, gender, and racial equity for families as it was in 1969, when Illinois Action for Children was founded. The agency's mission is to be a catalyst for organizing, developing, and supporting strong families and powerful communities where children matter most.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Early Learning Programs

Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) operates four (4) Early Learning Centers (Head Start/Early Head Start) in south suburban Cook County: Chicago Heights, Dolton, Ford Heights, and South Holland. Through these four centers as well as over 20 early childhood education and care (ECEC) partners in south and west suburban Cook County, the agency's Early Learning Programs provide high-quality center-based environments, home-visiting, and parent education for pregnant people and children that prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to learn and thrive.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Families

On behalf of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), Illinois Action for Children's Family Resources administers the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) in Cook County to assist families with enhanced child care referrals to find and pay for child care for children six-weeks to 12-years-old.

Population(s) Served
Families
Adults
Infants and toddlers

Illinois Action for Children's statewide advocacy and public policy team leverages in-house original research, internal expertise, grassroots organizing, and strategic partnerships to successfully advance priorities in early childhood and family/community support. The agency ensures policies impacting children and families and the early childhood education and care (ECEC) field reflect a research base, best practices, and parent/provider lived experience. The agency helps influence leaders to enact changes that create the conditions for better futures for children, families, and communities.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Families
Children
Economically disadvantaged people
Parents

Since 2018, in partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3) provides training and technical assistance to help local collaborations across the state to build their capacity to improve early childhood education systems. Through CS3, Illinois Action for Children has created and offers 87 in-person or web-based training courses, which have benefited nearly 2,000 professionals to date.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Teachers

Illinois Action for Children offers early childhood education and care (ECEC) training and technical assistance, professional development, and consulting to home- and center-based, licensed and license-exempt child care providers throughout the state, and to school districts in suburban Cook County to ensure the best outcomes for children and families.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Adults
Teachers
Children

The Healthy Food Program fills a crucial gap in meeting the nutritional needs of children ages 0-13 who are cared for in license-exempt home-based Family, Friend, and Neighbor child care programs in Cook County. Launched in 2006, the Healthy Food Program positively impacts the scientifically irrefutable connection between nutrition and learning for children and families with the fewest resources.

Through the program, over 5,500 children living in food-insecure Cook County families receive three (3) essential healthy meals and snacks each day at no cost to providers and engage in physical activity while in Family, Friend, and Neighbor care. Program goals are to increase children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables and their physical activity, and to augment these healthy behaviors through technical and capacity-building assistance to providers.

Population(s) Served
Teachers
Families
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth

Illinois Action for Children is a leading expert on engaging families and support organizations, schools, and community collaborations to also deepen their own family and community engagement practices.
The agency provides training and consultation to teachers and staff toward deepening their practice of engaging families and communities. The agency also offers consultation services and training on early childhood mental health topics.

Population(s) Served
Teachers
Families

Since 2015, Illinois Action for Children has provided capacity-building, case management, and social supports to administration, teachers, and families at four (4) elementary school schools in the North Lawndale community of Chicago. In partnership with the Steans Family Foundation, the program provides support to address chronic absenteeism of children in PK - 3rd grade.

Population(s) Served
Teachers

Illinois Action for Children's future vision is for all children to have the resources and opportunities needed to thrive in school and in life. However, children with parents impacted by the carceral system face additional obstacles and challenges. In 2023, the agency is piloting a program to strengthen connections between children and their families impacted by the carceral system, an approach shown to be mutually beneficial and that can reduce recidivism and improve mental health and life outcomes. Program activities include: robust relationship-building, family engagement, training and technical assistance, case management, and other activities, interventions, resources, and strategies for families and their children; quarterly family events, in partnership with the Cook County Sheriff's Office; and strengthening organizational partnerships with agencies that work with incarcerated individuals and their families throughout Cook County.

Population(s) Served
Incarcerated people
Families
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Illinois Action for Children's home for research and policy analysis, the Sylvia Cotton Center for Policy and Research Innovation produces original research and evaluation, highlighting insights gained through program practice and delivery to better understand the challenges and opportunities associated with ensuring that families and communities throughout Illinois have equitable access to high-quality early childhood education and care and other essential supports.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth
Families

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Illinois Action for Children envisions a future in which:

> Every family in the United States has equitable access to affordable, high-quality child care and education in the community.

> Enriching early experiences and environments improve life outcomes for every child while freeing their families to pursue opportunities for their own development and the family’s benefit.

> High-quality, equitable child care and education systems bring resources and opportunities to improve quality of life for all children and families.

> Child care and education providers have access to affordable and high-quality training, technical assistance, and supports essential to delivering the care and education young children need to thrive in school and in life.

> Policymakers and advocates enact and promote research-based policies and laws favoring universal access to high-quality child care and education, provider training, and supports for families.

Action 1.1 - Focus on outcomes and impact in our work with families and in communities
Action 1.2 - Broaden our public policy focus
Action 1.3 - Engage a multi-year program and policy platform

Action 2.1 - Merge network of relationships for better program results
Action 2.2 - Enhance community collaborations
Action 2.3 - Shape technical assistance services

Action 3.1 - Segment messaging to target communities of interest for impact
Action 3.2 - Clarify key messages
Action 3.3 - Align our brand with issues that demonstrate our leadership in the early care and education community

Action 4.1 - Advance field-based staff development
Action 4.2 - Enhance skill-based investments
Action 4.3 - Extend the performance culture

Action 5.1 - Create self-sustaining programs
Action 5.2 - Identify broader quality measurements
Action 5.3 - Extend the entrepreneurial sphere
Action 5.4 - Fund diversification

EVOLVING COMMUNITY SYSTEMS: SERVING THE WHOLE STATE - Illinois Action for Children's systems change work is focused on:
1. Systems development in specific, high-need communities in which depth of engagement and tenure
of investment matter.
2, Assessing, enhancing, and aligning the assets of underserved communities.
3. Examining the underlying root causes and their gaps (in funding and philosophy) that contribute to challenges in certain identifiable communities.
Illinois Action for Children will cultivate and connect what it has learned on a community level to impact direction-setting at both state and national levels.

DRIVING DIVERSITY OF CHILD CARE AND EDUCATION: SUPPORTING PARENTALCHOICE FOR HOME- AND CENTER-BASED SETTINGS - Parenting can be challenging. Add in the complexities of navigating the child care system (such as finding and paying for care) and the obstacles can be too complex for parents to overcome. Many families need options outside of the traditional center-based model— especially during non-standard hours. The strategies and theories underpinning the work of the entire system have created biases that limit parents’ choices. At the same time, investment in family, friend, and neighbor care is severely lacking, creating disparity and inconsistency in the quality of care.
The agency engages across the levels of complexity and bias to support high-quality care and education
for all children in the contexts that are appropriate for individual need and parental choice.

VITALIZING THE EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION WORKFORCE - The field faces an ongoing talent shortage, aging workforce, low wages, and a disconnect between institutions preparing the workforce and staff attraction and retention funding and incentives. At the same time, as neuroscience continues to identify the critical impact of brain development during the first five years of life, many primary caregiving staff are professionally unprepared to engage on pertinent issues. The field must address mandated working hours and its archaic pay structure.
Illinois Action for Children is committed to driving the vitalization of the early childhood education and care workforce to advance equitable pay, incentives, and learning settings. These changes will help attract and retain educators who can deliver essential, high-quality care/learning for children and their families.

WORKING BEYOND NEED-BASED EQUITY - While society seems to be open to change, many challenges remain. Illinois Action for Children has witnessed implicit bias, racism, sexism, and nationalism in classrooms and many Illinois communities. These issues demand research and public response to combat the forces threatening to undermine the futures of the next generation. The agency is committed to amplifying their voices, demanding change, and making sure the playing field is as fair as possible.

Since its founding, Illinois Action for Children has been responding to the question, “What about the children?” by creating foundational conditions that allow children to reach their full potential in school and in life through advocacy and public policy, research and evaluation, and strong programs for families.

A state and national leader in the early childhood education and care community, Illinois Action for Children's comprehensive, multi-generational strategies support its long-term goals to improve the lives of children and families throughout the state and build a stronger, more just Illinois for all.

The agency approaches child development, early learning, and other family and community supports through the lenses of racial, gender, and economic equity to ensure that all children in Illinois—particularly those with the greatest need—have the resources they need to thrive. In FY2022, Illinois Action for Children's outreach, supports, and programs benefitted nearly 150,000 families, caregivers, and educators, including 85,865 children. Recent achievements include:

> Successfully advocated for increased early childhood funding by 20% across all areas in the proposed FY2024 Illinois budget.
> Increased enrollment by 30% at its four Early/Head Start learning centers in south suburban Cook County as the area continues to recover from the detrimental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
> Expanded financial assistance for college students with limited financial resources by 25%—from 412 to 1,640—for school year 2022-23 through the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship program.
> Engaged 25 children and families with incarcerated or jailed parents in quarterly events conducted in partnership with the Cook County Sherriff’s Office.

To learn more about Illinois Action for Children, its programs and advocacy efforts or how you can get involved, visit https://www.actforchildren.org.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

0.91

Average of 0.64 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

0.3

Average of 0.2 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

31%

Average of 30% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Illinois Action for Children

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Illinois Action for Children

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Illinois Action for Children

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Illinois Action for Children’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $289,607 $47,187 $460,189 -$111,877 -$455,736
As % of expenses 0.6% 0.1% 0.9% -0.2% -0.9%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $87,506 -$140,673 $268,366 -$255,261 -$566,012
As % of expenses 0.2% -0.3% 0.5% -0.5% -1.1%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $47,332,552 $48,944,074 $52,360,521 $51,346,846 $53,057,014
Total revenue, % change over prior year 12.7% 3.4% 7.0% -1.9% 3.3%
Program services revenue 82.5% 83.3% 80.7% 81.8% 79.7%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.3% 0.4% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 13.3% 13.7% 12.5% 13.6% 14.0%
All other grants and contributions 3.9% 2.5% 6.2% 4.6% 6.1%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.1% 0.3% 0.0% 0.1%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $47,105,726 $48,841,712 $50,736,013 $51,406,830 $52,632,791
Total expenses, % change over prior year 12.4% 3.7% 3.9% 1.3% 2.4%
Personnel 65.4% 64.6% 64.7% 63.6% 63.3%
Professional fees 6.0% 6.8% 8.6% 8.4% 9.9%
Occupancy 7.1% 8.1% 7.2% 7.6% 7.7%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 12.7% 12.2% 11.5% 12.0% 12.4%
All other expenses 8.8% 8.3% 7.9% 8.3% 6.6%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $47,307,827 $49,029,572 $50,927,836 $51,550,214 $52,743,067
One month of savings $3,925,477 $4,070,143 $4,228,001 $4,283,903 $4,386,066
Debt principal payment $0 $144,577 $605,423 $1,000,000 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $51,233,304 $53,244,292 $55,761,260 $56,834,117 $57,129,133

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3
Months of cash and investments 0.7 0.9 0.9 1.1 1.0
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.0 1.0 0.6 0.5 0.4
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $62,820 $1,091,215 $1,193,708 $1,076,992 $1,358,868
Investments $2,639,297 $2,738,042 $2,725,849 $3,481,229 $2,958,552
Receivables $8,103,090 $6,464,427 $7,196,632 $6,919,845 $6,151,300
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $5,809,683 $5,958,637 $5,972,381 $5,981,143 $5,931,142
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 90.1% 91.0% 94.0% 96.2% 98.1%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 60.9% 60.0% 51.3% 47.4% 44.0%
Unrestricted net assets $4,558,754 $4,418,081 $2,747,706 $2,492,445 $1,926,433
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $2,974,842 $3,781,542 $4,138,824
Total net assets $4,558,754 $4,418,081 $5,722,548 $6,273,987 $6,065,257

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

CEO

April Janney

April Janney is the CEO of Illinois Action for Children. Janney was named to this position in January 2021 after serving as Acting President and CEO since June 2020. Working with children in Chicago and throughout Illinois to foster positive outcomes has been April Janney's passion for more than 30 years. Prior to becoming CEO, Janney served as IAFCs Senior VP of Operations and Senior VP of Programs. Before joining Illinois Action for Children in 2010, Janney provided school-age programming through a career that spanned 21 years with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Boys & Girls Clubs Chicago. Janney earned her master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus on Nonprofit Management from Roosevelt University as a Woodruff Fellow and holds a bachelor’s Science degree in Education: Early Childhood and Special Education from Chicago State University.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Illinois Action for Children

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
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Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

Illinois Action for Children

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

Illinois Action for Children

Board of directors
as of 04/03/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Peter C. Kim

JLL

Term: 2023 - 2026

Jennifer Farrington

Chicago Children's Museum

Tobeka Green

Maryland Nonprofits

Michelle Saddler

Kittleman & Associates

LaChar Crayton

Illinois Action for Children Early Head Start/Head Start Policy Council

Hardik Dalal

Corewell Health West

Linda Hodo-Coiley

Peter Kim

JLL

Christopher Knapik

PepsiCo

Catherine Merritt

Spool Marketing & Communications

Amirh Collis

PwC

Jason Smith

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Britney Moutry

IAFC Early Head Start/Head Start Policy Council

Aurienday Briggins-Godfrey, PC

IAFC Early Head Start/Head Start Policy Council

Katie Durick

Meta

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/3/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/28/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.

Contractors

Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.