In the months of May and June, COFI and POWER-PAC trained over 90 staff and parent leaders of early learning programs in the basics of COFI’s parent leadership and parent engagement model.
Staff and parent leaders came from 11 different sites from two state-funded early learning programs and from 7 Chicago Head Starts programs, including from the communities and cities of Altgeld, Bronzeville, Cicero, Danville, Decatur, East St. Louis, Elgin, Englewood, Humboldt Park and the South Suburbs. As part of the training, POWER-PAC leaders talked about their innovative programs to overcome barriers to early learning programs for low-income families, including the Head Start Ambassadors and the Walking Preschool Buses.
The two state-funded early learning initiatives are the MIECHV Program and the Hard-to-Reach grants:
- The MIECHV (Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting) Program is in 6 communities statewide and is a collaborative effort between multiple organizations in a single community to increase the capacity and effectiveness of home-visiting programs for 0-5 year olds.
- The Hard-to-Reach grants were informed by POWER-PAC’s efforts to identify and create solutions to early learning access barriers. Each funded group is piloting a creative strategy to connect families that otherwise wouldn’t be connected with early learning programs. They are putting POWER-PAC’s recommendations into action across the state!