Early Childhood Care

Detroit Child Care from IFF CDFI on Vimeo.

IFF's broader research and public policy work grew out of our efforts — more than two decades ago — to understand, invest in, and increase the availability of quality child care options for low-income families. No issue is closer to our hearts or speaks more directly to our mission.

Our research can help you understand the landscape for programs serving children from birth to school age. We measure the supply and demand for each program type (e.g., child care, infant and toddler care, Head Start, Early Head Start, and pre-kindergarten), analyze where the highest need for each of these services is, and can work with stakeholders to close the gaps identified.

We have conducted comprehensive needs assessments for Chicago, Detroit, and the state of Illinois; led community planning efforts around early childhood programs in more than a dozen Illinois communities; and helped develop and implement early childhood capital programs for the state of Illinois.

For more information, email or call us at 866 629 0060.

IFF Research

The System We Need: A Neighborhood Snapshot of Early Education in Detroit

This report estimates that in 2015 nearly 28,000 of Detroit children needed but did not have access to quality early childhood care. The study compares the number of slots available at licensed and registered facilities with the number of children in need of care, and breaks down the supply-and-demand estimate by individual neighborhoods and program types.

Building a Better System: The Need for Early Childhood Education in Macomb, Oakland, and Out Wayne Counties

This new study estimates that in 2015 about 41,000 of the Tri-county region's children needed but did not have access to quality early childhood care. The report compares the number of slots available at licensed and registered facilities with the number of children in need of care, and breaks down the supply-and-demand estimate by community, county, and program type.

Early Care and Education: The Top 10 Counties, Municipalities, and Chicago Community Areas in Need of Care

Modeled on IFF’s 2003 statewide needs assessment for early care and education (ECE), Moving Towards A System, this report finds significant gaps for all types of care and ranks counties, larger municipalities, and Chicago community areas according to their overall need, as well as to their need of specific programs, such as general child care, Head Start and Early Head Start, and PreK.

Assets, Gaps, and a Way Forward: Reports on Early Childhood Care and Education

This report series was completed by IFF's Building Blocks program to strengthen local early care and education capacity in 11 Illinois community areas.

By Any Measure: A Report to the Community on IFF's Work in the Field of Nonprofit Child Care in Illinois

A detailed report of IFF's leadership role in the area of research, planning, financing, and design of child care facilities.

The Chicago Early Childhood Care and Education Needs Assessment

This study, the first of its kind, ranked Chicago's 77 communities in terms of need for full-day, licensed child care services.

Moving Towards A System: Preview

A preview of the full report on the Statewide Early Childhood Needs Assessment that summarizes the study's scope, highlights findings, and provides examples of how the data can be used.

Moving Towards A System: Tools, Benchmarks and Standards

The full report on the Statewide Early Childhood Needs Assessment that presents findings on the highest-need communities and in each area of care and education assessed.

Moving Towards A System: The Community Profiles Fact Book

A collection of profiles that summarize the demographic, supply, and demand data for each of the 168 communities assessed.

Early Childhood Care and Education Fact Book: Planning for
Chicago's Children in the New Century

This book is a community-planning document focusing on the top 20 Chicago communities needing additional licensed child care resources.

We Need More Day Care Centers

A planning tool for community organizations and government agencies, our study shows that Latina mothers want preschool child care centers in their neighborhoods.

Great Spaces, Fresh Places

Documentation of three classroom makeovers, a collaboration between IFF and The Chicago MOST Initiative.

Getting Ready: Preparing to House Your Pre-Kindergarten Program

An interactive, online tool to help applicants for ISBE pre-kindergarten grants plan ahead for housing their program. In three steps, the tool will help an organization assess its space needs, evaluate the fit of any facility with its program goals, and identify any renovation or modification needs.

The Building Blocks of Design: A Handbook for Early Childhood Development Facilities

A guide and reference tool for early childhood development providers who want to improve or expand their centers. The handbook covers everything from choosing a paint color for a simple cosmetic enhancement to planning a major construction project.

A Century of Caring for Children

A history of federal and state child care legislation and programs for low-income children in Illinois.

The Economic Impact of the Early Care and Education Industry in Illinois

A study conducted by the National Economic Development and Law Center, and reported by IFF, Action for Children and Chicago Metropolis 2020. This report demonstrates for the first time the direct economic benefits of the early care and education industry as well as its long-term impact on the Illinois economy.

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