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April 2018

Learning and Growing Together: Busy with Blocks

In her latest blog, Dr. Rebecca Swartz writes about the many ways young children develop new knowledge and skills through playing with blocks. Busy with Blocks explores the many ways teachers, parents, and caregivers can extend block play to make it richer and more inclusive for all young children.

New Resource List: Lead Poisoning Prevention

With recent stories about lead poisoning and changing rules and regulations, IEL has added a new resource list to help parents and other caregivers concerned about this issue. Resources include our Tip Sheet Preventing Lead Poisoning in Children as well as links to a state policy guide for day care facilities, information from the Centers for Disease Control, and steps to protect your family.

Parent Resources for Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards

In addition to Tip Sheets aligned to the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS), the IEL Project has other resources that families of preschool-age children may find helpful. The Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards: A Guide for Parents and Standards Start at Home: A Guide to Early Learning for Parents/Families provide information about the parents’ important role in helping their children’s growth and development.

NAEYC Week of the Young Child

The National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Week of the Young Child is April 16–20, 2018. Many early care and education programs celebrate this special week with fun activities and community gatherings. NAEYC provides information to assist programs and local communities that wish to celebrate early learning, young children, their teachers, and families.

Help Us Serve You Better

The IEL Project wants to hear from you to learn how we can best serve you through our Web-based resources. Please complete our online survey and let us know how we can support you in your role as a parent, caregiver, or teacher of young children.

Question Answering Service

The Illinois Early Learning Project provides reliable resources and information in response to your questions on the parenting, care, and education of young children in Illinois. To take advantage of this service, please call our toll-free number at (877) 275-3227 during business hours or send us your question using our online form.

Upcoming Conferences

Leadership Connections National Conference: Building Bright Futures, May 10–12, Wheeling, IL

Summit for Bilingual Parents, May 12, Oak Brook, IL

NAEYC Professional Learning Institute, June 10–13, Austin, TX

4th Annual IL Birth to Third Grade (B-3) Continuity Conference, June 13–14, Bloomington, IL

Summer Institute on the Project Approach, July 23–27, Davenport, IA

ILAEYC Growing Futures Conference, Oct. 18–20, Peoria, IL

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We'd Like to Hear From You

For more information about the Illinois Early Learning Project, contact Bernadette Laumann at (877) 275-3227 or