• Summer Update

    Summer is here and I wanted to update you on all the work that is being done for the restructuring. You may have noticed the use of the new logo in emails. The official launch of the new structure is September 15, 2017 so their has been a whirlwind of restructuring work being done behind the scenes. Here are the highlights:

    • NEW CHAPTERS - Chicago Chapter and St. Louis Metro East are busy with building new chapters! If you are interested in getting involved, contact tonya@illinoisaeyc.org and she will put you in contact with the leadership team in those areas.
    • BOARD MEETING - Board of Directors is meeting this weekend in Champaign to vote on the new affiliate-chapter agreement & vote on proposed by-laws to send to the membership for ratification.
    • MEETING WITH NAEYC - Tonya & Carol met with Stephanie Morris from NAEYC issouri AEYC and Missouri AEYC to talk about membership under the new structure.
    • NEW WEBSITE - Be on the look out for our new website launch by the end of the month! We know you will love the new look of our site!
    • BOARD ELECTIONS - Watch our website for the new application for state board elections! The following positions are open: President-elect (4 yr term*), Secretary (2 yr term), Treasurer (1 yr. term), VP Southern Region & VP Central West (2 yr term). If you are a dedicated early childhood professional, have a passion for this organization and a desire to give back to the profession, here’s your chance! *1 yr as President-elect, 2 yrs as President, 1 yr as Past-President

    Have a great summer! As always, feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or concerns.

    Carol Weisheit, President


  • 2017 Illinois AEYC Children's Champions

    Mary Wonderlick- Illinois AEYC

    Ashley Earls- Capitol Area AEYC

    Kimberly Hahn- Heart of Illinois AEYC

    Carol Kackert- South Suburban AEYC

  • New DHS Requirements!

    We wanted to be sure everyone is aware of the health, safety and child development requirements effective September 2017.  If you receive CCAP (Child Care Assistance Program) money and you are a licensed or license-exempt center, you will be required to have these minimum training requirements.  

    Here are a couple of useful links to help answer questions.  Please email DHS at DHS.ccap-reauth@illinois.com with any questions, comments or concerns.  



    There is a new Q&A posted by DHS regarding the new requirements for health, safety, and child development.  This Q&A list will continue to add new questions as they arise. http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=95065

    Please contact us if we can be of further service.

  • DCFS Child Care Licensing Regional Forums

    Attend an Upcoming DCFS Regional Forum: Child Care Licensing Updates

    March 7, 2017

    The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Division of Licensing is hosting its second round of regional licensing update forums throughout the state. These forums, held twice a year, are an opportunity for licensed child care providers to learn about changes to child care licensing from the Day Care Licensing Representatives (DCLRs) in your area, as well as ask any questions you may have about licensing.

    We encourage you to attend! If you cannot make it, be sure to connect with other providers in your community for information on what was shared, and check the DCFS website for resources.

    Attendance for the forums will be limited to the room's capacity, so be sure to RSVP ahead of time to save your seat! The locations, dates, and contact information are listed on the DCFS flyer below. Click here for printable flyer you can share with your network.

    Please contact us at advocacy@actforchildren.org if you have any questions!

    ** Illinois AEYC is sharing on behalf of our friends and colleagues at Illinois Action for Children.

  • Happy Holidays!

    Happy Holidays to Illinois AEYC Members!

    We can hardly believe that 2016 is ending next week. What a whirlwind year! Even though the restructuring has been dominating our work load, we still found time to: mentor 57 programs seeking accreditation or quality improvement, write and secure the Health Equities grant from NAEYC and host a state-wide conversation around the topic, provide an amazing successful conference and build a new, diverse and passionate group of individuals to rebuild a Chicago Chapter! Whew….No wonder we are looking forward to our holiday break!

    I also wanted to let you know the Board of Directors has been hard at work during the restructuring process. Since last January, we have been involved with:

    • NAEYC dialogue meeting with 15 out of 17 affiliates
    • regional meetings to discuss the restructuring
    • individual local board meetings to discuss restructuring
    • webinars for affiliate-chapter agreement
    • webinars for drafting new by-laws
    • board meetings focusing on strategic planning

    Hundreds of hours have gone into the restructuring process and we want to thank all Illinois AEYC Board Members and affiliate leaders for their dedication and effort to this process. The dedication shown to this organization is to be commended.

    We hope everyone has time to enjoy family and friends during this holiday season.

    Carol Weisheit, President

    Tonya Frehner, Director of Programs

  • Chicago Chapter of Illinois AEYC Update 12-6-16

    Holiday Greetings!

    I want to update you on the reorganization of the Chicago chapter and inform you of the incredible work that is being done behind the scenes!

    Thanks to your response, we have had 2 incredibly productive meetings at National Louis on October 27 and December 1. During these meetings we have brainstormed what the new Chicago chapter should look like, what services should be provided to members and how to avoid the mismanagement which lead to Chicago Metro being dissolved. Please be assured that the new group of individuals are passionate about a high performing, inclusive organization as we move forward.

    Here are the highlights:

    • Chicago Metro AEYC has not been affiliated with Opening Minds Conference for the past 4 years and does not have any resources available from the Opening Minds Conference to support the new Chicago Chapter.
    • The new name will be Illinois AEYC Chicago Chapter to be in alignment with the new requirements from NAEYC.
    • Chicago Chapter is committed to diverse representation in leadership.
    • Chicago Chapter will avoid the mismanagement which led to the dissolution of Chicago Metro AEYC.
    • Chicago Chapter are team players who are passionate about providing services to the membership.
    • It is vitally important that the new Chicago Chapter mount a rebranding campaign and provide a member event in the very near future!

    As you can see, there is work to be done!! If you are interested in getting involved, please continue to check Illinois AEYC FB page, the NEW Chicago Chapter FB page, or the Illinois AEYC blog (this website).

    We will be stronger because of your support and we look forward to working together to rebuild the Illinois AEYC Chicago Chapter!

    Have a wonderful holiday season.

    All my best,

    Carol Weisheit, President

    Illinois AEYC

  • NAEYC Restructure Update 11-21-16

    Hello, Illinois AEYC members!

    Fall is definitely upon us and I am enjoying the falling leaves (but not the raking) and the days with clear blue skies! Of course, we know what is in store for us in about a month so I am savoring every minute of this crisp, clear weather!

    I wanted to give you a brief but important updates on the restructuring process.

    First, Chicago AEYC will be reinventing into a chapter! We had a very successful first meeting last month on October 27. We had 34 individuals from child care centers, agencies, university/colleges, consultants, and home providers who met with me and Tonya to begin the process of identifying what the member needs are and a plan to move forward. We had a very honest and open discussion about the future and I was buoyed by the passion individuals brought to the table. We had a wonderful cross section of new, returning, young and seasoned members joining us at the table. We are meeting again next week on Thursday, December 1 at 5 PM at NLU on Michigan Avenue. Please RSVP to tonya@illinoisaeyc.org if you would like to attend. We are required to provide a sign in sheet and we would love to have you included!

    Second, the restructuring process is continuing to move forward. We have met or will meet with the boards of DuPage County AEYC, Fox Valley AEYC and Southern Illinois AEYC regarding the restructuring and what it means for the local chapter. The Illinois AEYC bylaws are being updated to reflect the new structure and should be finished by the January meeting to be presented to the Board of Directors before being sent out to the membership for approval. The Affiliate-Chapter Agreement is nearing completion and will also we presented to the Board of Directors at the January meeting.

    Third, the annual NAEYC conference in November at the Los Angeles Convention Center had a large group representing Illinois! We were also fortunate to have 2 Lasting Legacy Scholarship winners from Illinois - Marlena Constant from Capitol Area AEYC and Jess Frederick from McLean County AEYC. Check out our FB page for photos! Marlena and Jess were 2 of 13 winners nationwide! Congratulations, Marlena and Jess!

    Finally, my hope is that you will continue to be engaged in your local AEYC. Your input is valuable so please let your local or state affiliate know what your needs are! We value open dialogue about upcoming structure changes as well as all work done on behalf of the children and families in Illinois. Don’t forget to follow us on FB and Twitter (@illinoisaeyc) and check out our website for the latest information at www.illinoisaeyc.org

    I hope you have a restful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends!


    Carol Weisheit, President

    Illinois AEYC

  • Chicago Metro Membership Meeting 10-27-16

    Thank you to Chicago Metro Members & Friends!

    We had a very successful reorganization meeting for Chicago Metro on October 27 at National Lewis University! We spent 2 hours discussing what the new (and improved!) Chicago Metro Chapter sees as priorities, how to serve the area and what the Chicago Chapter should do for the field. The respect for each other and for the process was evident as we discussed these three issues in small groups and debriefed in the large group. A big THANK YOU goes out to Safiyah Jackson for facilitating the group through this process!

    Illinois AEYC looks forward to our next meet on Thursday, December 1st from 5-7PM, 122 S. Michigan Ave at NLU.

  • Invitation to Chicago Metro Members

    Illinois AEYC has been informed that Chicago Metro has dissolved the organization effective 9-27-16. On behalf of Illinois AEYC, I’d like to assure you that your membership will continue with NAEYC and Illinois AEYC through your current membership year.

    After conversations with NAEYC, Illinois AEYC would like to host a membership meeting on Thursday, October 27th from 5:30-7:30pm to begin a dialogue about forming a new chapter in Chicago. It is imperative that Chicago have representation on the Illinois AEYC Board of Directors and a strong presence in the state. We will be discussing the options you will have next year for membership as the restructuring is in full force next September. I look forward to working with you in order to meet the needs of AEYC members in Chicago.

    Meeting Location:

    National Louis University-Chicago Campus

    (122 S. Michigan Ave.)

    Chicago, IL

    Light snacks will be provided. Please RSVP to Tonya Frehner @ tonya@illinoisaeyc.org by Monday, October 24th at 4:00pm and let us know if you plan to attend. If you have any questions, you can email them to Tonya as well.

    Carol Weisheit,

    Illinois AEYC President

  • Illinois AEYC submits NAEYC Affiliate Application

    Illinois AEYC has successfully submitted their Affiliate Application to NAEYC.  The Board voted last night unanimously to send the reviewed application on to National.  We are very excited about this next chapter in our organization.  We have much work ahead of us but we are up to the challenge!  A big THANK YOU to the Illinois AEYC Board of Directors for supporting the restructuring process and having the best interests of Illinois at heart.  Together we are stronger and great things are on our horizon!  

    Carol Weisheit,

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