History of Illinois AEYC

The Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children began in 1969 by the Chicago Association for the Education of Young Children for the purpose of increasing the impact of professionals in the field of early childhood. The organization has grown from a loose network of highly motivated individuals gathering from all over the state to discuss issues effecting children to a professional organization with bylaws, a constitution and a strategic plan. When the history of the organization is reviewed, a vision of an organization steadily pushing towards greater professionalism, increased networking and collaboration, and a strengthened voice for children in the state of Illinois is revealed. 

Following 48 years of growth and development, Illinois AEYC has become a vital force uniting educators of young children and advocating for political and professional leadership. The association is committed to the improvement of education and well-being of young children along with their families and the professionals who work with them.  Illinois AEYC sponsors a biennial state conference bringing together providers of service across the state as well as leaders from dozens of partner organizations.

Illinois AEYC is a nonprofit corporation under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code governed by a statewide Board of Directors, which derives its authority from the Illinois AEYC Bylaws. 

Past Presidents

1969 – 1970
Catherine McClelland, Honorary Past President
1970 – 1971
Lilian Katz
1971 – 1975
Mary Weir
1975 – 1976
Joan Braun
1976 – 1978
Jane Morpurgo
1978 – 1982
Lana Hostetler
1982 – 1986
Dorothy Deany
1986 – 1990
Deborah Cassidy
1990 – 1994
Jan Deissler
1994 – 1996
Chalmer Moore, Jr.
1996 – 1998
Judy Helm
1998 – 2000
Pat Steinhaus
2000 – 2002
Jan Deissler
2002– 2004
Rosalind Frye
2004 – 2008
Lori Longueville
2008 – 2010
Cindy Mahr
2010 – 2014
Laurie Rhodes
2014 – 2018
Carol Weisheit
2019 - 2020Stephanie Herling