The Illinois Association for the
Education of Young Children was initiated 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.
Chicago Association for the Education of Young Children agreed to
spearhead the development of a state group so that advocacy efforts
undertaken by CAEYC could have state impact.
An Organizational Meeting is held in Champaign/Urbana. Those in attendance appoint a Steering Committee to develop by-laws.
The ILLAEYC Board established the use of a logo and set dues. They
emphasized the goal of establishing a statewide group that does not
reflect the political division typical of the state of Illinois. The
CAEYC Board requested the ILLAEYC Board to
The first statewide conference is held in Champaign/Urbana. By-laws,
affiliation with NAEYC, approval of individual membership, and the use
of the acronym ILLAEYC are approved.
Fall Conference held at Holiday Inn East in Springfield
Spring Workshop held at Holiday Inn in Effingham
Fall Workshop held at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Workshop at Northern Illinois University – “Learning in the Out of Doors”
Fall Conference held at Sheraton Inn, Springfield titled, “Be Proud of Local Resources”
Study Session at U of I in Urbana - “Maximizing Our Effectiveness – Cooperating With Other Organizations”
Spring Conference held at Illinois State University, Normal titled - “Who Am I?”
“Elect The Best For Kids ‘76” Conference held at Sangamon State University and Lincoln Land Community College, in Springfield
Eighteen affiliate groups have organized around the state. The
organization prioritized the goals of Public Policy and Professionalism
Revised by-laws and the use of a new acronym, Illinois AEYC, are approved.
The Long-Range Planning Committee developed an ISSUES FOR ACTION
plan designed to generate major concerns held by the membership and
those in the field of early childhood.
“Play in Peoria” Conference – Peoria Civic Center and Pere Marquette Hotel
“Caring For Our Future” Conference held at University of Illinois in Champaign
A consultant, Joan Clark, is hired to assist the Organizational Review Committee.
There are 25 affiliate chapters in the state.
“A Child’s Reach For The Future” Conference – Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield
Full year Government Consultant is hired for representation before
the Illinois General Assembly and for public affairs and public
Illinois AEYC received its first grant: The Illinois Department of
Children and Family Services funded a three-year study of collaboration
between 2 and 4 year teacher training programs, “Building Bridges"
First Fall Symposium was held in Peoria
The revised by-laws, a result of the Strategic Planning Committee’s
work, presented to the membership for passage. Regional Vice Presidents
and Executive, Professional Development, Public Policy, Finance,
Communications, Organizational Development and Nominations Committees
Team Building Training for affiliate leaders held on Friday evenings of State Board meetings.
Illinois AEYC received a three-year grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation for organizational development.
Management firm of Burnison Chasnoff & Associates
hired to act as the office.
Illinois AEYC hosted Strategic Planning weekend in Chicago.
Statewide Illinois AEYC conference held at Crowne Plaza, Springfield, IL.
Completed Salary Survey for McCormick Tribune
Illinois AEYC hired a staff person, Donetta Braner, and opened an office in Springfield, IL.
Illinois AEYC is awarded a three-year grant from the Illinois
Department of Human Services to provide financial and technical
assistant for child care providers seeing NAEYC accreditation. “SAM”
Statewide Illinois AEYC Conference held in Peoria, IL.
Endowment was made of Lillian Katz Guest Lectureship.
Restructuring Task Force is formed, chaired by Pat Steinhaus to
guide Illinois AEYC through a three-year restructuring process launched
Illinois AEYC web site was re-established with address of http://illinoisaeyc.org.
Illinois AEYC newsletter is upgraded and edited by the office staff. Advertisements are accepted.
Illinois AEYC began Annual Fundraising Letter campaign.
Illinois AEYC adopts the Combo model for re-affiliation to NAEYC.
The state will have Affiliate Chapters and Chapters of the State. There
are 22 affiliates.
Statewide Illinois AEYC conference, Springfield, IL.
Affiliate Chapters go through re-affiliation process with the state or vote to become Chapters of the State.
Illinois AEYC finished the five-year re-affiliation process with
NAEYC. The affiliates as well at the state successfully re-affiliated
at the Bronze level. Accreditation project continues to grow.
Office assistance approved for $4800 annually through INCCRRA/DHS - SAM Project Budget
Cave Interactive Media hired to manage and develop website, e-mail and technical services.
Fiscal year changed to Calendar year.
Board voted to remain affiliated with Midwest AEYC at the
winter/January 2005 board meeting
Rosalind Frye, (President), Lori Longueville (President Elect), Lois
Malone and Teri Bobko (Public Policy Chairs) and Blakely Bundy (Chicago
Metro AEYC President) attend NAEYC Public Policy Forum in Washington DC.
Conference at Pierre Marquette Hotel, Peoria Illinois:
Illinois AEYC submits Membership Scholarship Grant proposal to NAEYC
Meeting format change.
Written Public Policy Agenda is set for 2005 after first annual
Policy caucus held on Friday evening of the winter/January Meeting
Strategic Plan 1st Year” Annual Report" sent off to NAEYC
Kickoff for “Every Child Deserves a Chance” 50/50 raffle and fundraiser
Illinois AEYC Lobby Day: Members join Public Policy Consultant Betsy
Mitchell in Springfield. Meet with Louanner Peters of Governor’s office
and with local legislators
Friday night caucus discussion focuses on “What is Illinois AEYC’s Role / Niche in Professional Development
Regional Trainings sessions are held in April as part of Technical Assistance provided by NAEYC:
Lois Malone,( Public Policy C-Chair); Cindy Mahr ( West Central VP)
Mary Wonderlick ( Chicago Metro Delegate ) Leslie Parello ( Chicago
Metro- Public Policy Chair) attend NAEYC Public Policy Forum in
Annual Retreat held at Stoney Creek in Peoria
Drawing for first annual “Every Child Deserves a Chance” raffle. Organization’s proceeds total $5,607
Organizational Development Committee leads Board through consolidation of 21 committees into six
All committee job descriptions updated
Board hires Jan Deissler as Consultant for Symposium
Laurie Rhodes agrees to serve as Symposium Chair
Sharing a Vision Pre-Conference session is sponsored by Illinois AEYC
Brains, Trains and Emotional Safety: Ideas for the Classroom
Fall issue of Impact announces release of “Life is Life” poetry book: by Shirley Dean
Fall Board meeting held in Springfield on November
Illinois AEYC Sponsors first ever ECERS-R Institute in Bloomington
Organization Development Committee reviews by-laws for needed changes
Kathy Howard (SAM Project Coordinator) and Lori Longueville, (President)
Participate in panel presentation at NAEYC Conference
Kathy Howard, (SAM Project Coordinator) presents at Chicago Metro AEYC Conference (Opening Minds) Leadership Breakfast
Winter Board meeting held in Springfield on February 10-11th:
Strategic Plan Year # 2-"Annual Report" sent off to NAEYC
First palm pilot training for SAM mentors held in DesPlaines
Lori Longueville and Donetta Braner meet with Laura Anderson, fund development consultant
Current Illinois AEYC President, Lori Longueville, is elected NAEYC
Secretary. Two other elected Board members Jamilah Jordan and Frank
Gettridge also come from Illinois
Membership committee arranges and hosts statewide webinar on online
membership system . Karen Hughes from NAEYC facilitates webinar.
Second palm pilot training held for SAM mentors in Springfield
New nominations process introduced. Board approves amended by-laws.
Kickoff of “Illinois AEYC at 40” new 3 yr strategic planning cycle.
Prairieland affiliate disbands. Illinois Valley affiliate disbands
Kathy Howard resigns as SAM Project Coordinator to take a position as an Elementary School Principal, effective 7/31/2006.
Illinois AEYC Executive Committee works diligently to prepare for
the hiring of a second full time staff person. Job Descriptions were
put in place for Director of Programs and Director of Operations.
Personnel Policies were updated, interview questions and scoring matrix
Annual Retreat held at Stoney Creek in Peoria.
First Illinois AEYC Symposium was held at the Crowne Plaza
in Springfield; “Critical Issues Facing Children and Families: Building
Resiliency through Programs”. This was a new format from the Annual
Conference held in previous years and was successful.
Interviews were held during the week of the Symposium for the
Director of Programs position. Approximately 30 applicants apply and 8
Public Policy Committee announces Golden Corridor AEYC as recipient of Lana Hostetler Grant.
Drawing was held for the second annual “Every Child Deserves a Chance” raffle. Organization’s proceeds total $3,715.
Illinois AEYC hires second full time employee,
Tonya Frehner, as Director of Programs. Donetta Braner becomes Director
of Operations. Both Donetta and Tonya attended the NAEYC Conference in
Illinois AEYC enters into partnership with ISBE, Illinois Resource
Center and Chicago Metro AEYC to develop and offer Great Expectations
project to states’ Preschool for All programs
Tonya Frehner, Lois Malone, Cindy Mahr represent Illinois and Lori
Longueville represents NAEYC attends Public Policy Institute in
First annual Illinois AEYC Leadership Day. Louanner Peters from the
Governor’s Office was guest speaker. There were approximately 25 in
Betsy Mitchell, Illinois AEYC legislative consultant became part of
early childhood lobby team and sits in on weekly strategy calls
Several conference calls held with members to update them on legislative session.
Illinois AEYC and project partners recruit and conduct initial
training of curriculum coaches.Training held in Bloomington Illinois
Illinois AEYC submits letter of intent to Grand Victoria for funding for SAM
Second annual “Every Child Deserves a Chance 50/50 raffle- approximately $5,000 raised
Illinois AEYC and partners sponsor 4 Great Expectations Curriculum Institutes for Preschool for All
Annual retreat held at Stony Creek in Peoria – recognition dinner
for Board members with focus on website revisions. Members “built”new
website concepts through hands on review of other AEYC websites,
updated goals and objectives, created year 2 strategies.
SAM policies and procedures revised
Print Guidelines developed by Public Relations Committee and approved by Board
Responsibility for organization’s minutes transferred from Secretary to staff, creating backup system for minutes.
Election of new officers: Cindy Mahr, President Elect: Terry White,
Southern Region VP; Laurie Rhodes, East Central VP and Barb Warmoth,
Approached by Illinois NET to partner on its federally funded grant
project on the development of a new nutrition curriculum/ training
for early childhood professionals and designed to prevent childhood
obesity. Six current leaders of Illinois AEYC serve on the Advisory
group for the Color My Meals Healthy curriculum project
Year # 2 of Great Expectations project begins - Curriculum coaching begins for states Preschool for All programs
Illinois AEYC Leadership Day. Senator Donne Trotter, guest speaker. Approximately 30 in attendance.
Great Expectations Institutes held
After survey of members, Board votes to increase dues.
New website launched
Annual retreat held in Bloomington – discussion focused on accreditation, membership and member services.
Growing Futures, Statewide Early Childhood Conference in Springfield
Illinois , a rousing success. Over $25,000 in sponsorships, several
partner agencies, diverse planning committee almost 800 in attendance
and profit of about $12,000 Illinois AEYC’s co-sponsorship support
allowed us to bring national experts to Illinois and present an
exciting and diverse professional development conference.
Illinois AEYC notified that Great Expectations will be funded for a
third year. On site coaching of programs continues and coaches assigned
Providing high quality professional development and follow up on site
technical assistance to over 90 Preschool for All programs throughout
the state of Illinois (does not include city of Chicago) This was
accomplished through the ISBE funded Great Expectations project, and in
collaboration with partners, the Illinois Resource Center and Chicago
Metro AEYC, Illinois Technical assistance was provided through a
coordinated network of well trained curriculum coaches.
Election of new Officers. Brenda Wardzala , Treasurer; Brenda
Smith, West Central VP; Deb Clark Chicago Metro VP, Terese Amidei,
Northern Region VP
Donetta Braner successfully was able to resolve cashing of a lost
affiliate check for Illinois AEYC (over $3400) which was mailed in to
Donetta from an old treasurer, 15 years old.
Donetta Braner, Tonya Frehner attend NAEYC Conference in Washington DC
Agreement with Illinois Action for Children for joint policy alerts
Illinois AEYC submits new funding proposal to Grand Victoria
Foundation Successfully implementing the 2008 Grand Victoria grant
which resulted in five (of ten) programs becoming and/or applying for
accreditation. In addition a total of 33 early care and education
programs who participated in the four group learning cohort groups
documented program improvement and successful in moving their programs
closer to meeting the NAEYC program standards and accreditation
Accreditation Seminar presented by Agnes Kovacs and sponsored by Illinois AEYC was held in Springfield Illinois
Tonya Frehner, Director of Programs and Betsy Mitchell conduct a session at Chicago Metro’s Opening Minds Conference.
Public Policy Agenda updated
SAM grant expanded to include development of webinar and online assessment tool for family child care ($80,000)
Building on its tradition of annual Lobby Days, Illinois AEYC sponsored
a Public Policy Leadership day in February 2008. In addition to
leadership development, and public policy advocacy at the Capitol,
participants met with legislative leaders, Senator Donnie Trotter
(Senate Appropriations Chair) and Senator James Clayborn, to discuss
early childhood issues and funding concerns.. Approximately 35 in
Tonya Frehner, Terese Amidei, Kim Kernosky, Cindy Mahr and Gail Conway
represent Illinois AEYC at NAEYC Public Policy Institute. Lori
Longueville attending for NAEYC.
Kim Kernosky and Lori Longueville attend QRS meeting preceding Institute.
Illinois AEYC receives notice of Grand Victoria funding $74,000 for 18 months for SAM activities.
First “Children’s Champions” Recognition Lluncheon in Springfield. General Assembly proclamation and reading of names
Moved to new office space after building was sold. New space was found just blocks away.
Newsletter s began to be sent out electronically instead of hardcopy with a significant savings in the budget.
Executive and Finance Committees began holding monthly phone conferences to stay on top of the developing tough budget issues. ( non-renewed grants, state of Illinois budget conditions, etc.)
President Cindy Mahr conducts a SWOT Analysis with Governing Board to incorporate with strategic planning for the October Board Retreat.
Donetta and Lori Longueville’s efforts at reaching “lapsed” members for renewal has seen 127 new and renewed memberships since the July process began.
NAEYC Affiliate Rep, Gwen Simmons joins the Executive Committee in a phone conference to assist in evaluating ILAEYC’s current board and organizational development, in order to provide “FOOD FOR THOUGHT” in working through the SWOT/Strategic Planning Process.
The Board regretfully granted the dissolution requests by the Bi-County and the Western of IL Affiliate Chapters.
Governing Board Retreat held at The Chateau in Bloomington October 23 and 24; Ann Wharf was invited by President, Cindy to help facilitate the strategic planning process.
The Board approved a Balanced Budget for 2010 based on the very hard work of Treasurer, Brenda Wardzala and her committee.
The Board approved the move to a re-organized QuickBooks as the ILAEYC office accounting system; based on recommendations from current accounting firm.
SAM Project refunded for 2010 – 2011, funding level remains the same.
South Central Affiliate became Chapter of ILAEYC
Grant submitted to Joyce Foundation, not funded.
Grant submitted to NAEYC (innovations grant), not funded.
By-Laws revision recommendations completed by Debbie Lee and her committee.
“Counties covered” map was updated with less ‘unserved’ areas.
Growing Futures Conference 2010 was held September 30 – October 2, Springfield Crowne Plaza. Conference was successful, with approximately 750 attendees, profit of $47,000 due to a bare bones budget strictly monitored by co-chairs Laurie Rhodes & Cindy Wall.
Revision recommendations of By Laws Committee were approved at
November 13, 2010 Governing Board Meeting
Elected officers officially take their seats: Laurie Rhodes, President (first term), Brenda Wardzala, Treasurer (second term); Brenda Smith, Central West VP (second term); Diana Shipley, Central East VP (1 yr. seat), Deborah Clark. Chicago Metro VP (second term)
Illinois AEYC will be move the office to 993 Clocktower Drive. The lease at 40 Adloff
will officially be terminated effective 3/31/2011.
Professional Development Committee developed and sent out a professional development
survey to members and some non members via Zoomerang. Data on suggested topics,
format, best day/time, etc. was collected and reviewed for future program planning.
As of August 31, 2011 IL AEYC will terminate it’s contract with Fleming, Tawfall,
& Company, PC for accounting services that are no longer needed.
IL AEYC co-hosted a two day NAEYC Accreditation Training for SAMentors and Providers in Bloomington, IL. There were 153 participants for both days. NAEYC Academy Trainers provided the training.
Donetta Braner took a new position with the State and as of September 1st, Tonya Frehner was hired back to Full Time. Tonya Frehner will assume many of Donetta’s office responsibilities. Fall regional workshops began with IL AEYC members Mary Wonderlick and Cindy Mahr providing probono presentations. It is the governing board’s hope that this format will be an income generator in the off year of the Growing Futures Conference as well as fulfill one of organizations missions of professional development.
Two of the regional seminars were held. One in Carterville, IL and one in Decatur,IL. Nineteen participants were registered for Carterville and fourteen for Decatur.
Two more regional seminars were held. One in Peoria Heights that had nineteen participants and one in Kankakee that had thirty six participants.
Elected officers should officially take their seats. We are having trouble getting volunteers to step up. Central East VP, Southern Region VP are both Vacant. President Elect, Secretary and Professional Development Chair are all vacant. Laurie Rhodes and Tonya Frehner will be working to get these filled ASAP.
Lois Malone, Gail Conway and several Chicago Metro Board Members attended the NAEYC Public Policy Forum in Washington DC as Illinois AEYC Representatives.
NAEYC, Illinois AEYC and Chicago Metro partnered to have a NAEYC National Dialogue Regional Meeting in Chicago on March 24, 2012. This meeting discussed some national issues (board structure, mission statement, etc.) and allowed members to have input in the discussion prior to NAEYC making changes. There were representatives from 6 states in attendance.
State ballots are emailed/mailed out for the State Board Election.
State election ballot closed. Results are: Laurie Rhodes-President Elect, Linda Lacy- Secretary, Rhonda Costa-Central East VP, Denise Kunpp-Southern Region VP and the by- laws resolution passed that stated Illinois AEYC is allowed to conduct business via electronic means.
Illinois AEYC hosted their 4th annual Children’s Champion Day Event at the State Capitol and the desert reception was at the Illinois Governor’s Mansion. Twelve nominees were honored with a House Resolution read by Rep. Mike Bost. Eleven local affiliates made nominations and Lori Longueville was nominated on behalf of Illinois AEYC and joins Jan Diessler as the second state awardee.
Illinois AEYC, DHS and INCCRRA partnered together through the SAM Grant to offer a Continuous Program Improvement Training Academy at Lincoln Land Community College. The morning was an overview of QRS, NAEYC, NAC and NECPA and the afternoon was how to go about program improvement in generic terms, not focused toward anyone accreditation. We had 64 people in attendance along with 6 presenters, Laurie Rhodes and Tonya Frehner.
Illinois AEYC held their 2012 Growing Futures Conference at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois. We were fortunate enough to have Dr. Lilian Katz as a keynote speaker on Friday. We did a pre-conference day and two conference days. Our attendance was 357 over the course of the three days.
Tonya Frehner, Kerri Nolan, Mary Wonderlick and Gail Conway attended the NAEYC Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA on behalf of Illinois AEYC.
The Illinois AEYC Board of Directors charged President Laurie Rhodes of putting together a by-laws task force to review the Illinois AEYC bylaws, committee descriptions and officer job descriptions. Elected officers take their seats. Terese Quarino- Illinois AEYC’s NAEYC Affiliate Council Representative, Barbara Warmoth- Treasurer, Susan Moore-Central West VP and Jennifer Brosnahan- Northern Region VP.
The by-laws task force began their work. It is composed of one representative from each of region and chaired by Illinois AEYC Treasurer, Barbara Warmoth. Laurie Rhodes and Tonya Frehner also participate in these calls.
The Public Policy hosted a webinar titled, “Become a Better Advocate”. Lois Malone and Betsy Mitchell facilitated the webinar. It was free of cost as we partnered with the Illinois Resource Center Early Childhood. We had over 75 participants. Illinois AEYC held their 5th annual Children’s Champion Day Event at the State Capitol and the desert reception was held at the Illinois Governor’s Mansion. Eleven nominees were honored with a House Resolution read by Rep. John Bradley. Ten local affiliates made nominations and Lois Malone was nominated on behalf of Illinois AEYC and joining Jan Diessler and Lori Longueville as past Illinois AEYC Champions. Illinois AEYC also honored the Early Childhood Coalition at the reception.
Illinois AEYC co-sponsored an all day workshop, The Inter-Relatedness of Movement, Child Development, and Academic Readiness in Early Childhood, with Illinois Resource Center Early Childhood and STARnet at the Sharing A Vision Conference at the Crowne Plaza.
Tonya Frehner attended the NAEYC Annual Conference in Washington DC on behalf of Illinois AEYC.
Illinois AEYC and Illinois Action for Children co-sponsored a webinar titled, “Federal Early Learning Proposals & Developments”. This was offered free to our members.
Illinois AEYC held their 6th annual Children’s Champion Day Event at the State Capitol and the desert reception was held at the Illinois Governor’s Mansion. Eleven nominees were honored with a House Resolution read by Rep. Mike Bost. All eleven nominees were made on behalf of local affiliates. Illinois AEYC also honored the Early Childhood Coalition at the reception.
Illinois AEYC held their 2014 Growing Futures Conference at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, Illinois. Carole Stephens Peterson keynoted on both Friday and Saturday. We did a pre-conference day and two conference days. Our attendance was right at 300 for all three days.
Tonya Frehner, Carol Weisheit, Anne Wharff and Gail Conway attended the NAEYC Annual Conference in Dallas, TX on behalf of Illinois AEYC.
Illinois AEYC brought NAC to Bloomington to do a two day accreditation training session. Day one was open to the field, CCRR Support Staff and Mentors and day two was a more specialized training for the SAMentors.
Illinois AEYC held their 7th annual Children’s Champion Day Event at the State Capitol and the desert reception was held at the Illinois State Library. Seven nominees were honored with a House Resolution read by Rep. John Bradley. All seven nominees were made on behalf of local affiliates. Illinois AEYC also honored the Early Childhood Coalition at the reception.
Tonya Frehner and Carol Weisheit traveled to the Central East, Central West and Northern Illinois Regions to host regional affiliate dialogue discussions.
Tonya Frehner, Carol Weisheit, Anne Wharff, Marie Kielty, Emily Reilly, and Gail Conway attended the NAEYC Annual Conference in Orlando, FL on behalf of Illinois AEYC.
Illinois AEYC brought NAEYC (Betsy Carlin) to Bloomington on to host the Affiliate Dialogue Discussion. There were 13/17 current affiliates present for the discussion.
Illinois AEYC brought NAEYC to Bloomington to do a two day NAEYC Accreditation Training. Day one was NAEYC Operation Accreditation and was open to the field, CCRR Support Staff and SAMentors. Day two was a more specialized training for SAMentors. It was Preparing Classrooms and Teaching Staff to Demonstrate Quality during the NAEYC Site Visit. We had 41 attend the first day and 18 the second day.
Illinois AEYC extended their Spring scheduled board meeting to Aril 1st and April 2nd to have time to continue the dialogue on the NAEYC Restructure process.
Illinois AEYC held their 8th annual Children’s Champion Day Event at the State Capitol and the desert reception was held at the Illinois State Library. Four nominees were honored with a House Resolution. All four nominees were made on behalf of local affiliates. Illinois AEYC also honored the Early Childhood Coalition at the reception.
Executive Committee convened face to face in Springfield on April 13th after the Children’s Champion Event to continue work on the NAEY Restructure Process.
PO Box 666
Vienna, IL 62995
Phone: (217) 529-7732
Toll Free: (800) 773-0369
Fax: (217) 529-7738
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PO Box 666 | Vienna, IL 62995