• The Lost Art of Using Puppets and Flannel Boards Webinar- REGISTER TODAY

    Illinois AEYC is offering a FREE webinar to our members as a small token of our appreciation for all that you do for children and families. This is a members only event.  We appreciate you.  Thank you for being an Illinois AEYC Member!

    What: The Lost Art of Using Puppets and Flannel Boards Webinar

    When: December 11, 2019 from 7:00-8:30pm

    Webinar Description: Members only event! This webinar will talk about the benefit of the sometimes forgotten art of using Puppets and Flannel Boards to teach! Participants will identify the importance of using materials with children to provide growth while work on Developmentally Appropriate skill growth. This webinar will describe strategies that teachers can use to meet the objectives of the IELDS in play settings. Teachers will discuss ways that these strategies can be used to assist in both large group and small group times for skill development, making smooth transitions and using them to provide additional play skill practice during free play. 

    Register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/thelostart

    Gateways and ISBE Credit is available to those who complete the webinar.

    Not a member and would like more info?  http://illinoisaeyc.org/membership-categories-benefits

    Questions?  Contact Tonya Frehner, Illinois AEYC Executive Director @ tonya@illinoiseayc.org or 217-529-7732.

  • NAEYC Steps Towards Accreditation- FREE Training Opportunity

    The Illinois AEYC Statewide Accreditation Mentoring Project is collaborating with the CCRR to bring a day of professional development to you. This event is on November 9th from 9:00-3:00pm at Joliet Junior College.

    9:00-11:00 No Small Matter Film Screening
    11:00-12:00 Lunch on your own
    12:00-3:00- NAEYC Steps Towards Accreditation Training

    This day is targeted to ECE Leaders and Directors. Gateways Credit will be administered.

    The cost is FREE.

    To register, email tracymichelle@yahoo.com.

  • Illinois AEYC Governing Board Election Results 2019

    Congratulations to the newly elected Illinois AEYC Governing Board Members!  Terms will begin January 1, 2020 and run through December 31, 2021.

    Secretary- Marlena Constant, 2nd term

    Region 1 Delegate- Jared Hennen, 1st term

    Region 3 Delegate- Lisa Bauer, 1st term

    Region 5 Delegate- Moushumi Kundu, 1st term

    Region 7 Delegate- Connie Graska, 1st term

    Region 9 Delegate- Rhonda Costa, 1st term

    Region 11 Delegate– Amanda DeFord, 1st term

    Region 13 Delegate- Robin Haynes, 1st term

    Region 15 Delegate- Colleen McLaughlin, 1st term

  • Illinois AEYC Governing Board Candidates (2020-2021 term)

    Secretary- Marlena Constant

    My name is Marlena Constant and I am running for re-election for the Secretary position on the Illinois AEYC Board. I bring with me over 20 years of experience within the early childhood field. I have served on my local and state boards in a variety of positions but enjoy being the Secretary for Illinois AEYC and the Public Policy Chairperson on CAAEYC. I am currently finishing my Master’s in Early Childhood Education with a Concentration in Public Policy and Advocacy. I continue to grow in this field and am proud to serve and act on behalf of children and families.

    When I am not serving or fulfilling other duties, I enjoy spending time with my family and rescue dog, Buttercup who is a chihuahua/mini-pinscher mix.

    I would appreciate your consideration for this position by voting in this ballot and look forward to future collaborations within this organization. Thank you!

    Region 1 Delegate- Jared Hennan

    Jared is an early childhood specialist for Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) Office of Early Childhood, where he works with federally funded preschool classrooms and trains and supports building administrators and classroom teachers on the instructional quality of their programming. Previously, he taught preschool with CPS. He began his career in Saint Louis Public Schools, where he taught kindergarten and eventually opened his school’s first preschool program. Jared is a Framework Specialist with CPS, engaging in district ECE resource creation and mentoring and training new ECE teachers. A strong advocate of equity, Jared Hennen is a 2018-19 Teach Plus Illinois Early Childhood Educator Fellow, a 2019-2020 Teach Plus Illinois Senior Policy Fellow, and a union delegate with the Chicago Teachers’ Union. He is also a member of the Chicago Chapter of ILAEYC, working to unite all sectors of the ECE field. Jared graduated from the University of Denver with a BA in Psychology and Spanish and received his MEd in Early Childhood Education from the University of Missouri - Saint Louis.

    Region 3 Delegate- Lisa Bauer

    My name is Lisa Bauer and I am running for re - election for Region 3 Delegate.  I have truly enjoyed being on the Illinois AEYC Board.  I began serving on the board several years ago during the NAEYC restructuring and  have worked  on several Illinois AEYC committees.  I think it is important to  bring our Region’s concerns to Illinois AEYC and to keep our chapter boards informed of issues addressed at Illinois AEYC board meetings.   

    I have been teaching in the early childcare field for 30 years. I have a degree from College of DuPage and have certificates in Infant, Toddler and Twos and Home Day Care.    I am currently the Child Care Coordinator for Community United Methodist Church in Naperville.  For the past 17 years I was an Early Childcare Teacher at College of DuPage.  I am passionate about working with children.  I feel each child deserves respect and to be treated like an individual. I feel privileged when parents trust us with caring for and teaching their children each day.  I enjoy working with the future teachers at the college level as well as the youth that volunteer at my church.  It is inspiring to see how quickly they learn how to  teach our future generations. 

    I have been a member of my local DuPage Chapter of Illinois AEYC for 28 years and an active member on the board/ committees for 20 years.  I have held a variety of board positions and currently sit on several committees.   It is always wonderful to see our members at Illinois AEYC and Chapter events.

    Region 5 Delegate- Moushumi Kundu

    Moushumi Kundu joined ILAEYC, as a Board member, in Jan. 2018, as the Regional Delegate of Region 5 in Illinois. Moushumi taught Middle Schools and High Schools in India prior to coming to the United States in 1997 with her husband and their older daughter. With a Professional Educator License (Illinois) in Secondary Education, and a Master’s degree in English, she has been working at the Rock Island County Regional Office of Education (RIROE), as an Instructional Coach and a Family Support Specialist, in the Early Childhood department since 2015. Before then, she has worked as a supervisor of Head start centers at Community Action of Eastern Iowa and has also been a substitute teacher for a brief period, at all grade levels in the Rock Island county. Moushumi lives with her husband, and is proud of her two daughters, one a post-doctoral student of Neuroscience, and the other a Junior in college. Moushumi enjoys reading, arts and crafts, and traveling in her leisure hours.

    Region 7 Delegate- Connie Graska

    My name is Connie Graska. I currently work for Metropolitan Family Services of DuPage as the Home Base Supervisor. I directly supervise 13 Parent Child Educators, and indirectly supervise 4 Family Service Workers. I oversee two grant programs: Early Head Start Home Base, and ISBE Prevention Initiative Home Base. One of my greatest professional achievements to date is still in the works – I am in the process of revising/creating a Standard Operating Procedure for the Home Base program – a yearlong project goal. Although it may seem superficial, my greatest value is kindness. I believe in advocating for those that cannot advocate for themselves and helping them learn to overcome barriers preventing their growth. I have a particular soft spot for low-income families who are at a huge disadvantage, especially in matters concerning the justice systems and education. I am in the process of furthering my knowledge on issues such as immigration and refugee settlements, and work with a diverse population with needs unique in cultural and political strife. Outside of the professional realm, I am a mother, and a lover of travel and the outdoors. My husband, Ron, and I have been enjoying riding our quads as of late, going to festivals, concerts, and hanging out with our friends. I am currently taking a Children’s Literature writing class, and in my “spare time,” I LOVE to cook and bake complexities to challenge my current skill set. OH – and I am a huge fan of the author Dean Koontz, too.

    Education: AAS in Child Development; BS in Interdisciplinary Studies: Child Development and Education; and, MA in Early Childhood Education Administration.

    Region 9 Delegate- Rhonda Costa

    I am the director at The Caring Place Child Care Center in Urbana, Illinois. I have been in the childcare field for 45 years. I began as a substitute teacher while in college where I was studying to become a secondary education English/Language Arts teacher while also dabbling in child development classes. I began my career with Head Start as a teacher’s aide and have moved on from there. I have worked in the corporate for-profit childcare setting as well as in non-profit settings where all the children were subsidized. I also had a licensed home center while my children were young.

    I am passionate about all children, especially those in early childhood/childcare and education. While my children were in school, I was actively involved in the PTA and with the Boys Scouts of America. I have stayed involved with both of those organizations while raising two grandsons. I am the Committee Chair and the Popcorn Chair for Troop 1 of Champaign.

    I have been involved with my local NAEYC affiliate, East Central Illinois AEYC, for many years, having held a variety of board and committee positions. Presently, I hold the position of president as well as the Central East ILAEYC delegate.

    Region 11 Delegate– Amanda DeFord

    Amanda DeFord has been in the Early Childhood Education field for ten years. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. She continued taking classes in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Administration in order to earn her ECE Level 5, Director Level 1, Infant Toddler Level 3, and School Age and Youth Level 5 Credentials. She has obtained her Registered Behavior Technician Certification.

    She currently works as the Apple Academy teacher and clinic supervisor at Behavioral Perspective, Inc. in Springfield, Illinois, which is a clinic for children with Autism receiving Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy. She also works as the Assistant Director at Kountry Kids Learning Center in New Berlin, Illinois, which is a high quality, NAC Accredited Learning Center. (National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs). She is also a member of the Illinois Trainers Network and travels around central Illinois giving trainings to adult educators through Community Connection Point, based in Springfield, Illinois.

    Amanda currently sits as President of the Capitol Area Chapter of Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children and represents the Capitol Area Chapter as the Regional Delegate for the Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Autism Support of Central Illinois, a non-profit organization. She runs a sensory friendly story time on Sunday mornings at Barnes and Noble in Springfield, IL.

    Amanda lives in Waverly, Illinois with her husband Adam, two bonus sons; Casey and Colin, and their daughter, Ireland. They have a chocolate lab named Boston and a cat named Astrid.

    Amanda loves working with other adults in the education field, because helping fellow educators feel validated and reminding them that they are doing such valuable work is very important! Amanda also loves working with children of all ages and abilities, because knowing that she has a hand in their learning and development is such an awesome privilege!

    Region 13 Delegate- Robin Haynes

    I am Robin Haynes. I’ve been an Early Childhood Educational Professional for over 25 years. In those years I’ve taught in a State funded Preschool Program, with many of classrooms Blended. Currently, I teach a half day Preschool For All and a half day of Early childhood Special Education at Central School in O’Fallon Il. In numerous summers, I’ve also taught Extended School year for Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative. In addition, to my teaching I have played a lead role in piloting our pre-k program, and assisting the school district on grants, screenings and PFA policy. I have a heartfelt desire to ensure students receive support from utilizing all the potential best practices and they become successful well-rounded students.

    I have an Associate of Applied Business Degree, a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, and an Approval for Special Education from SIUE. I’ve been taking courses towards my Master’s and Special Education Endorsement. Additionally, I have been married for 37 years, and have three children. My children chose fields as a teacher, a police officer, and a state service worker. Our family enjoys spending time together, mostly with outdoor activities.

    Region 15 Delegate- Colleen McLaughlin

    Ms. Colleen has worked in the field of Early Care and Education for more than 20 years. She originally applied at a childcare center when she was in college and fell in love with the field. Over the years she has worn many hats as a teacher of infants through school age children both in childcare and public schools. She has also worked as a state assessor, program director, and adjunct faculty. Currently, she works as a consultant. Colleen earned her BA in ECE from Columbia College Chicago and her MSed in ECE from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She is a member of the Southern Illinois Coalition for Families & Children as well as the Southern Illinois Early Childhood Action Team (SIECAT).

  • Illinois AEYC Congratulates David Banzer, NAEYC Lasting Legacy Scholar

    Illinois AEYC would like to congratulate David Banzer for being a recipient of the 2019 NAEYC Lasting Legacy Scholarship.  David was 1/240 applicants chosen as an ECE emerging leader in the field receiving a scholarship to attend the 2019 NAEYC Annual Conference.

    David Banzer has worked in the early childhood education field for the past 12 years, beginning as a teaching assistant in a Head Start community-based center in Chicago. He has taught preschool for 7 years and has worked as an education coordinator for the past 4 years. He has earned a Master's in Education in early childhood education with a professional educator license in ECE, ECE special education, and ESL. As a teacher, he began developing professional development for fellow teachers at his early childhood center and has continued this focus on professional development, specifically on early mathematics, in his continued work in the field. He has shared his experiences in the field through local, state, and national conference presentations. David is also a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a focus on early math and science teaching and learning, and contributing to research in professional development as a member of the Early Math Counts (Math at Home) and Early Science Matters research team at UIC. 

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