Early Learner Users Guide

Early Learning User’s Guide for Illinois School Boards

This 32-page guide was created in collaboration with the Illinois Association of School Boards and the Ounce of Prevention Fund. It was sent to all Illinois superintendents and school board presidents to provide assembled research regarding the value and importance of early childhood education.

Ultimately, school boards, along with the administrative team, are responsible for ensuring that all children in their districts succeed. This guide offers methods and resources that can be utilized to integrate early learning best practice into your district education strategy for improving student achievement.

IASB believes that the research and best practices detailed in this report will arm school district leadership with the information they need to make informed and effective decisions about how to support children before they enter kindergarten. Each district and community is unique, and their options and resources vary. That’s why it is critical that district leaders build a partnership with their community to understand the needs of families and children in order to determine how to best establish a path for success for all students throughout their education.

In 2020, the "Ounce" introduced a new name for the organization. Now known as Start Early, it maintains a focus on the idea that starting early and nurturing the attachments between children and adults is essential to a child’s present and future well-being.