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March 2017

New Early Learning Moment on Creativity, Inventiveness, and Imagination

Wondering how to support the development of creativity and imagination among young children in your care? IEL has added a new Early Learning Moment on Creativity, Inventiveness, and Imagination to help. Using videos and developmental information, Illinois Early Learning Moments demonstrate the strategies for interaction outlined in the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines (IELGs). Two other Early Learning Moments are also available, one on Persistence, Effort, and Attentiveness and another on Problem Solving.

Learning and Growing Together: Mathematize

In her latest blog, Dr. Rebecca Swartz discusses everyday examples of how young children mathematize throughout the day and provides suggestions of how adults can encourage children to think mathematically through their exploration, routines, and play.

Starting to Think About Kindergarten? We Have Resources

With the start of spring, many parents of preschoolers are beginning to think about kindergarten. Our Getting Ready for Kindergarten resource list has a wealth of resources to answer most of their questions. Wondering whether your child will be old enough to attend? Check out our FAQ on What Is the Kindergarten Entry Age in Illinois? Also, Starting Kindergarten? Help Make It a Good Experience! gives parents tips on how to get their child off to a good start, such as visiting a kindergarten classroom in the spring.

Kindergarten Learning Moments: Social and Emotional Development

Social emotional skills are the foundation for early learning, and developing these skills is an important part of getting ready for kindergarten. One of IEL’s newest features, Kindergarten Learning Moments, includes two graphic Tip Sheets on social and emotional development: Supporting Adult-Child Relationships and Work and Play Together. All kindergarten Tip Sheets are now available in English and Spanish.

Check Out the latest IEL Quarterly Newsletter

Our recent quarterly newsletter highlights select topics and the latest events in early care and education from around Illinois and the nation. The January–March 2017 newsletter discusses the new Illinois Families and School Success website, Illinois Poison Prevention Month, the Technology Solutions for Early Childhood symposium, and the Week of the Young Child.

Help Us Serve You Better

The IEL Project wants to hear from you to learn how we can best serve you through our Web-based resources. Please complete our online survey and let us know how we can support you in your role as a parent, caregiver, or teacher of young children.

Question Answering Service

The Illinois Early Learning Project provides reliable resources and information in response to your questions on the parenting, care, and education of young children in Illinois. To take advantage of this service, please call our toll-free number at (877) 275-3227 during business hours or send us your question using our online form.

Upcoming Conferences

The Autism, Behavior, and Complex Medical Needs (ABC-D) downstate conference, April 28, O’Fallon, IL

McCormick Center National Leadership Conference, May 17–20, Wheeling, IL

Summer Institute: The Project Approach, July 24–28, Davenport, IA

Sharing A Vision Conference, Oct. 25–27, East Peoria, IL

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We'd Like to Hear From You

For more information about the Illinois Early Learning Project, contact Bernadette Laumann at (877) 275-3227 or