In order for children to get the best start in life, families need strong communities where everyone is working together toward common goals for young children. The All Our Kids Early Childhood Networks initiative (AOK Networks) was launched in 1999 to support collaboration across service sectors to improve outcomes for babies, young children, and their families/caregivers through a systems approach.
This initiative is a collaborative effort between the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Division of Early Childhood and Division of Family and Community Services, Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV), Illinois State Board of Education, local health departments, and local agencies serving pregnant women, children birth to five and their parent/caregivers. It is the most comprehensive, long-standing, community-based systems development initiative in the State of Illinois.
The primary focus of the nine AOK Networks is to promote healthy pregnancies, the positive growth and development of all children birth to five, and the health and well-being of their parents/caregivers. AOK Network partners engage in cross-sector, strategic, system-focused initiatives so that more babies are born healthy, more children are safe, healthy, and developing positively, and more children enter school ready to learn. AOK Networks improve child and family outcomes by creating a more accessible, coordinated, equitable and just system of services and supports that also engages parents as partners in making the system work for them.