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 so that greater results for young children could be achieved.
The AOK Networks initiative is a collaborative effort of the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Community Services; the Illinois State Board of Education; health departments and other lead agencies; and local stakeholders who care about the health and well-being of very young children and their parents/caregivers. It is the most comprehensive, long-standing, community-based systems development initiative in the State of Illinois.
The primary focus of the fourteen AOK Networks is to promote healthy pregnancies and the positive growth and development of all children birth to five and their parents/caregivers. AOK Network partners engage in cross-sector, strategic initiatives so that more babies are born healthy, more children remain healthy, more children enter school ready to learn, and more parents/caregivers are leaders in their families and the community. AOK Networks improve outcomes like these by creating a more connected and coordinated system of services and supports as they address local child and family priority issues.
Through AOK Networks across the state, service providers, parents, and community members are working together to create the future they want for their children.