The Policy and Advocacy Committee’s purpose is to educate and engage ILAIMH membership in early childhood mental health policy and advocacy by promoting the inclusion of the Association’s infant mental health expertise in state level committees, coalitions, and advocacy groups that are impacting early childhood policies, programs, and systems; and informing ILAIMH members of efforts to improve public policies in Illinois that impact the lives of young children and their families.
We hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy (both physically and mentally) during this challenging time. We urge everyone to practice safety guidelines and social distancing. Below are resources for our communities and the children and families we serve:
- Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development COVID19 page. Contains links to the most up-to-date health information, updates from state agencies about important early childhood services (child care, EHS/HS, pre-school, Early Intervention, and home visiting), as well as resources on coping and how to talk to children and families:
- State of Illinois Coronavirus Response page. The Governor’s administration continues to work closely with local health departments, county officials and federal partners to put systems in place to respond to COVID-19. This website will provide the latest news releases related to coronavirus, video archives of press conferences and tips from leading experts to keep you and your family safe:
Recent State Updates
The Illinois elections were held Tuesday, March 17th with votes being cast for the upcoming presidential election and officials for many new state and local offices. See the link below for results:
101st General Assembly
In light of COVID19, legislators are not currently meeting in Springfield and are unsure when they will reconvene. There is the potential that only a budget will be passed and that legislation will be voted on following break. In the event that this occurs, the ILAIMH has a legislative agenda of legislation that we are supporting, as well as tracking. See the list of state legislation on the “legislation” tab.
Recent Federal Updates:
The 2020 Census is underway and we need to spread the word about filling it out by April 1, 2020. Reminder postcards will be delivered to homes starting mid-March. Children under age 5 have historically been under-counted, which can have a great impact on funding and service delivery. Missing out on this opportunity will diminish the resources available for the majority of their childhood. IL Count Me In 2020 (http://ilcountmein2020.org/) is leading IL’s advocacy efforts.
- We advocated with Congresswoman Cheri Bustos’ office at the request of Zero To Three to advocate for $10 million in funding for the SAMHSA Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health grants and signed onto the organizational letter of support with Zero To Three.
Federal and State Legislation
The ILAIMH Policy & Advocacy Committee follows activity in state and federal legislation in order to disseminate information and promote activism among our members.
The Illinois legislature is in the 101st General Assembly and Congress is in the 116th, 2nd session. click to read details of current legislation in progress.