In the News

Digital Doulas – home visiting in the age of COVID-19

Despite the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis, pregnant women continue to receive support from Ounce doulas, or childbirth coaches. Read more about how the Ounce’s Healthy Parents & Babies doula, Patricia Ceja-Muhsen, continues to provide support and guidance to pregnant mothers through virtual means. Read the full story here.

Healthy Moms and Babies, One Videochat at a Time

Diana McClarien, director of director of grantee support services shares how the Ounce’s Healthy Parents & Babies program and other home visiting services are keeping Chicago’s families connected to information and resources during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the full story here.

Urgent Request to Congress for Child Care Sector in COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package

Read the letter sent by the Ounce and our partners urging Congress to include robust supports to the child care industry, and support America’s working families, as they develop the economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Ounce issues policy recommendations to states in light of COVID-19

The Ounce shares timely policy recommendations for state and local governments during the COVID-19 health crisis. We encourage our advocates and partners to urge their state leadership to consider these policy recommendations to ensure the safety and continuity of care for our youngest learners and their families.

Child Care and COVID-19

The Ounce and its partners urge Congress to take immediate action to support the many families and programs affected by COVID-19. Read our full letter to Congress.

Why intervene early?

The Illinois Associate of School Boards Journal recently featured a story about our Ounce research team and how developmental science has influenced the research-based curriculum used across the Educare Learning Network, a nationwide network of high-quality early childhood schools. Read the full story here.

The Ounce comments on the governor’s proposed budget

Following Governor Pritzker’s budget address, vice president of Illinois policy Ireta Gasner spoke with Chalkbeat Chicago to highlight the Governor’s commitment to early childhood education and home visiting programs throughout Illinois.

Early childhood supporters gather in Oklahoma to discuss improved care for infants and toddlers

In January, the Ounce of Prevention Fund led a lunch and learn at Educare Oklahoma City highlighting the release of a new policy brief, Expanding High-Quality Child Care for Infants & Toddlers: Lessons from Implementation of Early Head-Start Child Care Partnerships in States.

The Ounce comments on New York's home visiting initiative for new parents

For the first time, home visiting services will soon be available to all new parents in New York City. Kristin Bernhard, senior vice president of advocacy and policy, spoke with the New York Times about the positive impacts of this new program. Read the full story here.

Bria Holloway, who is five weeks pregnant, attends a prenatal doula class held at Cook County Jail on November 13, 2019. The group meeting is every Wednesday. This session focused on making a vision board as well as a birth wish list.

Ounce program offers support to incarcerated mothers

The Ounce is leading the way to highlight the pervasive problem of providing high-quality prenatal care for pregnant women in Cook County Jail. Mark Valentine, director of the Illinois Birth to Three Institute, spoke with The Atlantic about the efforts the Ounce and other nonprofits have taken to highlight this issue. Read the full story here.

The Ounce applauds new Family Connects Chicago pilot program

Joining Peoria and Stephenson counties, the city of Chicago announced a new Family Connects program, taking a first step to ensuring every new baby and mother receives a home visit from a nurse. Learn more about the benefits of Family Connects and Chicago’s new program.

Ounce President addresses the importance of early childhood education

In a recent Crain’s Chicago Business article, Diana Rauner discusses how disproportionate funding impacts our youngest children, especially in under-served communities. Learn why we need to treat early education funding as a “must-have,” not a “nice-to-have” and support it accordingly.

The Ounce becomes an IACET provider

The Ounce receives IACET accreditation for its professional development trainings. Learn more about how the Ounce is building expertise and scaling its impact in the field.

The Ounce talks about preschool expulsion

Although there’s been huge strides to address preschool expulsion, it somehow still happens. NBC News, working a story on the subject, spoke with Ireta Gasner, vice president of Illinois policy. Read the full story and what she had to say here.

The Ounce comments on the risk young children face

The Chicago Tribune speaks with Karen Berman, director of Illinois policy about the Illinois Risk and Reach Report distributed by the Erikson Institute. Read here for more.

Maine Public Radio takes a deep dive into child care

Judy Reidt-Parker, director of the national policy team at the Ounce, offers some perspective on child care in New England. Read her interview here. To access the full series, visit this link.

The Ounce is featured as Charity of the Week in publication

National publication spotlights the organization, which has earned a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator! See our feature and profile in the Week.

The Ounce recaps the latest developments on the FY20 budget from Springfield, IL

Our Illinois policy team shares some of the wins for early childhood in the state! Read our recap here.

A perspective on newly released early childhood research

The latest study released by Professor Heckman has significant implications for the early childhood field. Hear more from our President about this new research and why it matters.

Annual Luncheon brings Chicago leaders together

The Ounce Annual Luncheon’s media sponsor Better shares a wonderful piece highlighting the record-breaking $1.3 million raised for early childhood education and programs! Read the story here.

Mayor-Elect Lightfoot transition includes a member of the Ounce’s Illinois Policy Team

As Lightfoot sets the foundation for a new administration, Illinois Policy Manager Sandy DeLeon joins the Transition Committee, lending a voice on pressing education matters. Read the memos here.

Ounce Annual Luncheon keynote speaker, Anna Deavere Smith, speaks to the Chicago Tribune

The actor and playwright highlights new projects and her presentation at the 2019 luncheon. Read the story here.

Early Childhood Advocates stop in Springfield to get their voices heard

Following Early Childhood Advocacy Day (ECAD), the Ounce’s Ireta Gasner and Samir Tanna with Illinois Action for Children speak to NPR Illinois about necessary funding for early childhood programs. Read the story here.

Expansion of Universal Pre-K is back in the news with commentary from the Ounce

Ireta Gasner, vice president of Illinois policy praises the added support for Universal Pre-K but points out some of its realities. Read the story here.

Crain’s Chicago Business interviews Diana Rauner as she looks to the future

Reporter Lisa Bertagnoli checks in on the Ounce before the Annual Luncheon. Read the story here.

The Ounce comments on the governor’s proposed budget

Ireta Gasner, vice president of Illinois policy shares the Ounce’s perspective with Chalkbeat, NPR Illinois and WBEZ. Read our statement here.

The Ounce offers some perspective about the rollout of Universal Pre-K

Claire Dunham, senior vice president of programs and training and Karen Berman, Illinois policy director share their thoughts with Chalkbeat Chicago. Read the story here.

The Ounce comments on early childhood spending in Illinois

Illinois policy manager Jonathan Doster offers a point of view on the state’s proposed budget. Read the story here.

The Ounce’s Early Education Essentials makes it into the media

The latest qualitative report for Early Education Essentials was picked up in the press! Recent coverage includes WBEZ-FM, Education Week and New America. Download the full paper and snapshot here.

Early Education Essentials receives industry recognition

The quantitative validation study for Early Education Essentials was published in the academic journal, Early Education and Development. Visit the Early Education and Development website.

Download the latest FFYF Research Summary Handout

A new national poll conducted for the First Five Years Fund by the bipartisan team of Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates shows that early childhood education continues to be a national priority for Americans, regardless of party. Download the whitepaper here.

The Ounce of Prevention Fund stands with hundreds of social justice organizations calling for the immediate end to the Zero-Tolerance Immigration Policy

The Ounce is a proud supporter of this important call to action. The separation of children—especially young children—from their parents and caregivers creates severe, lasting trauma for children that will impact them throughout their lives. Download the Children’s Defense Fund Joint Action Letter here.