Policy and Advocacy

We work on public policy at the national, state and local levels to ensure every child is ready for kindergarten and beyond.

For more than 30 years the Ounce of Prevention Fund has helped policymakers understand the benefits of and the science behind early childhood education. We work with lawmakers and administrators to direct public funding toward early childhood programs that are proven to be effective.

View our Legislative Summary, which shares policy changes led by the Illinois Policy Team and its advocacy partners and our National Policy Team’s State Policy Update Report, which provides a snapshot of policy changes across 33 states.

Illinois Policy Action Center

Learn the latest news about early childhood in Illinois, how decisions being considered at the state level may impact young children and families, and what you can do to help.

National Policy

Our national policy team builds on the experiences and lessons of our Illinois policy and advocacy work, and partners closely with state leaders across the country to help them raise and strengthen their own early childhood systems.

First Five Years Fund

In 2007, the Ounce launched the First Five Years Fund to mobilize nationwide support for and increase federal investment in early childhood program.

Advocacy Tools

Parents, educators, program staff, community members—anyone can use these resources to speak up for and advocate on behalf of young children.


We champion greater access to the following priority areas, as well as other high-quality early childhood services for at-risk young children and families—in Illinois and beyond: