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About EPEL

Children have approximately 2,000 days from birth until they enter Kindergarten. 90% of brain growth occurs in the first five years of life, so our community's collective responsibility is to support and help prepare our youngest learners for school and life during this critical time. Community leaders who knew the importance of the first five years formed EPEL as a collaborative collective impact community partnership in 2012 to ensure young children's healthy growth and development through local system development in Elgin. The collective impact work brings together early childhood providers, school district, government, health care, social services, and an array of community-based cross-sector stakeholders.  

Our Mission: EPEL is building a connected community dedicated to helping young children thrive. 
Our Vision: Our children are happy, healthy, and ready for Kindergarten. 
What We Believe: EPEL is driven to ensure that all children have access to quality early care and education in Elgin and surrounding neighborhoods. In partnership with our stakeholders, we are committed to promoting policies and practices that intentionally meet the needs of children and families from diverse backgrounds and social identities. 


Our Purpose:

  • Ensure a shared vision for young children is clearly held, broadly disseminated, and acted upon  in the community.

  • Support awareness and access for families to high-quality care and early learning experiences. 

  • Coordinate efforts across all birth to five programs to increase impact and efficiency.

  • Support quality improvement and capacity building of birth to five professionals and organizations. 

  • Respond to Elgin community data about strengths, gaps, and needs. 

Our Message:

Our community has adopted a straightforward message to share with parents and caregivers. 

Using five simple practices (Talk, Play, Read, Do,Write) starting at birth will help your child build a strong foundation during this critical period of the first 2,000 days of early brain development