Success By 6


success-by-6.jpgSuccess by 6® is an early childhood initiative that works to ensure that all Kankakee County children 0-6 have the positive and enriching experiences and positive parent-child relationships necessary to begin school ready to succeed.

  • Kankakee County 3rd graders are not reading at Illinois state standards at 40% of area elementary schools
  • 19% of children live in high poverty households.
  • Children who start behind, usually stay behind.
  • A critical path is laid in the first few years of life. Early learning matters for future success.

Collectively, we can help young children succeed in school, which can lead to increased graduation rates, improved public safety, and a stronger local economy.
If we take action now, we can significantly improve the situation:

  • Investing in early childhood development yields a significant payoff ($7-$8 returned for each $1 invested)
  • Expanding quality educational child care and pre-kindergarten programs is the most effective strategy for reducing youth violence and crime.
  • Early language skills are an excellent predictor of reading ability by third grade. Parents want to know how to foster early language skills in their children.
  • If children read at grade level by the 3rd grade, they are more likely to graduate from high school.
  • Children who graduate from high school are more likely to go on to higher education and/or enter the job market as tax-paying citizens.
  • Employable, tax-paying citizens are critical to a vital economy.

In Kankakee County, early learning is critical to building strong citizens and a strong workforce. That’s why the United Way of Kankakee County and the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley created the Success by Six® Initiative. This early learning coalition - made up of early childhood developmental experts, United Way agencies serving families, childcare providers, local businesses, and community volunteers – is working together to make sure kids get what they need to succeed. Over 350 United Way Success by 6® Coalitions nationwide are focused on improving school readiness through community change.

Everyday life is a learning experience for children! Born Learning is a public engagement campaign that helps parents, grandparents, and caregivers explore ways to turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities.

Born Learning information can be found at the Exploration Station, Recreation Station, in local newspapers, on billboards, at pediatrician’s offices, and at local hospitals.

Born Learning Tools

EDI-logo.pngSuccess By 6 is currently in partnership with the Erikson Institute of Chicago to bring the Early Development Instrument to Kankakee County.The EDI is a holistic assessment that provides neighborhood level data on the development of our children. To learn more about the EDI and what has been accomplished with the data so far visit the website below.

EDI Website

EDI Map Book

75% of Kankakee County children are in child-care at some point before starting school. Illinois has a new Quality Rating process available for child-care providers, using different “star levels” to rate the quality of the child-care provider.

For children in child-care, affordable, quality child-care is essential to a child’s health and future workforce potential. In addition, if a child-care provider receives Quality Rating designation, he/she gets higher child-care subsidies from the state, improving the financial stability of the provider and adding increased wages to the local economy.

The Success by 6® Coalition is funding technical assistance for home-based child-care providers to apply for Quality Rating System designation.