Success by 6™ Picks

365 Things to Do

Eye Spy Healthy Tips

Mom I’m Bored

Kankakee County Cares

Top 10 Things Kids
Need to Start

United Way & Community Foundation

Success 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.

Why Do We Need Success by 6®?

  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.

Why Should We Care?

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.

Who is Success by 6®?

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.

Kankakee County Success by 6® Initiatives

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.

See the “Success by 6® Picks” button at to download all the Born Learning tools.

Parent Cafes
Parents can, must, and do tap into their own wisdom and resources in order to keep their families strong. Profound change starts with meaningful conversation. Across Illinois, parents are engaging in lively, real conversations to keep their families strong. These conversations are called Parent Cafés, and they are transforming parent education.

Parent Cafés take place at schools, churches, and in other friendly environments. Guided by trained Parent Hosts, parents gather in small groups and explore questions that really matter to them, questions that they genuinely want answered. Those questions deal with:

  Taking Care of Yourself
  Being a Strong Parent
  Building Strong Relationships with Your Children.

Child Care Quality Rating System
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.

This site is a project of the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley, with funding provided by the Communityworks Endowment which was created with assistance by the Grand Victoria Foundation, Chicago, Illinois.


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