the Ounce News and Publications

Publications

Each year, the Ounce of Prevention Fund publishes documents that reflect the latest thinking on issues in the field of early childhood studies. Our publications are available for download below. If you would like to receive a hard copy of a publication, fill out our Publications Request Form.

12 Days of Early Literacy Tips
Reading together is one of the best gifts you can give to a child. Check out our early literacy tips to learn how to help your child develop a habit of reading. Feel free to share these tips on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, or save and print them to use at home or in a classroom. 12 Days of Early Literacy Tips

A New Beginning: The Illinois Kindergarten Individual Development Survey
The Kindergarten Readiness Stakeholder Committee, convened by the Illinois State Board of Education, produced this report for creating a statewide, research-based kindergarten assessment process. The Ounce of Prevention Fund partnered with Erikson Institute and Advance Illinois to produce the report. (File size: 694 KB) >A New Beginning: The Illinois Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (File size: 694 KB)

Characteristics of Quality Early Learning Environments
The quality of a child's future depends on the quality of caregiving in the first five years. First-rate early learning programs that are safe, healthy, stimulating, organized, and, most importantly, led by well-trained teachers, help children enter school ready to learn and succeed.

Characteristics of Quality Early Learning Environments


Closing the Achievement Gap in Academic Performance
The achievement gap is really a gap in school readiness. Unfortunately, policies that dictate how we invest public dollars in education have not kept up with what the science tells us. The result is too many children who start school already behind; most of these children will never catch up. (File size: 400KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Closing the Achievement Gap in Academic Performance

Cost savings analysis of school readiness in Illinois
The investment that Illinois has made in preschool over the past 23 years has not only prepared children for success in school, it produced up to $530 million in annual savings and revenue to the state. A new study, commissioned jointly by the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Voices for Illinois Children and Illinois Action for Children, details this return on investment from Illinois' preschool program serving children ages 3 to 5. (File size: 694 KB)

Executive Summary and Full Report


Early Childhood Advocacy Toolkit   |   En Español
This advocacy toolkit is designed to help parents, student groups, practitioners, and other advocates get involved in the public policy-making process by educating key audiences about, and developing support for, early childhood initiatives. (File size: 367 KB) Early Childhood Advocacy Toolkit

Early/Head Start Program Annual Report 2008-2009
The Ounce of Prevention Fund is a Head Start/Early Head Start grantee which provides services through directly operated, partner, and delegate programs throughout the city of Chicago and the south suburbs. This annual report includes service data for the program year ending in August, 2008. (File size: 276 KB) Early/Head Start ProgramAnnual Report 2008-2009

Early/Head Start Program Annual Report 2009
The Ounce of Prevention Fund is a Head Start/Early Head Start grantee which provides services through directly operated, partner, and delegate programs throughout the city of Chicago and the south suburbs. This annual report includes service data for the program year ending in August, 2009. (File size: 268 KB)  

Early/Head Start Program Annual Report 2010
The Ounce of Prevention Fund is a Head Start/Early Head Start grantee which provides services through directly operated, partner, and delegate programs throughout the city of Chicago and the south suburbs. This annual report includes service data for the program year ending in August, 2010. (File size: 249 KB)  

Early/Head Start Program Annual Report 2011
The Ounce of Prevention Fund is a Head Start/Early Head Start grantee which provides services through directly operated, partner, and delegate programs throughout the city of Chicago and the south suburbs. This annual report includes service data for the program year ending in August, 2011. (File size: 254 KB)  

Early Returns on Educare of Chicago
Among some of the most difficult to reach children, Educare of Chicago is improving early language and literacy skills, creating active and engaged learners, and putting vulnerable children on the pathway toward school success. (File size: 3.8MB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Early Returns on Educare of Chicago

Educare: Catalyst for Change
When Educare of Chicago opened its doors in 2000 to 150 low-income infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, the Ounce of Prevention Fund could not have predicted just how much early investments in our school would help reshape public education in Illinois and revolutionize the entire field of early education. (File size: 1 MB) Educare: Catalyst for Change 2010

Foundations: How States Can Plan & Fund Programs for Babies & Toddlers
Governing is about making difficult choices. When resources are scarce, there is only one policy question – where to allocate resources. The science is clear – the very early years matter if we are to improve education and our citizenry. If society is committed to having all children enter school ready to learn, providing one year of preschool to four-year-olds is too little, too late for many children. This publication explores what babies and toddlers need to thrive and take advantage of preschool, and offers strategies for states to plan and structure funding for programs for babies and toddlers. (File size: 934KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Foundations

Heart to Heart
The Ounce developed the Heart to Heart program to teach teen mothers how they can protect their children from sexual abuse. Heart to Heart is a model child sexual abuse prevention program designed and implemented by the Ounce with funding from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Heart to Heart builds on participants' inherent strengths and reinforces their desires to be effective and nurturing parents. The primary goals of the Heart to Heart program are to strengthen adolescent parents' ability to protect themselves and their children. (File size: 169KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Heart to Heart

Home Visitation: Assessing Progress, Managing Expectations
Home Visiting is an important strategy to promote healthy child development. Dr. Deborah Daro reviews the evolution of home visiting programs, research evaluating such programs, and suggests strategies to move the field forward. Dr. Daro is a research fellow at the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago and is a member of the Ounce of Prevention Fund Board of Directors. This report was published jointly by the Ounce and Chapin Hall. Ounce of Prevention publication: Home Visitation

Inspiring Innovation: Creative State Financing Structures for Infant-Toddler Services
The Ounce and Zero to Three publish a new policy brief highlighting creative state financing structures for infant and toddler services. (File size: 585KB) Inspiring Innovation: Creative State Financing Structures for Infant-Toddler Services

Invest in the Very Young
In this summary paper, Dr. Heckman explores the assumptions and foundations of current policies toward skill formation. He examines the conventional wisdom articulated by our political leaders and draws on a body of recent scholarship that challenges many of the premises that govern popular policy discussions. "On a purely economic basis," Dr. Heckman says, "it makes a lot of sense to invest in the young." (File size: 265KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Invest in the Very Young

Irving B. Harris: In His Own Words
To learn about the importance of investing in the early years from our founder, Irving B. Harris and some of the many distinguished people he inspired, click here to order a copy of Irving B. Harris: In His Own Words. Ounce of Prevention publication: Irving B. Harris: In His Own Words

Learning Begins at Birth
Our expanded knowledge of human growth and development in the earliest years has taught us that children are learning from the moment they are born. Brain growth, approaches to life and learning, language skills: all these are shaped by what does - or does not - happen in a child's first days, months, and years. (File size: 249KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Learning Begins at Birth

Ounce of Prevention Fund Identity Piece
Learn more about the programs of the Ounce of Prevention Fund. Our work is anchored in a growing body of scientific evidence about early brain development. We use private dollars to apply that science in developing innovative programs, and then leverage public funding to support their implementation and replication. (File size: 570 KB) Ounce of Prevention Fund Identity Piece

Parents Too Soon/Doula Annual Report
Parents Too Soon (PTS) programs provide intensive home visiting in communities across Illinois. PTS programs help maximize teen parents' abilities to care for their children and to continue their own development.

Last year, more than 2,000 families received home visits through 22 Ounce-supported long-term home visiting programs. More than 900 families received doula services. Read more about our home visiting programs and how they are improving outcomes for at-risk children and families in the 2009 Parents Too Soon/Doula Annual Report. (File size: 1.94 MB)
Parents Too Soon/Doula Annual Report 2008-2009

Parents Too Soon FY2010 Annual Report
The Ounce of Prevention Fund has partnered with community-based agencies across Illinois since 1984 to give teen parents and their babies a better start in life by providing funding and support for Parents Too Soon (PTS) programs. (File size: 1.6 MB) >Parents Too Soon FY2010 Annual Report (File size: 1.6 MB)

Planning for Success
The most recent issue in the Birth to Five Best Practices series describes the uses and many benefits of developing a logic model for programs serving young children and their families. The brief provides information on what a logic model is, the key elements of a logic model, how to develop a logic model or refine an existing model, and how the model can be used to continually improve program services. (File size: 136KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Planning for Success

Policies to Foster Human Capital
In this paper, James J. Heckman considers the source of skill formation in a modern economy and emphasizes the importance of both cognitive and non-cognitive skills in producing economic and social success, and the importance of both formal academic institutions and families and firms as sources of learning...Early investment promotes later investment. (File size: 1.4MB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Policies to Foster Human Capital

Preschool for All: Full Report
Illinois Early Learning Council has developed a set of recommendations that form the foundation for Governor Blagojevich's five-year plan to make Illinois the first state to offer high-quality preschool to all three- and four-year-olds whose families choose to enroll them. The plan would expand services provided through the Early Childhood Block Grant, adding thousands of children to the program and guaranteeing continued quality in the expansion. The plan would also preserve the Block Grant's 11 percent setaside for programs serving infants and toddlers from birth to age three. (File size: 13MB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Preschool for All Full Report

Raising Young Children to the Top of the Policy Agenda: Lessons from Illinois
It should not be extraordinary when public policy catches up with the everyday realities of Americans' lives. But in the early childhood realm, it is. That is why the Illinois story deserves to be told. Raising Young Children to The Top of the Policy Agenda: Lessons from Illinois tells the story of two decades of advocacy work on behalf of young children in Illinois, culminating in the 2006 historic passage of Preschool for All, making high-quality preschool available to all 3- and 4-year olds who chose to participate and increased investments in programs and services for at-risk infants and toddlers. (File size: 210KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Lessons from Illinois

Ready for School
How do we ensure that children enter school eager to learn and ready to succeed? By helping young children develop solid intellectual and emotional foundations, starting at birth and even before. If policymakers fail to include babies and toddlers as plans are made for universal preschool, in five years our conversations about "school readiness" will instead be about "preschool readiness." (File size: 222KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Ready for School

Ready to Succeed
In this time of distressingly high rates of school dropout, teen pregnancy, and violence among youth, and equally alarming low levels of preparedness for the workplace among young adults, much attention has been paid to the question of what determines the success or failure of teenagers. Ready to Succeed makes an attempt to answer some of these questions, focusing on the critical role of social and emotional development. (File size: 222KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Ready to Succeed

Safe Start
There is strong evidence that the propensity for violent behavior can be influenced by many factors in early childhood. Safe Start explores these factors, examines the evidence that early childhood programs work to reduce crime, and spotlights a number of promising interventions designed to support a child's healthy development while reducing the risk of later violent behavior. These interventions include voluntary home visiting, early childhood care and education, and community-based programs for children who witness or are victims of violence. (File size: 127KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Safe Start

Science, Policy and the Young Developing Child
Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., examines the current state of early childhood, and explores ways to close the gap between what we know and what we do as a society. Dr. Shonkoff, the Dean of The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University,spoke at the Ounce of Prevention Fund’s 20th Anniversary Dinner. This report, written by Dr. Shonkoff, expands upon his remarks. (File size: 1.9MB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Science, Policy and the Young Developing Child

Secure Attachment
The foundation of this social and emotional competence is laid in the very first days, months, and years of life, shaped by the interactions babies have with their parents and other caring adults. Babies thrive when they are securely attached to someone special - their mother, father, or other primary caregiver—who knows and responds consistently and reliably to their unique personalities. (File size: 578KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Secure Attachment

Snapshots: Incorporating Comprehensive Developmental Screening into Programs and Services for Young Children
Comprehensive developmental screening is a process to identify children who may have or may be at risk of a developmental delay or disability and need further evaluation. It is not an achievement test, but a series of snapshots of a child’s development across all domains – language, cognitive, physical, motor, sensory, and social-emotional. Snapshots describes key best practice elements for a process of screening and explores different methods for implementing developmental screening in a variety of programs and services for very young children, including child care, home visiting, and several health care settings. (File size: 304KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Snapshots

Starting Smart
As babies grow, their ability to understand language, solve problems, and get along well with other people will be strongly influenced by what they experience as infants and young children. There is mounting evidence that while early experiences help the brain to develop well, poor early experiences can literally cause a genetically normal child to become mentally retarded or a temporarily easy-going child to develop serious emotional difficulties. "Starting Smart: How Early Experiences Affect Brain Development" delves deeper into this phenomenon. (File size: 1.1MB) Ounce of Prevention publication: Starting Smart

The First Days of Life
For over 40 years, early childhood providers and society-at-large have struggled to find more effective ways to reach young, at-risk parents whose children are less likely to do well in school. In communities throughout Illinois, as components of pre-existing early childhood programs, specially trained home visitors-called "doulas"-are reaching families early, during pregnancy. Their work is showing impressive results. What are doulas? Why are they needed? And how can more early childhood programs add doula services? (File size: 232KB) Ounce of Prevention publication: The First Days of Life

The Language of Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers
Even before a child learns to speak, the amount and quality of the language she hears has an important impact on her developing communication skills. Sadly, for many children,particularly those facing multiple risk factors including poverty, their home and primary care environments are not structured to maximize language and literacy development. We now know from research that there is a strong association between the 'language gap' children display in the early years and the eventual achievement gap they exhibit in school. Ounce of Prevention publication: The Language of Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers

The Ounce: A Force for Change
Released at the 2011 Annual Luncheon, A Force for Change charts the progress of the organization under Harriet Meyer's leadership, including our innovative doula program, our partnerships to create the national network of Educare schools, and our advocacy efforts to expand early learning opportunities in Illinois. (File size: 738 KB) The Ounce: A Force for Change (File size: 738 KB)

Toward the ABCs
Toward the ABCs: Building a Healthy Social and Emotional Foundation for Learning and Living, is aimed at strengthening public understanding of the importance of healthy social and emotional development in the first few years of life and raising awareness of the characteristics of young children experiencing behavioral difficulties. The publication identifies promotion, prevention, and targeted intervention strategies for addressing the unique mental health needs of children under five and also provides important policy recommendations. (File size: 702KB)
Please note: Hard copies no longer available.
Ounce of Prevention publication: Toward the ABCs


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