Early Childhood

Arcola Community and Economic Development (ACED)

New Position

The Arcola Community and Economic Development (ACED) group is looking for an independent contractor to lead in the establishment of a new early childhood organization in Arcola.  This early childhood organization will currently be under the direction of ACED but eventually will be a not-for-profit organization independent from both ACED and the Chamber of Commerce.  This organization will eventually have its own set of by-laws and board of directors.

Over the past several months, ACED in partnership with the Arcola School District have been engaging the community in thoughtful conversations about how to better serve children from birth through age 5 and their families Arcola.  This group worked with a consultant, Jeff Andrews from the Business of Childcare and developed an activation plan called the Solutions Pathway.  This plan provides a road map for the next steps for the early childhood organization. Through this engagement process, several community leaders have taken leadership positions in the initiative and will provide direct support to the consultant during the transition process.

The consulting position will begin in August, 2023 and end December 31, 2023.  It is anticipated that the project will consist of around 20 hours a week and will pay a consultant fee of $20,000.  There is a potential that this consulting position could continue beyond January 1, 2024 but will depend on grant opportunities.

The following are the key deliverables that have been established for the consultant position.

Key Outcomes for the Project

1. Establish the Early Childhood Organization as outlined in the activation plan, Solutions Pathway.  This includes:

  • Establish a board of directors, by-laws, and explore the not-for-profit status.
  • Establish a regular meeting schedule, create agendas, provide all communication for the board, and lead meetings with support from the board chair.
  • Ensure that the collaboration is registered with the Illinois Action for Children and that all board members receive appropriate training provided through them. (http://www.partnerplanact.org/home)
  • Work collaboratively with the Illinois Action for Children to ensure the collaboration receives support from that organization.

2. Work with the Board of Directors to take the Solutions Pathway report and the final written report and create a working action plan for accomplishing the goals set forth in that plan.  This will include:

  • Communicating with the board and Jeff Andrew to ensure a complete understanding of the report and recommended direction.
  • Prioritize the goals and strategies.
  • Create and implement a short term plan (August – December) that will include strategies and action steps for completing priority goals.
  • Create a short term (Aug – Dec) and longer term budget for the collaboration that will allow the group to accomplish plan goals.

The solutions pathway and final report can be found here:



3. Employ strategies to create awareness of the early childhood collaboration and look for new funding sources to support the early childhood collaboration.  This will include:

  • Promoting and marketing the collaboration to the community and surrounding area.
  • Explore funding opportunities through the Illinois Action for Children and other organizations
  • Recommend potential funding opportunities to the board
  • Assist board in applying for potential grants

 If you are interested in the position, please send a resume and letter of interest to Tom Mulligan, Board of Directors Chair for ACED at tmulligan@arcolaschools.com.  A small group will meet with potential contractors either in person or virtually to discuss the project before selecting a contractor.