Online Program

Health (Inequity) in Illinois Childcare Funding Policy: Role of Evidence, Narrative and Power

Sunday, November 1, 2015

James E. Bloyd, MPH, Community Epidemiology and Health Planning, Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Forest, IL

Natalie Chadwell, MBA, CPCO, Cook County Place Matters, Thornton, IL
Agnes Markos, BS Neuroscience, Cook County Place Matters, Chicago, IL

One quarter of Cook County families with children under 5 live in poverty. shows distributions of child opportunity follow residential patterns of race: Black and Latino children disproportionately reside in ‘low” and “very low” opportunity census tracts while white children reside in neighborhoods of higher opportunity. Opportunity for children’s health and well-being can be improved through provision of quality public childcare programs. Illinois policy makers’ decision to reduce  funding for Illinois public childcare programs will have a disproportionate impact on Black and Latino families whose children are already exposed to conditions that threaten health.


Cook County PLACEMATTERS (CCPM) is dedicated to eliminating structural racism, so that all residents of Cook County live healthy lives. CCPM uses The Raising of America film to increase awareness and build power among Cook County residents affected by health inequities. Public screening events include discussions and opportunities to initiate policy change. CCPM is informed by a critical understanding of policy change described by Patrick Fafard in which evidence and narrative are used by competing groups with different levels of power.

 Lessons Learned:

The CCPM has found that the evidence from and the narrative in The Raising of America are useful for health equity champions.  These tools are being used to change the discourse on structural and racial inequities.


Public funding of quality childcare is an important resource necessary to eliminate racial health inequities in Cook County. New alliances are necessary to counter interests that promote eliminating public childcare programs.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe how Cook County PLACEMATTERS (CCPM) uses The Raising of America film to increase awareness and build power among Cook County residents affected by health inequities.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student at the UIC School of Public Health focusing on social determinants of health, healthy equity, and policy change perspectives. In my role as Cook County PLACE MATTERS Team Lead I have worked with a team that presented Raising of America to a community audience, and have a working knowledge of policy barriers to equitable child development.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.