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This profile was last updated on 10/1/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

President and Chief Executive Off...

Phone: (773) ***-****  
Email: m***@***.org
Illinois Action
4753 N. Broadway Ste. 1200
Chicago , Illinois 60640
United States

Company Description: Illinois Action for Children has championed the cause of quality child care and early education for families and children throughout Illinois for 37 years.Action...   more

Employment History


  • Bachelor's degree , History
    Clarke College
  • Master's degree , Social Services
    The University of Chicago
131 Total References
Web References
Leadership - Illinois Action for Children, 3 Sept 2015 [cached]
Maria Whelan, President & CEO
Maria Whelan has served as Illinois Action for Children's President and CEO since 2001. She leads the organization's mission to support strong families and powerful communities where children matter most, through the advancement of innovative human services programs and responsive public policies that improve conditions for children and families in Illinois.
An authority in the early care and education field, Maria possesses over 30 years of experience in human services. Prior to joining Illinois Action for Children, she served as the founding Executive Director of the Carole Robertson Center for Learning, a multicultural nonprofit partnership among parents, youth and communities on Chicago's West Side. Her leadership has been recognized through special awards and fellowships, including the Community Service Fellowship from the Chicago Community Trust, and Leadership Greater Chicago. She currently serves on several boards, including the Illinois Early Learning Council, Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, Early Childhood Advisory Committee - Chicago Public Schools and Illinois Child Care Advisory Council - Illinois Department of Human Services.
Maria holds a Master's degree in Social Services from The University of Chicago, and a Bachelor's degree in History from Clarke College. She lives in Chicago with her husband and has three daughters.
Maria Whelan, Executive ..., 13 April 2015 [cached]
Maria Whelan, Executive Director of Illinois Action for Children, an advocacy group that also administers CCAP programs in Cook County, cautioned that even if funding for the program is restored, many families in Illinois could still face significant hardships under Rauner's proposed budget.
These children, their families, and many others will be significantly impacted by the drastic cuts proposed in the Governor's budget," Whelan said.
LDN - Top Stories, 13 Feb 2006 [cached]
"Thousands of children across Illinois now have a chance that will make a difference for a lifetime," said Maria Whelan, president and chief executive officer of Action for Children.
Board of Directors - Illinois Action for Children, 3 Sept 2015 [cached]
Maria Whelan President & CEO, Illinois Action for Children
An estimated 2,000 working families of ..., 15 July 2015 [cached]
An estimated 2,000 working families of 4,000 children across the state have been turned down since the eligibility changes were made, said Maria Whelan, president and CEO of Chicago-based Illinois Action for Children. Page 2 of 3 - The changes, which don't apply to families with children already in the program, will deny acceptance to 90 percent of the people who tend to apply, Whelan said. For example, the program accepts people up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level. The new guidelines make acceptance harder, reserving new admissions only for families at 50 percent of poverty level or below, or no more than $10,045 a year for a family of three. That means a single mother with two children earning $10 an hour would be ineligible for the program if she works more than 20 hours a week.
However, Whelan said the changes threaten the infrastructure of the entire Child Care Assistance Program. Because families often move in and out of eligibility as their economic situations change, they often face requalifying for the program, she said.
Child care centers won't be able to fill their slots and will close within a few months if Rauner's new eligibility rules aren't changed, Whelan said. She said working families "are being kicked to the curb." "These families are doing what we want them to do," Whelan said. "They are working. They are taking care of their kids. Many of them are working multiple part-time jobs. I find it stunning that we have policies and programs that are being put in place that absolutely land on the most vulnerable families and really and truly put children in danger." Page 3 of 3 - Some child care providers, worried about not being reimbursed amid the state budget impasse, are demanding upfront payment from parents, Whelan said.
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