The Collaboration for Early Childhood and the Oak Park-based Parenthesis Family Center are no longer joined formally at the hip — in August the Collaboration’s board elected to seek out another vendor to provide home visits for area youngsters who need those services the most. 

That the Collaboration has found a new partner in Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago, which has had a presence in the village since the 1960s, is a bittersweet development. 

Collaboration head Carolyn Newberry Schwartz says her organization will still support Parenthesis’ work although the exact form that will take remains to be determined. We hope the contractual separation won’t prevent these two excellent, homegrown entities from working together in the future. 

The new contract with Easters Seals is cheaper but doesn’t go quite as far as the one with Parenthesis — whose informational programs helped people understand just how critical early childhood is to the rest of a person’s life. Hopefully, the Collaboration will be able to find a way to keep this critical service included. 

Who knows? The current void could be an opportunity for a creative new collaboration involving all three of these vital organizations.

That would be a win-win-win. 

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