Illinois Department of Human Service logo showing a silhouette of a family with one individual in wheelchair on blue background

Secretary Grace Hou has announced the appointment of Kirstin Chernawski as director of the Division of Early Childhood starting October 16, 2021. Bethany Patten, associate director for the Office of Early Childhood at the Division of Family and Community Services, will serve as interim director until then.

For the past eight years, Kirstin has served on the executive leadership team at Erie Neighborhood House, a social service nonprofit serving 20,000 participants annually.

The Division of Early Childhood is the newest division within the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). The division will strengthen and centralize child care, home visiting, and early intervention services.