Launch: Early Childhood Portal for City of Chicago

Today marked the launch of,

Here’s some snips from the press release from the Mayor’s Office:

As part of the his administration’s focus on increasing access to quality early learning programs for children across the city and emphasis on helping parents get and stay involved in their children’s education, Mayor Rahm Emanuel today launched a new online Early Leaning Portal, The portal is an easy-to-use, interactive website that puts information about hundreds of quality early learning programs across the city all in one place.


“We were happy to collaborate with the City on this interactive map, which will allow parents and families to find information about these programs easily and quickly. We’re interested in hearing from parents and caregivers on what would make the site more useful to them,” said Dan O’Neil, Executive Director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative. “We’re also releasing the code for the site as open source, so that it can be used to make similar map-based sites showing resources across the city.”

“Our focus is on making sure children are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten. M.K. and I share Mayor Emanuel’s strong commitment to providing high-quality early learning for infants, toddlers and their families,” said J.B. Pritzker, president of the J.B. & M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation. “Helping Chicago parents and caregivers identify the best early childhood educational opportunities in their neighborhoods is critically important. This online interactive, one-stop shop will help parents and caregivers access and better manage the challenging process of selecting a high-quality early learning program for their infants and toddlers.”

Here’s the code that drives the site.

Chicago Early Learning
Chicago Early Learning web site.
Presenting the Early Childhood Portal as 37th Ward Alderman Emma Mitts Looks On
Presenting the Early Childhood Portal as 37th Ward Alderman Emma Mitts Looks On

Here’s a spot on CBS about the site:

First Meetup of the Illinois Open Technology Challenge

Tonight I led the first gathering of the Illinois Open Technology Challenge, which brings government, developers and communities together in a common mission to use public data and create digital tools that will serve today’s civic needs and promote economic development.

It was a great night because we had in-depth conversations between government technology people and independent developers about specific data that can drive needed software that could help make lives better. Here’s the wrap-up post describing those ideas.

At Governors State University for the Illinois Open Technology Challenge

Profile of Smart Health Centers

Here’s a story on the Smart Health Centers project of the Smart Chicago Collaborative. Snip:

Part of the group’s challenge is to find ways to make complex health information understandable to the average person, familiarize non-computer users with how to search data, and help older people become comfortable with using technology.

Spearheading the effort is the Smart Chicago Collaborative, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of people in Chicago through technology.


[Archive video link]

Profile of Chicago Health Atlas

Here’s a profile of a Smart Chicago project, Chicago Health Atlas. Snip:

CHICAGO, IL— Daniel O’Neil, executive director of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, says that there are many ways in which digital developers can create products that bring in revenue while, also, contributing to the public good.

One such project he’s overseeing is the Chicago Health Atlas — a mapping tool with information about various health conditions and access to resources online. Currently, O’Neil is working with a developer based at 1871, a technology incubator located in the Merchandise Mart.

And video:

Go here to see an archive of this video if the embed does not work.