Ahead of Illinois’ midterm and gubernatorial elections next month, in a recent survey, voters across the state made it clear that they want to see increased attention towards early childhood services. In fact, the vast majority of survey respondents believe that investing in early childhood education and care is a good use of taxpayer dollars – and most would even be willing to pay more in taxes to fund it.

Start Early conducted this latest survey on behalf of state advocates to measure the level of support for early education among voters. The results were unequivocal – Illinois voters value early childhood education and care and want to see government action.

Eight in 10 voters say investing in early childhood education and care is a good use of taxpayer dollars. Among key groups like Black voters (55%) and those in Chicago’s suburbs (53%), a majority believe it to be a very good use of tax dollars. A majority of voters (56%), including nearly 75% of Black voters, went even further to say they are willing to pay a little more in taxes if it meant the state had better services for families with young children.

While partisanship continues to divide voters in many other policy areas, the survey’s findings also demonstrated that the early childhood education and care discussion goes far beyond political lines: 90% of Democrats, 73% of Independents and 70% of Republicans support government action and investment in early childhood programs and services.

Home to approximately 800,000 children under age 5, Illinois has a prominent history of investing in early care and education, spanning four decades under leadership of both Republican and Democratic state administrations. As the state prepares for its midterm elections, most timely is the survey’s bipartisan finding that most voters (70%) would feel more favorably towards a candidate who prioritizes an increase in funding for early childhood services.

“While Illinois has long been at the forefront of early learning and care innovations and investments, our system, like that of most states, has its challenges and real shortcomings,” Start Early Vice President of Illinois Policy Ireta Gasner says. “Without decisive action by our elected Governor and state legislators, critical components of the system will collapse – leaving countless young children and those who care for them behind.”

Decades of research have proven that quality early childhood programs can help break the cycle of poverty for generations to come and can change the trajectory of a child’s life toward healthy development and success. Yet, families – particularly those in communities left under-served – continue to face impossible challenges in accessing such early learning experiences.

As Illinois works to mitigate these challenges, often brought on by systematic inequities, voters reported that funding services for children experiencing homelessness and for children with disabilities or developmental delays should be priority focus areas of the state. Voters also ranked early childhood services as the second most important way to address the root causes of crime, a traumatic reality for far too many young children.

Start Early and its advocate partners across the state are passionately working to advance transformational change of the early childhood system in order to reach families and those who provide early learning services. This powerful survey data reaffirms that Illinois voters share advocates’ desires, and offers policymakers a renewed opportunity this upcoming legislative session to redouble efforts to make early learning a reality for all young children.

Conducted in partnership with Global Strategy Group, the survey of 609 registered voters in Illinois took place between September 8 – 12, 2022, and an intentional focus was placed on ensuring diverse demographic and geographic representation among voters. Interviews were conducted over the phone and text to web.

Key Findings:

  • A majority of overall voters say early childhood education and care is a good use of taxpayer dollars.
    • Eight in ten voters say investing in early childhood education and care is a good use of taxpayer dollars.
    • Among key groups like Black voters (55%) and those in the Cook suburbs (53%),a majority believe it to be a very good use of tax dollars.
    • Taking action and using taxpayer dollars to invest in early childhood education and care garners bipartisan support across the political spectrum with 90% of Democrats, 73% of Independents, and 70% of Republicans believing it is a good investment.
  • Most voters are even willing to pay more in taxes to fund early childhood and care services.
    • A majority of voters (56%) say they are willing to pay a little more in taxes if it meant the state had better services for families with young children, including nearly three-quarters of Black voters (72%).
    • Half of voters believe the state government is not spending enough on services for young children and their families, even higher among parents (54%), especially parents of color (52%).
  • Voters believe elected officials are not talking about or focused enough on early childhood services.
    • Half of voters believe their elected officials are not talking enough about early childhood services (52%) and believe they are not focused enough on the issue (53%).
    • This is especially true of key groups like Independents, of whom two-thirds (68%) believe their elected officials are not talking enough about the issue.
    • Similarly, parents of those under the age of six overwhelmingly believe elected officials are not talking about (67%) or focused enough (66%) on early childhood services.
  • According to voters, the state government does not do enough to help new parents and families meet their responsibilities.
    • About half of voters overall believe the state government is not doing enough to help new parents and families.
    • This increases to nearly two-thirds of voters of color (65% of Black voters and 66% of Hispanic voters).
  • Support for this issue goes beyond party lines and has widespread support: 80% of Democrats, 58% of Independents, and 51% of Republicans want the state to fund programs aimed at making childcare more affordable
  • There are many other specific services or programs related to early childhood that share support from a majority of the electorate.
    • Helping those who face the steepest challenges, like homeless children and those with disabilities, is extremely popular across partisan lines.
    • Even 69% of Republicans believe the state should be doing more to fund services to care for children who are homeless and 75% of Independents also feel the same way.
  • Early childhood services are seen as a way to address crime.
    • Illinois voters are concerned about crime (32% rank it as their first or second most important issue) and want to prioritize addressing the root causes of crime early in children’s lives (60%), over short-term actions like tougher sentencing.
    • Addressing root causes are prioritized across the board, including independents (55%) and those in the collar counties (60%).
    • Providing early childhood services ranks second as the most important way to address these root causes.

More Like This

This week, President Joe Biden is expected to approve Congress’ final budget reconciliation package, the Inflation Reduction Act, which does not include one cent for early learning and care programs. This outcome is yet another senseless decision in our nation’s history that leaves countless young children without access to critical programs that can help ensure a brighter future.

This spring, the House of Representatives passed budget reconciliation legislation that included nearly $400 billion for child care and pre-K, which was among the largest proposed investments in the package. However, earlier this month, the Senate unveiled the details of its final package, which included no funding at all for early learning and care.

For a nation’s child care system that is at the brink of collapse, this investment would have considerably lowered child care costs for families, allowed parents of young children to return to work and supported an underfunded and understaffed early learning and care workforce.

Long before today’s ongoing pandemic and societal uncertainty, child care providers, disproportionately women and women of color, have had to bear the burden of an under-resourced child care system to provide critical, quality programs and services to young children.

So, now more than ever, it seemed apparent to finally prioritize American families and child care providers with historic investments. Congress’ failure to do so will result in long-range consequences for our child care system.

Start Early and the Educare Network, however, are and will continue to be constant and persistent champions for our youngest learners. We will:

  • Work with Congress, federal agencies and the administration, as well as state and local leaders, to strengthen early learning and care programs and drive advancements that impact on-the-ground practices and communities
  • Advocate for increased investments in and positive changes to federal early learning programs, including the Child Care Development Block Grant, Head Start/Early Head Start, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Maternal, Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting program
  • Educate and inform the field of provisions within the Inflation Reduction Act that may benefit families with young children

In addition, as co-chair of the Early Years Climate Action Task Force, Start Early President Diana Rauner will play a role in drafting the first ever climate action plan for early childhood in America. This will include recommendations to explore how the country can support young children to flourish, despite facing the impacts of climate change.

In response to this disheartening news, Start Early and Educare Network leaders issued the following statements:

Start Early

“Quality early learning and care in the first five years of life allows every child the opportunity to develop and meet their full potential. This week, Congress ignored common sense and science, allowing the child care system to continue deteriorating and leaving future generations behind.

Start Early stands ready to continue its work with local, state and federal leaders to elevate the dire, diverse needs of American families and ultimately make transformational change in access, quality and outcomes for all young children.”

Diana Rauner, president of Start Early

Educare Network

“Every child, in every community, deserves a strong start in life. This final reconciliation package entirely disregards what matters most: creating supports and systems that work for families, our youngest learners and early care and education providers. With our 25 schools and partner organizations across the country, the Educare Network calls on local, state and federal leaders to take immediate action that rights this wrong and drives transformational change to ensure all families, children and communities can thrive.”

Cynthia Jackson, executive director of the Educare Network

More Like This

Portia Kennel at an Educare Speaking EngagementAfter a career in early childhood education spanning three decades, Portia Kennel – catalyst and one of the co-founders of the Educare Learning Network, a powerful network of birth-to-five schools that has improved access to high-quality early education across the country – is retiring from her position as Senior Advisor to the Buffett Early Childhood Fund.

Prior to her time with the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Portia served as the Senior Vice President of Program Innovation at Start Early (formerly the Ounce of Prevention Fund). In 2000, she created the first-ever Educare school in Chicago to serve young children and their families on Chicago’s South Side. As the Executive Director of the Educare Learning Network, Portia led the expansion of the Educare model to a diverse range of communities across the country, from one school in Chicago to 25 schools nationwide.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive news, helpful tools and learn about how you can help our youngest learners.

Sign Up

“Portia’s passion and commitment to serving children the last several decades have helped shape Start Early into the organization that we are today,” Diana Rauner, Start Early President and longtime colleague of Portia, shared. “Her drive, perspective and guidance continue to resonate through the halls of our offices and within the values that inform our work. I am so proud of what we created together through the Educare Learning Network, and I believe that the best is yet to come thanks to her foundational presence. The early learning community is grateful for Portia, and we wish her well in this next chapter of life.”

Portia's passion and commitment to serving children the last several decades have helped shape Start Early into the organization that we are today.

Diana Rauner, president, Start Early
corner square square circle corner pie circle square

Portia is also a former Head Start Director and has significant experience in the design, implementation and management of effective, evidence-based early childhood education and family support program models. Her work is grounded in an understanding of family systems and clinical issues related to working with families in disinvested communities. She holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and is a ZERO TO THREE Fellow.

“We’re so grateful to Portia for her contribution to the early childhood field broadly, and to the Educare Learning Network specifically,” Cynthia Jackson, Executive Director of the Educare Learning Network and Senior Vice President at Start Early, said. “Twelve years ago, Portia invited me to serve as a leader of leaders in this Network. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve under an African American woman, mentor, teacher, visionary and colleague. Thank you, Portia – from the Network and from me personally. What an innovator you have been.”

Start Early and the Educare Learning Network congratulate Portia on a remarkable career and thank her for the groundbreaking legacy in early childhood education she started with our Network!


Portia Kennel’s Parting Remarks

What a journey this has been! Reflecting on the early days of Educare, my mentor Judy Bertacchi comes to mind. Judy was a pioneer leader in training early childhood staff how to implement and embed reflective supervision into early childhood programs. She always said how important it was to “get the birth story” of each child because it would inform the work you’d do with the family. So, today I am going to share the birth story of Educare, because I believe it will inform the future as the Network goes forward.

The idea for Educare grew out of The Beethoven Project, an initiative began by Start Early (then the Ounce of Prevention) in 1986 to bring early learning programs and other services to communities in Chicago’s Grand Boulevard neighborhood on the south side. At that time, this neighborhood was home to the Robert Taylor Homes, which was one of the largest public housing developments in the poorest census tract in the country.

When the Chicago Housing Authority began demolishing the Robert Taylor Homes in the late 1990s, many families began leaving the community as public services started to vanish. I have never seen so many thousands of families disappear what seems like overnight. But we decided we were in it for the long haul, and we stayed. It was very important to us, since so many institutions were abandoning these families, that they knew we would not abandon our commitment to them.

That’s why we started building our own early childhood education center: to serve families who were displaced by the loss of their homes and now rebuilding their community, and to create a school whose culture and environment said – and still to this day says – “You matter.” So, we partnered with the city of Chicago, the Office of Head Start, and other private funders to build our first school, Educare Chicago, which we opened in 2000.

And Educare Chicago was just the beginning! Fast forwarding two decades to now, that first school inspired the creation of the Educare Learning Network, 25 schools across the country that are models for high-quality care and education in their communities and nationwide.

I led the expansion of our Network from one school to many for three reasons: to learn from each other, to support each other and problem solve together, and because I hoped that by coming together, our collective power would have a better chance of addressing challenges in the field. What we had in common was a shared interest in showcasing quality in our communities through Educare schools, demonstrating what is possible with services for children and families, and increasing our impact as catalysts for positive change. In other words, I believed we could do more together than any of us could do alone. And in today’s world, our critical work is to continue to harness and leverage the collective power of the Educare Learning Network to transform the early childhood world.

As I now leave the Network, my first hope is that you will increase your collective impact and efforts. The Network has yet to realize its full potential. We all agree changes are needed to address the systemic issues that have plagued the early childhood system for so long: quality, access, workforce recruitment, retention, racism, compensation and more, many of which have been amplified by the pandemic.

My second hope for the future is that in addition to an ongoing focus on racial equity, the Network will prioritize efforts to ensure the systematic and sustained inclusion, participation and leadership of parents in the planning, development, decision-making, implementation and evaluation of early childhood work. That means centering and elevating the voices of parents to ensure their lived experiences inform and help address the challenges the early childhood system faces. As Glenn Martin of JustLeadershipUSA says, I believe those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. Investing in parent leaders as early childhood advocates and change agents strengthens our chances for success.

We’re all in this together: parents and families, early childhood leaders, educators, family support practitioners, childcare providers, policymakers, advocates, public and private partners, and communities. We must work together to find solutions.

I thank all of you for what I have learned from you. I thank Jessie Rasmussen and the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Diana Rauner and Start Early for all they have done to support the continued growth and development of the Educare Learning Network. The Network would not have been possible without the partnership and support of both organizations, and of course the participation of all of you early childhood champions.

Go forth, Educare Learning Network, and cause some good trouble!

More Like This

Start Early is excited to announce Dionne Dobbins as Vice President of Research and Evaluation. In her role, Dionne will lead the Research & Evaluation division and oversee research efforts under Start Early’s expanded Head Start grant.

“Dionne has dedicated her career to thinking about how child, family, and community outcomes can drive and influence policy efforts. She has a strong interest in using research in applied settings and reaching non-researchers by developing tools and resources relevant to their work,” says Rebecca Berlin, chief learning officer at Start Early.

Most recently, Dionne served as the Sr. Director of Research at Child Care Aware of America, where she set the research agenda for the organization and led a team of researchers in executing it. Notably, she led the production of the popular Child Care Aware of America annual report on the Price of Child Care used among many researchers, policymakers, and advocates. Dionne has led research projects for Head Start, child care, family literacy, military child mental health, and early childhood financing. She is also a former Head Start Fellow who supported the leadership team at the Office of Head Start. She holds a doctorate in applied developmental psychology from the University of Miami and did her postdoctoral work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Dionne’s extensive systems-level, research-to-practice expertise, with a strong understanding of how to create a unified data picture from diverse sources of information will be invaluable to Start Early. We are thrilled to have Dionne join Start Early and support our efforts to produce research and evaluation data that is relatable, easy to understand, and centers equity,” Berlin concludes.

Follow Dionne on LinkedIn.

Start Early has been named the winner of a Gold Stevie® Award for Achievement in Benefits Design and Administration for its paid parental leave program. The Stevie Awards for Great Employers recognize the world’s best employers and the human resources professionals, teams, achievements and HR-related products and suppliers who help to create and drive great places to work.

The overwhelming benefits of paid leave compel Start Early to advocate for these policies nationally and inspired our organization’s leading paid leave policy. During a child’s first few weeks and months, a nurturing and supportive environment lays the foundation for their future success in school and life. Our paid parental leave program allows families to be together at this most critical time.

In 2019, the People & Culture team set a strategic goal to transform our leave program through improved employee benefits, explicitly enhancing our paid parental leave for the year 2020. Infancy is the most crucial period of brain development and it is vital that babies and their parents are supported during this time to promote bonding and healthy attachment. We knew it was time to up our game and we needed to create a parental leave package that matched our mission and supported families in the moments that matter most: the earliest years.

After a series of focus groups with former and expecting parents to discuss what was working and where we needed to improve, we rolled out our new policy in 2020, including:

  • Increasing our parental leave by more than 50% (from 12 weeks to 6 months) for both moms and dads Introducing 100% paid leave, eliminating the need for employees to use their own vacation, sick or personal hours to receive full pay
  • Expanding our paid leave eligibility to include adoption, surrogacy, or foster parenting
  • Launching an integrated family benefits platform, Cleo, to help connect families with the support they need to be their best at home and at work
  • Activating Bright Horizons, a benefit that assists employees returning from leave with finding childcare or back-up care, if needed.

Together, these award-winning benefits help our families start off on a strong path.

Start Early and other honorees were recognized during a virtual awards ceremony on November 17. Details about the Stevie Awards for Great Employers and the list of 2021 Stevie winners are available at www.StevieAwards.com/HR.

Start Early is pleased to announce Yvette Sanchez Fuentes as Vice President of National Policy. In her role, Yvette will lead the organization’s national strategy to advance both the Start Early and Educare Learning Network policy agendas and strengthen partnerships with peer organizations and federal agency staff.

Yvette is a nationally recognized early childhood expert and advocate for children and families who has been influential engaging groups to drive effective policy and practice change at the local, regional and national level,” says Kristin Bernhard, senior vice president of advocacy and policy at Start Early.

Yvette has dedicated her professional career to understanding how policy, research and implementation impact lifelong outcomes for young children and their families struggling with adversities, including low-income families, migrant and seasonal farm workers, immigrant communities, American Indian and Alaska Natives, and dual language learners.

Most recently, Yvette served as the Associate Secretary for the Delaware Department of Education and her extensive work in the field includes former positions as deputy chief for policy and research at Child Care Aware of America and president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Families. As the director of the federal Office of Head Start within the Department of Health and Human Services, she led the agency in shepherding in sweeping reforms including the release of the Head Start Roadmap, the creation and rollout of the Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework, the design and implementation of the designation renewal system and launched a pilot program that allowed grantees spending flexibility for creating programs for children ages birth to 5 that led to the implementation of the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships (EHS-CCP). She began her career at Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, Inc. where she managed the family child care initiative in the migrant and seasonal Head Start program.

“Yvette’s depth and breadth of experience will undoubtedly shape and catalyze the National Policy Team’s work working closely with partners to advance the Start Early Policy Agenda and the Educare 5 policy priorities. We are thrilled to have Yvette at Start Early and in supporting the Educare Learning Network in centering equity, parent and provider voice, and research evidence in policy solutions,” Bernhard concludes.

Follow Yvette on Twitter (@ysanchezfuentes) or LinkedIn.

As Congress continues to push historic reforms to early childhood education towards the finish line, Start Early president Diana Rauner joined Drew Furedi, president and CEO of Para Los Niños and Alejandra Barraza, president of HighScope Educational Research Foundation for a conversation about early childhood development moderated by Mark Oppenheim.

Throughout the engaging 30 minutes, the panel spoke to the research and evidence showing early learning and care is a smart investment in human capital, the needs of our underpaid and undervalued early childhood workforce, and how all families rely on supports to help their children be healthy and grow.

Research that shows ECE is a smart investment

Participants discussed the most recent research from Profession James Heckman and others finding quality early childhood programs create dynastic impacts that span across generations. While referencing the Perry Preschool Project, Diana mused that an investment made in 1965 that continues to bear returns in 2021 and likely into the future arguably has an infinite return on investment.

As Diana summarized, investing in early learning and care is essential to the future of our country. “The human brain is plastic and dynamic: skill begets skill. Investing at the beginning of the life is the most cost effective and efficient way to create a just society, one where every child can meet their potential, every individual can be their best, and we as a society benefit from the human capital.”

Elevating the profession through higher wages and professional development

The panel turned to how our society undervalues the expertise of our early childhood professionals and the policy decisions that make it irrational to make early childhood a career choice.

On average, child care workers make less than $14 an hour — shaping children’s brains during this critical period of brain development for less than a barista is paid to make coffee.

She concluded, “We’ve got this backwards. We’re paying college professors the most, then high school teachers, while the early childhood professionals doing the most profound developmental work are the lowest paid in the system.”

We’ve got this backwards. We’re paying college professors the most, then high school teachers, while the early childhood professionals doing the most profound developmental work are the lowest paid in the system.

Diana Rauner, President, Start Early
corner square square circle corner pie circle square

All families need support

The panel also spend time talking about how every family needs foundational supports. Discussion included how families have never raised children by themselves—they’ve always relied on friends, supports and family to help them during this exciting and exhausting time.

But not every parent and caregiver has these supports, and children shouldn’t be punished. In our full-employment society, we must find a way for all children to be cared for in quality educational settings regardless of their location — be it a church basement, a child care center, an in-home provider or a preschool — so that parents can choose from developmentally appropriate, affordable and quality options.

Investing in what works

The panel ended with a great sports analogy by Drew Furedi, who shared that sports teams spend millions of dollars on scientific approaches that train and develop individual athletes. If we applied the same approach to develop each young person, we could gain so much—and we’re not talking millions of dollars per child.

We know what works. We have the answers. We just need to do it.

Funders understand it’s past time for the U.S. to create and support a quality early education system. In her latest piece for Inside Philanthropy, reporter Connie Matthiessen takes a look at the Educare Learning Network and Start Early as a model for change, including the Educare model’s focus on parent engagement, the importance of public-private partnerships and providing parents and families with comprehensive, prenatal-to-five supports.

In the piece, Jessie Rasmussen, president of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, calls Educare “an initiative by private and public partners to do two big things: change the life trajectories for the children who come into our care, and change the way America approaches and funds high-quality early care and education. By doing what science tells us we need to do in terms of providing quality, we are narrowing and even closing the achievement gap. By working with peers across the country, we’re showing what it takes to deliver such high quality, including a well-prepared, well-compensated workforce, a reliance on data-driven practice, and care that partners with families and nurtures the healthy growth and development of every child.”

“With Public and Private Funds, This Early Ed Program Thrives. Is It a Model for Systems Change?”

Read the Full Article

Clarissa Love headshotStart Early is pleased to announce Clarissa Love as our first Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB). In her role, Clarissa will lead the organization’s continuing journey in becoming an anti-racist organization that creates systemic improvements in early childhood education so that equitable access for all becomes a reality.

“Clarissa is well-positioned for this critical role within our organization, bringing more than a decade of knowledge, tangible experience and demonstrated effectiveness in leading DEIB strategy,” says Michael Hoffman, Chief Operating Officer at Start Early.

Previously, Clarissa served as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant at Michigan Medicine’s Office for Health, Equity and Inclusion. In this role, she enlisted over 5,000 voices (students, staff and faculty) to develop a DEIB strategic plan that created opportunities for individual growth and development, enhanced team culture and strengthened networks to build internal and external community equity. She managed DEIB leads across Michigan Medicine to build momentum and change at the department level. During her tenure she created relevant courses to build leadership capacity and some of the topics included cultural humility and daring leadership. She also co-led the design of implicit bias, anti-racism, belonging and well-being tools that supported self-reflection and the evaluation of team and organizational practices and policies and ran a weekly community engagement program open to the Michigan Medicine community. She has also spoken nationally to bolster awareness of DEIB practices that engage the community. Her interests include organizational engagement, leadership development and uplifting voices to build change.

Start Early believes a critical component of advancing racial equity is creating an organization where the presence, voices and ideas of staff and the communities we serve are represented, heard, valued and acted upon. The organization is a proud participant of StriveTogether’s Equitable Recovery Pledge, supporting the development of more just, equitable systems that align resources to youth, families and people of color. In 2017, Start Early staff established an Advancing Racial Equity (A.R.E) Taskforce to promote racial equity internally and externally.

“I’m excited to build on this strong foundation by leveraging my experience in collaboration with our staff, Board members, families and external partners to continue to elevate Start Early as a national leader in centering parent and community voice,” Clarissa shares. “I believe DEIB will continue to be at the forefront of organizational transformation and societal change, particularly during this pivotal time.”

Learn more about Clarissa’s professional journey in her leadership bio. You can also follow her on LinkedIn.

Start Early was recently awarded a 5-year Head Start grant to provide quality early childhood programs and services to more than 2,100 children from birth through age 5 and their families in Chicago. Diana McClarien, vice president of our Early/Head Start Network and Claire Dunham, senior vice president of programs & training recently spoke with the Chicago Tribune and Chalkbeat Chicago about how our new grant will double the number of children and families we serve, as well as increase provider pay and create professional development opportunities for the early childhood workforce.

Press Coverage

Millions in federal Head Start funding is now going straight to Chicago’s neighborhoods. Here’s what it means for local families.

Article from the Chicago Tribune, July 23, 2021

Read Article

More changes coming to Chicago early learning after feds break up Head Start monopoly

Article from Chalkbeat Chicago, July 20, 2021

Read Article

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive news, helpful tools and learn about how you can help our youngest learners.

Sign Up

Little girl with blue headband
corner square pie shape-grid