Cailin O'Connor portrait.

Cailin O’Connor

Senior Associate

She, Her, Hers

View Cailin’s condensed bio here.


I work to promote better outcomes for young children and their families, with a focus on promoting the protective factors that children, families, and communities need to thrive. I support communities to build early childhood systems that support early learning and development through our EC-LINC network and our Early Learning Nation project. I also coordinate the Strengthening Families National Network.

I do this work because

I believe that all children deserve to grow up in families and communities that nurture their development, meet their needs, and keep them safe.

I am most proud of

Developing the Early Learning Community Action Guide and the building blocks for Early Learning Communities that form the basis for the Action Guide. The Action Guide incorporates the best thinking from our innovative EC-LINC members, as well as from the experiences of CSSP and our partners at the National League of Cities. My favorite thing about the guide is how comprehensive it is, looking at all of the pieces that need to be in place for a community to support the learning and healthy development of its youngest residents.

Work History

  • Senior Consultant, National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds
  • Consultant, Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board (the Children’s Trust Fund)
  • Outreach Specialist, School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Education and Awards

  • Member of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ Early Childhood Advisory Committee, 2019-present
  • M.S. in Human Ecology, Human Development, and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Graduate Certificate in Prevention and Intervention Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.A., Macalester College

When the day is done

I spend my free time trying to keep up with my daughter’s latest favorite anime series, staying in touch with friends near and far, and planning for our next trip.