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Illinois Increases Early Childhood Funding by $54 Million

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QUINCY (WGEM) – Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Board of Education (ISBE) announced on Thursday that the 2023 state budget will increase the funding of the governor-approved early childhood block grant by $54 million.

The funds, which reflect a 10 percent increase in the overall Early Childhood Block grant budget, will go to 4,500 students in Illinois to receive early childhood education assistance through state-funded programs, according to the Governor’s Office. Added to more children.

“Supporting children from conception through infancy to preschool is one of my administration’s top priorities,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “And in Illinois, every child has an equal chance to learn and succeed, regardless of their family’s socioeconomic status. and empowering families, teachers, and childcare workers to build the foundation for the next generation of young Illinois to make Illinois the best state in the nation to raise a family.”

The governor’s office said the grant expansion would include programs for all preschools, home visitation services, increased living costs for teachers, and support programs for expectant mothers and those with children ages 0-3. reported to support

The $54 million increase will allow Illinois to increase the number of children participating in all programs by an estimated 4,500.

  • About 3,000 additional students will be enrolled in the Preschool for All program, resulting in about 8,400 children.
  • Nearly 500 additional students will participate in the Full-Day Preschool for All Expanded Program, doubling the program’s capacity.
  • About 250 children and families will receive home-visiting services through the prevention initiative. Today, the program serves over 12,200 children and their families each year.
  • All current and new home visit programs are eligible for funding to provide doula services to support expectant parents before and during childbirth.
  • Approximately 350 additional children will receive center-based prevention initiative services, bringing the number to 7435.

“Quality early childhood education services are essential to giving children a strong start in life,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala.. “Illinois’ state-funded early childhood education program provides free, evidence-based care and education to young children so they can go to school ready to learn. $1 million in increased state funding will improve access and equity, helping Illinois reach thousands more children and families.This year, new grants will support community-based programs will increase compensation for early childhood educators and fund doula services in eligible visiting home programs.”

In addition to the funds allocated to boost program capacity, the governor’s office said the increase would increase the cost of living for all teachers in community-based programs by 5 percent. This increase maintains the program’s infrastructure, which includes professional development, technical assistance, training, and other important functions.

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