Gov. Pritzker Calls on Illinois to Become Best State in Nation for Families Raising Young Children

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

After making the largest investment ever into early childhood programs and facilities this past year, Governor JB Pritzker gathered with leading early childhood experts on Monday and announced greater state investment in child care programs across Illinois beginning January 1 and the creation of a new 29-member commission of experts to chart a new course for early childhood funding.

Revitalizing the Child Care Assistance Program

Child care reimbursement rates for all center and home-based providers statewide are increasing by five percent, which will improve access to stable care for low-income families and increase wages of early childhood providers. Child care centers in rural counties are closing classrooms at an alarming rate because they can’t find and retain qualified staff. In an effort to help deal with the staffing crisis in rural Illinois, the state is increasing the base rates for centers in Group 2 counties by 15 percent — which totals more than 20 percent, including the statewide rate increase.

Creating the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding

Gov. Pritzker created the Commission to improve access to quality early childhood programs for all Illinois families. Tasked with taking a fresh look at the state’s entire ECEC system, the group met for the first time today, and its work will center around establishing funding goals and funding mechanisms to provide equitable access to high-quality early childhood education and care services for all children birth to age five. The Commission is expected to deliver its final recommendations to the Governor by January 2021.

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