Gov. Pritzker Signs SB1, Creating the Department of Early Childhood

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Governor JB Pritzker joined elected officials, early childhood advocates, and education leaders to sign Senate Bill 0001 into law, officially establishing Illinois’ new Department of Early Childhood. The new state agency, first proposed by Governor Pritzker in October 2023, will focus exclusively on early childhood programs and services for young children, improving equity and accessibility for families and caregivers. Currently, services for young children are housed in three separate agencies: the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Navigating the current system is complex and inefficient, often leaving service gaps and challenges for historically underserved communities. With this new agency, early childhood programs will be unified to improve ease and availability for families and providers seeking state resources, including:

• The Early Childhood Block Grant at ISBE, which funds Preschool for All and the Prevention Initiative programs

• The Child Care Assistance Program, Home-Visiting programs, and Early Intervention services at DHS

• Day care licensing currently managed by DCFS.

Comments are closed.