Pritzker administration secures $40.2 million preschool development grant

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New federal funds follow creation of Early Childhood Education Commission and record investments

information provided by the Office of the Governor

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (December 26, 2019) – In line with Governor JB Pritzker’s vision of making Illinois the best state in the nation for families raising young children, the Pritzker administration announced on Monday that it has secured $40.2 million in federal funding over the next three years to improve early childhood programs across Illinois.

“From our aggressive efforts to secure federal funding to our historic investments in early childhood programs and facilities, Illinois will become the best state in the nation for families raising young children,” said Pritzker. “We have so much more to accomplish for Illinois families and their children, and this administration will continue investing in the care and education our kids need to succeed.”

From 2020 through 2022, the state will receive $13.4 million per year from the Preschool Development Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Renewal Grant, administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The competitive federal program supports states’ efforts to build early childhood program infrastructure and expand high-quality preschool programs in targeted communities that would serve as models for expanding preschool to all 4-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families. The award comes with a 30% cost-sharing commitment with non-federal funds and can be used to strengthen coordination within the mixed-delivery system, improve program quality, or expand services.

Last week, Gov. Pritzker announced that the administration is increasing reimbursement rates by 5% for child care providers statewide and by a total of 20% for providers in Group 2 counties, primarily in rural areas. An additional $3 million is being dedicated for workforce training, and a new 29-member commission of experts has been tasked with taking a fresh look at the state’s entire ECEC system.

In the 2019 legislative session, the Governor and General Assembly also made the largest investment ever into early childhood programs and facilities in state history. The Early Childhood Education Block Grant was increased by $50 million, and the Rebuild Illinois capital plan dedicated $100 million to early childhood facilities across the state.