Chicago, IL - Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) applauds Governor J.B. Pritzker for his commitment to making Illinois a leading state for families with young children, as announced during this week’s gubernatorial inauguration. IAFC supports Gov. Pritzker's child-centered vision and priorities for Illinois, which include protecting the health and wellbeing of families and children through high-quality early care and education and other key initiatives.
As a state and local leader in organizing, developing, and supporting strong families and powerful communities where children matter most, IAFC is proud of all that Illinois has accomplished in early childhood care and education in Gov. Pritzker’s first term. IAFC commends Gov. Pritzker’s distribution of federal stimulus dollars to support the workforce and expand care, which has been a lifeline for many child care programs and families during times of uncertainty.
To ensure Illinois makes sustainable progress to advance early childhood care and education, there is still much work to be done. IAFC urges Gov. Pritzker’s administration to continue its work with advocates like IAFC to bring to fruition the bold structural changes envisioned by Gov. Pritzker’s own Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding. Published almost two years ago, these recommendations include:
• Increasing early workforce compensation across all early care programs
• Strengthening governance to make care and early education equitable for all
• Securing increased funding to fully fund the true cost of care
“We know fully committing to bold changes and increasing investments to early education and care isn’t easy, but sustaining recent progress requires this commitment. Many of these gaps in care predate the pandemic, impacting thousands of families throughout the state,“ said April Janney, Chief Executive Office at Illinois Action for Children. “Illinois families deserve the opportunity to thrive. We look forward to working with Gov. Pritzker in his second term to build an early childhood education and care system that is fairer and more equitable for all.”