As Pritzker makes $250M pitch for child care investment, data show the obstacles to access across Illinois

March 6, 2023

Capitol News Illinois

In some Illinois communities, finding child care isn’t just a routine task for families to work through, but a seemingly impossible dream.

In some of those places, costs are too high for middle class families to afford. In others, day cares have had to cut staff, limiting the number of available placements. Some areas, especially rural ones, have just one or two licensed day care centers for a population of hundreds of children.

Gov. JB Pritzker has made child care and early childhood education a priority in this year’s proposed budget. Since introducing his budget on Feb. 15, he has visited child care centers in eight cities to promote his “Smart Start” plan, a program of policies aimed at bolstering the child care workforce and making it more affordable for families.

“It is important to us to make sure that every 3- and 4-year-old in Illinois can go to preschool and have child care available to them,” Pritzker said during the Springfield stop on his multi-city tour.

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