Letter to the Editor: Pritzker’s budget prioritizes early care and education – State Journal Register

February 23, 2019

Letter: Pritzker's budget prioritizes early care and education

In response to the article “Pritzker’s budget: New taxes and revenue, and where spending would rise,” it’s important to note the governor has prioritized early care and education — and the well-being of Illinois’ working families — in his proposed budget.

Under the previous administration, many services children and working families depend on were slashed. The Child Care Assistance Program, which enables low-income working parents to afford child care so they can work, serves 40,000 fewer children today than before the 2015 eligibility restrictions were put into place.

Home visiting programs — which improve the life trajectory of expectant and new families who are at-risk for poor health, educational, economic and social outcomes — are serving only half the children they were in 2015. And Early Intervention serves far fewer children than research shows are eligible.

The governor’s proposed budget is a clear reaction to that, proposing:

  • A $100 million increase to the Early Childhood Block Grant, which funds preschool and infant-toddler programs.
  • A $30 million increase to CCAP.
  • A $7 million increase to funding for Early Intervention.
  • Flat funding for home visiting services.

As the governor said, this is just a start. We too would like to see even more robust investments in these research-tested supports for our youngest learners and their families. We look forward to working with his administration to help push Illinois toward being a national leader on the issues and opportunities that impact the lives of children and families.

Maria Whelan

President & CEO Illinois Action for Children

Read the full letter here…