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Election Day is not until November 8, but you can cast your ballot now through November 7 at early voting locations throughout the state.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has begun its annual budget process for FY2018 and it's critical that your voice is part of the conversation.
Join millions of Americans on September 27 for National Voter Registration Day and take action by registering to vote.
Join ZERO TO THREE and advocates from across the country for anInfant-Early Childhood Mental Health Day of Action on August 31.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has extended the intent to apply deadline for the FY2017 Prevention Initiative (PI) and Preschool for All (PFA) Expansion to Friday, July 29.
Thank you for all of your efforts over the past year to move our elected officials toward action on a state budget. Today, the last day of FY2016, the Illinois General Assembly passed a bipartisan budget! It includes full FY2017 funding for education. The budget also includes funding for human services, other state programs and operations for all of FY2016 and the first half of FY2017 (through December 2016).
As a result of significant new funds approved last week by the General Assembly and governor, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is now accepting Request for Proposals (RFP) for the FY2017 Prevention Initiative (PI) and Preschool for All (PFA).
We are 11 months - eleven months - into this fiscal year and Illinois is no closer to having a FY16 budget than it was on July 1, 2015. Furthermore, we are one month from the deadline for an FY17 budget that is nowhere in sight either.
Thank you for joining us at A Seat on the Rug: Enrolling and Serving Children Experiencing Homelessness in Early Learning Programs! The event was a success thanks to your participation.
Join us tomorrow, May 25, for an opportunity to explore best practices for servicing families experiencing homelessness in early care and education programs. Registration is closed for in-person attendance, but you can still join us online!
There is a bill before the governor that will provide partial relief to the human services organizations that have been providing critical services across the state without reimbursement for nearly a year! Tell the governor to sign it!
Email your state lawmakers: encourage your senator, representative, and the governor to work together to come to a resolution on Illinois' FY2016 budget.
Lawmakers acknowledge that their work on the budget is not done. While the legislature is home this week, please contact your representative–you can send them a message or give them a call.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development invite you to participate in a webinar on May 10 from 12:00-1:00pm to learn about plans for the FY2018 re-competition of the Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG).
Early Childhood Advocacy Day was a great success! On April 12, hundreds of early childhood advocates across Illinois came to Springfield to fight for early childhood programs.
Right now, hundreds of advocates are in Springfield advocating for early childhood programs and speaking up for a solution to the budget impasse at the state capitol.
Join the State of OUR State Rally on Wednesday, January 27 in Springfield. The Responsible Budget Coalition (RBC) invites advocates to join together in Springfield and demand solutions to ensure that families and communities succeed before the governor delivers his State of the State Address.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has begun its annual budget process for FY2017 and it's critical that your voice is part of the conversation. It's important that early childhood advocates are at these hearings so ISBE can continue to prioritize early childhood funding.
When the General Assembly reconvenes on Tuesday, November 10, it's critical that your lawmakers are there and ready to take action. Urge your lawmakers to vote "yes" in support of Senate Bill (SB) 570, which would revoke the harmful changes to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) that have shut out once-eligible, low-income families and deterred countless more from even applying.
The General Assembly returned to work on October 20 with Illinois well into its fourth month without a final FY2016 budget. As a result,the ability of children and families to obtain the high-quality early learning services and supports they need is being negatively affected—especially in the communities that need it most. Call your lawmakers and the governor today and ask them to work together to pass a budget that prioritizes children and families.
The restrictive eligibility changes made to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) are keeping caregivers from getting the child care assistance they need in order to earn a living and improve the lives of their families. Ask Gov. Rauner to rescind his policy changes to such a vital program.
The governor has now submitted language to make permanent the devastating CCAP rules enacted July 1, and it is estimated that only 10% of the low-income, working families who now apply for child care assistance will be able to meet the criteria set by the new rules. That’s roughly 5,000 families who will find themselves ineligible for child care by the end of July. Members of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) will review these changes on August 11.
Right now, children, families and communities are experiencing the backlash of the budget impasse. Their needs cannot be ignored while lawmakers and the governor fail to come to an agreement on the budget and continue to overlook revenue solutions to Illinois' budget crisis. Join the Ounce and the more than 200 other members of Responsible Budget Coalition on for a day of action.
The adjournment of the Illinois General Assembly is quickly approaching, and lawmakers are in the process of passing the FY2016 budget, which includes some continued investments in early childhood, but not enough. And even with these efforts, the budget remains incomplete.
The cuts in Gov. Rauner’s proposed budget would hurt many early childhood programs that families and communities depend on, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Illinois doesn’t have to make those proposed cuts. Join the Ounce and the Responsible Budget Coalition on this Day of Action, and tell legislators to protect programs for Illinois families by choosing new revenue to close the budget gap.
The U.S. Senate has passed a two-year extension of the program through the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) package. The bill, which was also passed by the House of Representatives, now awaits the president's signature, and will ensure the continued work of our state to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families through evidence-based home visiting programs.
This week Illinois lawmakers passed a resolution to the FY2015 budget gap ensuring that the Child Care Assistance Program and Early Intervention program are funded for the remainder of FY2015.
Though early childhood was highlighted in the governor’s FY2016 budget address, several steep cuts he proposed would have a direct impact on vulnerable children, their families and their communities. The budget discussion now moves to the General Assembly, and it is imperative that the governor and our state lawmakers work together to create a budget that truly supports Illinois' youngest children and their families.
A combination of mounting financial challenges has rendered Illinois' funding of its Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) exhausted, and safe, reliable and consistent care options in jeopardy for thousands of infants and children. We need you to call your state lawmakers and the governor to urge them to find a solution that will ensure children access to the child care services they need and their parents the ability to find or go to work.
While the importance early childhood investments continues to pop up in the headlines and exciting progress has been made, there is much more work to do and significant challenges lie ahead to ensure that our children can get the high-quality early learning experiences they need. Join us for a conference call on Feb. 6, 2015 to learn about the legislative issues affecting young children and families at the state and federal levels.
The FY2016 budget process has officially begun, and your advocacy for early childhood education will help make sure legislators continue to prioritize funding for early learning programs. Learn more on how to make your voice heard by testifying at the upcoming Illinois State Board of Education’s budget hearings.
The Illinois General Assembly finalized the fiscal year 2015 state budget. Learn more to learn how early childhood programs fare.
As budget bills have moved through the House, we need you to contact your representative and ask him or her to maintain the current income tax rates, which would fund these budget bills that keep early childhood services a priority.
While the importance of a quality early childhood education is gaining attention across Illinois, our state is also facing challenging budget decisions that make our advocacy for young children especially critical. In keeping the state's children a priority, we're asking our legislature to invest in early childhood with specific actions that will improve outcomes for young children and reduce long-term spending on costly education and health interventions that result from a lack of quality early childhood experiences.
Congress recently introduced the Strong Start for America's Children Act, a bipartisan bill that helps states provide high-quality early learning programs for young children. Your federal legislators need to hear that even in tough economic climates, you still support the proven effective investments in early education.
Tomorrow, members of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) will review the emergency rules to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) that Gov. Bruce Rauner put into place effective July 1. Thousands of families have already felt the impact of these harmful changes, and with the governor's proposal to make them permanent, more families will be affected.
Now more than two weeks into the new fiscal year, the state of Illinois still does not have a fully-funded, year-long budget. Join the Ounce and the more than 200 other members of Responsible Budget Coalition on for a day of action.
This week Gov. Rauner approved HB3763, which increases the Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) at the Illinois State Board of Education by just over $20 million, but he also vetoed the balance of the state budget that includes the bill funding key early childhood programs. Until a budget is passed that adequately funds the services children and families need—with the revenue to pay for it—the state of Illinois will be failing in meeting its basic obligations to its most vulnerable citizens.
With the prospect of no final budget by the July 1 start of the new fiscal year, the governor has continued to announce cuts and program changes—the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) among the services that have already been affected. Until there is an agreement between the governor and General Assembly, funding for critical state and early learning programs are at risk, placing families across the state at risk, as well. Help tell the story of how important early learning and other important investments are to the lives of young children and their families.
The General Assembly's spending plan avoids many of the deep cuts proposed by the governor but requires just over $3 billion more in revenue than what is currently available to the state. Until the governor and General Assembly reach an agreement providing the revenue needed to help our state’s most vulnerable, young children and their families will continue to shoulder the negative consequences of this impasse.