Statement on Illinois Receipt of Preschool Development Grant

By Elliot Regenstein, Senior Vice President

CHICAGO – We applaud Governor Quinn’s administration for leading Illinois’ successful application for an expansion grant within the federal Preschool Development Grant program.

The Ounce was proud to work closely with the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development and other leading advocates on our state’s successful $80 million application for the federal Preschool Development Grant. This federal funding for high-quality preschool for 4-year-olds provides a critical opportunity to improve quality and expand service, but also challenges us to maintain our state’s commitment to a birth-to-age-five system that meets the needs of at-risk infants and toddlers. We will continue to advocate for the state investments needed to support and complement this federal grant.

High-quality programs are proven to narrow the academic achievement gap and reduce future spending on crime, child welfare and remedial education services. Illinois is a state with a long history of bipartisan support for early learning. We are pleased to see our state continue to be recognized for its leadership in early childhood education programs that can make a significant, long-term impact for Illinois children and families.

Ounce of Prevention Fund

The Ounce of Prevention Fund works to ensure that all children, particularly those in poverty, have quality early childhood experiences from birth to age five. Educare Chicago, the Ounce state-of-the-art school on the South Side, has become a national model of high-quality early childhood education. Learn more at theOunce.org.