Provides definitions and descriptions of the programs funded by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

PFA Overview

PFA data reported on IECAM

In its online database, IECAM provides data on the Preschool for All (PFA) Children program beginning with FY2006. For each school year, IECAM provides a page that describes its data presentation for that year. These pages typically include:

  • notes that explain the data on number of PFA sites
  • notes that explain the data on number of children proposed to be served
  • an excel file that lists the data by grantee type: ROE, school district, and non-school district
  • a list of PFA grantees
  • a list of PFA sites (for FY2012 and later)

To view any of these notes or lists for a given year, view the ISBE Prek information.

The page with notes and lists can also be accessed while you are doing a search by clicking on the label for PFA on the search page or by clicking on the column heading in the search results tables.

Description of the Preschool for All (PFA) Program

In May 2006, the Illinois General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1497, House Amendment 3. This bill amends the Illinois School Code to establish the Preschool for All Children program and funds the program beginning in July 2006. The purpose of the program is to provide educational services to eligible 3- to 5-year-old children whose families choose to participate.

The Preschool for All Children program expands funding available under the Prekindergarten Program for Children at Risk of Academic Failure. In awarding grants under the Preschool for All Children program, the Illinois State Board of Education will give first priority to applicants that primarily serve children identified as being at risk of academic failure; and second priority to applicants that primarily serve children whose family income is less than four times the poverty guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Preschool for All Children program has seven required components:

  1. Screening
    Applications must provide a description of the services to be used to screen all children and their families to determine their need for services.
  2. Educational program
    Preschool for All Children initiatives must offer an appropriate education program for children who participate. The education program that is established must meet requirements that include (among others):
    –  curriculum aligned with Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards
    –  staff-child ratio for each classroom must not exceed 1 adult for 10 children, and no more than 20 children can be served in a single classroom
  3. Parent education and involvement
    Programs must provide parent education and involvement in each of five areas.
  4. Community collaboration
    Collaborative partnerships that combine high-quality education and care for preschool children will be given extra consideration in the approval process.
  5. Staff requirements
    All teachers providing instruction to preschool children must hold an Illinois Professional Educator License (formerly Type 02 and Type 04 Early Childhood Certificates) with an Early Childhood Endorsement.
  6. Professional development
    Staff development needs must be assessed and appropriate ongoing professional development activities provided.
  7. Evaluation
    A plan for evaluating program and staff must be in place.

For more information on PFA, see: