Governor Pritzker has signed the Education and Workforce Equity Act (HB 2170). According to the Governor’s Office press release, this legislation “uses equity and fairness as guiding principles to improve outcomes across early childhood education, primary and secondary education, higher education, and workforce development.”
See below for an outline of early childhood provisions included the law, courtesy of Start Early.
- Extends early intervention (EI) services to 3-year olds until their next school year begins
- Establishes the Early Education Act, which encourages the development of specialized teams to address the complex needs that sometimes arise in the provision of early intervention services, among other improvements.
- Establishes in state law a kindergarten readiness assessment
- Establishes the Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultations Act, which encourages the state to improve and increase the availability of infant and early childhood mental health consultation (IECMHC) services, among other things.
- Requires behavioral health services providers for children under 5 to use a developmentally appropriate diagnostic assessment and billing system
- Establishes the Early Childhood Workforce Act encouraging IDHS to offer outreach and financial support to those who want to increase their credentials while prioritizing diversity and communities with the greatest shortages. It will also encourage agencies to prioritize reaching compensation parity between early childhood and its K-12 peers.
- Establishes the Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Act, which demonstrates support for the goals of the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding and encourages the state to create an implementation planning process and timeline with a designated body accountable for implementing the commission’s recommendations.