Illinois Early Childhood Funding Sees Boost of $50 Million in New State Budget

The Illinois House finished up what was perhaps the most monumental legislative session in recent memory this past weekend, after passing the final pieces of a budget for the upcoming year as well as a $45 billion capital improvements program. The new budget includes $375 million in added funding for K-12 education, $25 million more than is mandated by the state’s evidence-based formula. It also increases the mandated categorical funding for K-12 education by $47.3 million. Early Childhood Program increases are as follows:

  • $50 million increase to the Early Childhood Block Grant at ISBE to expand and improve birth-to-five early childhood services.
  • $28.8 million increase to the Child Care Assistance Program at the Department of Human Services to expand income eligibility from 185% to 200% below the Federal Poverty Line and to commit significant resources to the department for program outreach and recruitment, among other improvements.
  • $12 million increase to the Early Intervention Program at DHS to accommodate the state’s growing caseload and workforce pressures.
  • Level-funding for evidence-based home visiting programs for expectant and new parents through DHS’s Healthy Families and Parents Too Soon.

The legislature also passed a new capital infrastructure plan that includes $100 million in facilities funding for school- and community-based early childhood programs through the Early Childhood Construction Grant program.