As Illinois gears up for a new school year, here are some headlines of interest for the early childhood community:
- With 8,000 vacancies across city pre-Ks, Lightfoot urges Chicago families to apply This article looks at how the mayor is steering the future of universal pre-K in the city.
- Governor Pritzker signs Senate Bill 1952, which contains provisions designed to recruit and retain qualified teachers in Illinois. Early childhood student teachers are now allowed to be paid and receive credit.
- Educators trusted with babies and toddlers don’t make a living wage — Illinois wants to change this The governor’s office is proposing an answer: $40,000 for new early childhood teachers with college degrees.
- 2019’s States with the Best & Worst Early Education Systems WalletHub compares the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics, including share of school districts that offer a state pre-K program, number of pre-K quality benchmarks met and total reported spending per child enrolled in pre-K. According to this comparison, Illinois ranks 8th in the nation.
- Illinois Gives Children With Lead Poisoning Help at Earlier Ages Illinois is one of the first states to make children with even low levels of lead in their blood automatically eligible for physical, developmental and other therapies at an earlier age, when such interventions are more likely to have the most impact.
- New Illinois law requires insurers to cover EpiPen costs for kids Governor Pritzker has signed House Bill 3435 into law, mandating EpiPen coverage for people 18 years or younger with severe allergies. Illinois is the first state to require insurance companies to cover EpiPen injector costs for kids.
- Finally, for the data-lovers out there, take a look at this 2019 back to school statistics page from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). But before you do, guess how many students across the nation will be entering a prekindergarten program this year (3.7 million? 1.4 million? 5.1 million?)