University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

Birth to Five Illinois Releases Statewide Report

Published: September 20, 2023

Birth to Five Illinois has released a new statewide report that provides a high-level overview of the strengths, needs, and recommendations most common across the 39 Early Childhood Regional Needs Assessments released this summer. 

The most prominent needs identified were

  • more affordable and available slots in ECEC programs,
  • more livable and fair wages for ECEC professionals,
  • more mental health services for children age 5 and under and their families, and
  • a more efficient way of gathering information/data, pertaining to children and resources.

Recommendations include

  • creating more publicly funded center-based programming (particularly in rural areas) for children, especially for those age 2 and under,
  • developing a more streamlined referral service among ECEC providers, and
  • providing more specialized care providers (i.e., speech and physical therapists) in classrooms.