The Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) has announced a new pilot program to address obstacles faced by rural child care providers in meeting the state’s quality of care standards. The GOECD is partnering with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to provide 35 centers in rural counties with $3.8 million a year to hire staff or increase the salaries of existing staff.

The pilot program is made possible using both federal and state funding and is expected to run for three years. It builds on the Pritzker administration’s commitment to improving equity and accessibility to quality child care throughout Illinois.

These 35 centers include 577 teachers and assistants in 104 infant/toddler classrooms, 63 preschool classrooms, and 37 school-age rooms. Read more details, including a list of program participants, in this press release from the GOECD.