University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

Gov. Pritzker Signs 2023 Budget, Boosts Support for Early Childhood Programs

Published: June 7, 2023

Today, Gov. Pritzker signed a fiscal year 2024 budget that includes increased funding for Smart Start Illinois, his program aimed at eliminating preschool deserts, ensuring a stable childcare workforce, and expanding early intervention and home visiting programs.

According to his press release, early childhood investments in the budget include:

  • An additional $75 million for the Early Childhood Block Grant at the Illinois State Board of Education to increase preschool availability while improving the quality of education 
  • $130 million and additional federal money for early childhood workforce compensation to stabilize operational funding and promote quality in the childcare system 
  •  An additional $40 million for early intervention programs to support an expected increase in participants and a 10 percent rate increase for providers
  • $5 million to expand the Illinois Department of Human Service's home visiting program
  • $70 million to cover an expected increase in Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP) participation and calculated annual rate increases from Fiscal Year 2023
  • $20 million to begin upgrading the child care payment management system
  • $1.6 million to launch Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program
  • Federal funding for Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) scholarships