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Examining the push to get kids starting school strong.
3 days ago
Illinois is doing better by its youngest learners — but it’s reaching too few of them
After losing ground for many years in early education compared with other states, Illinois has started to play catch-up by boosting funding for…
March 22, 2019
Big day for preschool: Illinois governor says state universal pre-K coming in 4 years; Chicago invests $77 million in early learning
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he expects Illinois would have universal preschool for 4-year-olds in 4 years. Next year, Chicago will add more than 100 pre-kindergarten classes
Asked and answered
March 20, 2019
Four questions for Chelsea Clinton about expanding early learning in cities
Visiting Chicago on Wednesday to help boost attention for literacy programs in laundromats, Chelsea Clinton said that her efforts were inspired in…
March 20, 2019
Here’s why Chelsea Clinton came to Chicago to visit a laundromat
The former first daughter visited a Hermosa laundromat to bring wider attention to a program championed through her family foundation’s Too Small to Fail initiative.
Updated March 12, 2019
Across Illinois, littlest children face some form of ‘high risk,’ new report says
Illinois spends less than 5 percent of its budget on children under 5, two-thirds of whom live in counties where they face high risks to their health or development.
February 20, 2019
Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker plows $100 million more into early ed — but no universal preschool this year
“Investing in early childhood is the single most important education policy decision government can make," Pritzker said Wednesday.
Race for mayor
February 11, 2019
How to help Chicago’s younger learners? Mayoral frontrunners skip a chance to say.
Chicago is in the first year of a four-year universal pre-kindergarten rollout, and the city’s next mayor will determine much of the fate of the program.
city hall watch
February 6, 2019
Why Rahm Emanuel’s rollout of universal pre-K has Chicago preschool providers worried
Rahm Emanuel’s big-budget, top-down expansion of public preschool has provoked high anxiety among community providers.
February 5, 2019
Here’s what advocates want J.B. Pritzker to do for the state’s youngest learners
Before Illinois can embark on universal pre-K, it needs to shore up its early childhood system, which has eroded with program cuts and low participation.
January 16, 2019
State school board asks new Illinois governor to quintuple early childhood spending
The state board of education is putting Illinois’ new governor to the test with a $2.4 billion-plus request to fund a universal preschool system for 3- and 4-year-olds.
January 10, 2019
One answer to Illinois’ dire preschool teacher shortage: men
In Illinois, women predominantly make up the early education workforce, with men counting for fewer than 2 percent of licensed teachers.
Making ends meet
October 25, 2018
State childcare program loses providers and children as deadline looms
Despite a looming deadline that could deprive thousands of young children of day care, Illinois has made scant progress on ensuring providers…
October 23, 2018
In Illinois, child care costs eclipse rent, making it one of least affordable states
Illinois is one of the 15 least affordable states in the country for child care.
October 10, 2018
90 days until no paycheck: Time running out for Illinois child-care providers in subsidy program
It’s hard to dispute the importance of training child-care providers on how to administer CPR or how to properly report suspected child abuse.
Back to school
Updated September 5, 2018
Emanuel touts pre-kindergarten, but will his envisioned $175 million initiative survive him?
Emanuel’s $20 million plan this year offers 3,700 free pre-K seats to low-income families and will boost the number steadily until every 4-year-old has access to pre-K.
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