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earlychildhood 121020SPRINGFIELD – To provide a public update on the progress made by the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education & Care Funding, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) held a joint hearing of the Senate Appropriations II and Education Committees Thursday.

“Today’s hearing was an opportunity to update the Illinois Senate on the work of the Commission and its effort to making a more equitable education system a reality,” said Manar, who serves as a co-chair of the commission and chairs the Senate Appropriations II Committee. “There’s no doubt that the implementation of many of these ideas will take both time and commitment from elected officials and state agencies, a commitment our kids deserve.” 

Following its formation in December 2019, the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education & Care Funding held monthly meetings, which led to recommendations about how to achieve an equitable form of early childhood education for all Illinoisans. Those recommendations include redesigning funding mechanisms to improve equity, building on successful at-home services and centralizing the early childhood education system.

“The current system only works for some, and it’s our responsibility to construct a system that serves working families, bridges inequities forged by decades of negligence, and affords opportunity for all,” Manar said. “Too many communities do not have pre-k programs available in public schools or licensed child-care centers for working parents. By following the commission’s recommendations and building on them, I believe we can transform the way we fund early childhood education for the better, especially in rural towns and underserved urban areas.”

The commission will continue to meet as they finalize their recommendations ahead of the January 15, 2021 deadline set by Gov. Pritzker.