cpz 1794


SPRINGFIELD – Home visiting is an essential program in the early childhood ecosystem that helps eligible parents and caregivers support their child’s development from the prenatal phase through age five. A legislative initiative introduced by State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas, which would codify home visiting programs administered by the Department of Human Services as they have done for over 30 years, passed through the Senate on Wednesday, March 29. 

“All parents want to provide the best environment in which to raise their child, but the resources needed to best support their children may be inaccessible for many caregivers,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “Home visiting programs help connect families to community resources that can provide the support their children need to succeed, while also prioritizing greater family stability.”  

Typical home visits involve in-person interviews with family members and caregivers, guidance on promoting safety in the family’s living space and coaching on approaches to parenting that promote healthy development.  

Currently, DHS home visiting programs exist because of budget appropriations from the state or the federal government. This initiative to codify DHS home visiting programs contributes to the sustainability of critical resources for families with young children and sets the stage for increased investments as proposed in Governor JB Pritzker’s Smart Start Illinois plan. 

“Start Early is pleased to see SB1794 pass the Senate unanimously. Home visiting programs are critical for expecting and new families across the state, and we're encouraged to see united support of such impactful services from the Senate,” said Ireta Gasner, Vice President of Illinois Policy at Start Early. “We look forward to working with the members of the House to make this bill a reality.”

Senate Bill 1794 passed the Senate on Wednesday, March 29. It now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.