To the Editor:
With valuable input from stakeholders and national experts, the Governor’s Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding has completed its report. Encouraged to “think bold” the Governor charged the Commission with crafting a blueprint to make IIllinois “the best state in the nation for families raising young children.”
The challenges of the pandemic heightened the importance of the Commission’s work. It shed new light on the challenges of the currently fragmented system, that does not adequately support families or child care providers across the state. Recommendations set forth by the Commission could change all of that.
As Illinois looks to rebuild its economy, we must make fiscally sound investments. The Commission’s recommendations provide a clear roadmap on how best to coordinate these investments to maximize their returns, with long term positive impact to our state. These include an adequate supply of, quality child care that supports a community’s workforce and accessible educational opportunities for ALL young children promoting healthy development and school readiness, reducing the need for more expensive interventions later in a child’s life.
Now that the report has been released, I strongly encourage the Governor’s office and the General Assembly to be bold in moving these recommendations forward. Illinois’ children and families deserve this and our communities desperately need this as they rebuild, post pandemic. As a state, a well-constructed plan for investing in our children, is the best and wisest investment in all our futures.