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Early Childhood Education Resources

State-Funded Preschool Availability in Illinois Depends Upon Where You Live: An Equity Analysis of ISBE Pre-K Resources 

We have more evidence than ever before that educating and caring for our youngest children lays the foundation for their future life success—but too many roadblocks stand in the way of families being able to access quality early learning programs from birth through pre-k that are both convenient and affordable. Our latest report seeks to answer the question “Who gets to go to preschool in Illinois?” and takes a hard look at just how equitable access is to high-quality, affordable early childhood programs in our state. We also offer policy recommendations on how to bridge that gap.

Has Access to Quality Child Care Improved for Low-Income Working Families in Illinois?

From 2011–2016, Illinois made a substantial new investment in its early care and education system. This research series examines whether the availability of quality childcare for low income working families – in particular, those eligible to receive the childcare subsidy – increased during this period in two Illinois regions, Cook County and a 7-county region in Southwestern Illinois. This three-part series looks at whether access to quality childcare improved for children under age 6, for infants and during non-traditional care hours.

Early Learning in the United States: 2019 

To better understand the current state of early learning and the opportunities for improvement in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Center for American Progress produces annual state fact sheets. The 2019 update includes information regarding: Childcare prices and the strain they put on family budgets, gaps in childcare funding and access, wages for the child care workforce, the benefits of policies that would expand access to affordable childcare and preschool. Policymakers and advocates can use these fact sheets to identify their state’s greatest opportunities for improvement and to highlight the benefits of investing in high-quality early childhood programs.

Using Local, State, and Federal Dollars to Improve Pre-K to K Transitions

When early learning experiences are connected from birth through third grade (B–3rd), children and their families can more seamlessly transition between ECE programs and grade levels. Smoothing transitions requires careful planning, effective policies and practices, and funding. The transition between pre-K and kindergarten is a particularly important one. There are a number of federal and state programs and other funding opportunities that can help support state and local efforts to improve pre-K to K transitions and alignment. This brief is intended to be a resource for state and local leaders by discussing why these transitions matter, highlighting effective transition and alignment practices, explaining funding streams that can support transition planning and activities, and sharing state and local examples.

Announcing Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education

It is with great excitement and deep gratitude that we share NAEYC’s newest position statement, Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education. Unanimously adopted by NAEYC’s National Governing Board, this bold statement joins four others (developmentally appropriate practice–currently under revision; early learning standards; professional competencies–currenly under revision; and the Code of Ethics) to make up the five foundational position statements that NAEYC has developed in collaboration with the early childhood profession. Endorsed by more than 100 leading organizations, including Affiliates and national partners, it builds on decades of anti-bias work, reflects your thoughtful feedback and comments, and stands on the shoulders of leaders at NAEYC and across the early childhood field, many of whom were valued contributors to the development of the statement itself.