Early Childhood

Illinois Action for Children’s report on child care in Cook County found that federal emergency relief funds allowed many providers to keep their doors open. However, families still face barriers to get affordable care.
The Illinois Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity report found that about an additional 500 students who already work in early childhood education enrolled in college.
Illinois legislators pass bill that requires school districts to have a full-day kindergarten bill by 2027 as spring legislative session starts to wind down.
Four-year-olds will get priority, but officials say more than 30,000 spots are available across Chicago Public Schools and community-based early childhood providers. Families are encouraged to apply before May 2 to get an offer by May 19.
Early childhood education advocates want the winner of the April 4 runoff to prioritize access to affordable child care, attracting and retaining early childhood education staff.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces a plan that will give $250 million more toward the state’s early childhood education and child care programs.
Early childhood education needs more funding, say Chicago’s mayoral candidates. However, each candidate’s proposal differs in how to do it.
In his inauguration speech, the governor said he would make college tuition free for working-class families and expand preschool to all Illinois families.
Pritzker said he wants to make Illinois the number one state for making child care accessible to families during his second term in office.
Early childhood education advocates have long argued that low wages prevent child care centers from retaining employees for a long time. A new study finds a gap in wages between early childhood teachers and teachers in kindergarten despite having the same degree.
Illinois is set to receive $760 million over the next 18 years after winning a lawsuit against major pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid epidemic. Law enforcement officials want part of the money to go to early childhood programs.
Ahead of the school year, Chicago Public Schools is encouraging families to sign up for its preschool program, which has thousands of open seats.
Illinois children between 6 months and 5 years old are now eligible for COVID vaccinations. Will child care centers return to normal this fall?
Families are finding more demand than availability in summer camp programs for Chicago children. The pandemic has added to the shortage.
Chalkbeat wants to hear what you’ve been doing this summer for care and any challenges you’ve encountered.
The COVID vaccines will be available after authorization from the Food and Drug Administration Friday and expected approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The consideration to lift the mask mandate comes a week after board members voted to uphold safety measures including mask wearing across the district.
Day cares and child care centers can now set their own rules, public health officials said.
In Illinois, where curriculum traditionally is the domain of individual districts, the conversation is just getting started.
For the first time since 2020, the Illinois governor has proposed an increase in the state’s education budget with investments for students from preschool to higher education.
In 2022, Illinois will launch 39 regional councils of policymakers, parents, educators, and health care professionals to weigh in on spending in their communities.
Illinois enrollment declines driven by loss of pre-kindergarten, kindergarten students this year.
Illinois early test score results show that the pandemic year took a toll on the state’s youngest learners.
Jeanette Delgado is a dual-language teacher in Urbana District 116. This year she is focused on classroom friendships — and getting her students outside.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state will offer three months of free child care for unemployed workers looking for jobs beginning Oct. 1.
With little public understanding yet of the impact of the pandemic on young learners, educators at LEARN Charter Schools’ Hunter Perkins campus are adapting as they go.
The mayor wants an extension for a critical line of Head Start funding that the federal government intends to steer away from city and toward nonprofit organizations.
It remains to be seen whether the change will yield stronger competition, higher quality programs, and more seats for children under 5 in the neighborhoods that need them — or create confusion on the ground.
If you value Chalkbeat, consider making a donation
Chalkbeat is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to providing the information families and educators need, but this kind of work isn’t possible without your help.