Illinois Early childhood centers to receive more state funding
By Jenny Dreasler, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
Early education centers across the state of Illinois are breathing a sigh of relief, as new legislation is putting more money back into the classroom.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed a plan that guarantees a higher percentage of grant money be set aside for early education.
Under the new legislation, at least 14% of the state's $300 million early education block grant will be set aside for kids ages zero to three. That's up from 11%.
This new legislation comes at a time when early childhood centers across the state have been taking the brunt of state budget cuts.
Julie Schuckman, the Director of Quincy's Early Childhood and Family Center, says the increase in funds will allow them to bring back the Prevention Initiative Program that was cut because of a lack of state funding.
"It's a home visiting program where you go into the homes of families with zero to three-year-olds who qualify and start them on helping the parents be the educators to the child," Schuckman said. "We're very excited about that opportunity to start with families as soon as they have a baby and not waiting until they turn three and can come here."
Schuckman says they haven't received word yet from the state on just exactly how much money Quincy's Early Childhood will be getting. However, she expects to hear back from that state soon.
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