Access to Early Education Varies by Region
Illinois would need an additional 25,000 seats to serve all its low-income 3- and 4-year olds and has made little progress in expanding access to early education programs. While Illinois has 10,000 fewer low-income 3- and 4-year-olds than it did in 2009, it has cut nearly 20,000 early education seats.(2) But access varies by county. While Kane County needs
Expanding high quality, publically-funded early education programs is a necessary step to ensuring more students persist to and through postsecondary. When students start on track, it’s easier for them to stay on track. As the state rolls out new early education initiatives, it should consider regional needs and barriers to high quality early education, and target resources to districts with the greatest early education barriers.
(2) Illinois Early Childhood Access Map, 2015. This data includes PFA and Head Start seats exclusively.