Advance Illinois Applauds the Governor’s Early Childhood Funding Commission Report

Posted on April 16, 2021

Advance Illinois Communications

CHICAGO, IL – Today, Governor Pritzker announced important first steps towards the implementation of heavy-hitting recommendations in Ready Illinois: Simpler, Fairer, Better, a monumental report released by the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care just two weeks ago. The Commission’s report details critical funding, allocation, and governance structures needed for a strong, unified system able to ensure Illinois’ youngest children and families have equitable access to high-quality programs and services.  The report’s three primary recommendations include: 

  • A long-term funding goal for policymaking, which will serve as a NorthStar for building an equitable and adequate system of funding to increase access, quality and workforce compensation.  
  • Centralization and coordination of early childhood education and care (ECEC) funding, which will allow the state to more equitably distribute funding and create greater stability and predictability for providers (which in turn means better services for children and families).
  • Creation of a new state agency with a regional and community infrastructure, bringing together ECEC programs across state agencies to support and facilitate a more coherent, well-functioning system for providers, the workforce, children and families.

Advance Illinois applauds the creation of an “Early Childhood Transformation Team” to ensure that the Governor’s Office has the staffing needed to begin the work of moving from recommendations to on the ground implementation.

Among other things, the Transformation Team will start by setting up a regional and community infrastructure in the state, a down payment on realizing a full system of unified governance. The regional and community infrastructure will allow the state to support COVID-19 recovery efforts and future growth of the ECEC system, while ensuring the state recognizes local differences in need as it plans for a new agency.

Advance Illinois is also delighted that IDHS is elevating early childhood education and care services through the creation of an independent division within the agency. This status permits the new division to focus specifically on young children. We recognize this consolidation as another important step toward centralizing and coordinating early childhood governance and services.  

We celebrate the commitment of the Governor to make Illinois the best state in the nation to raise families with young children, and we stand ready to support the administration in these first steps toward transforming the early childhood education and care system in Illinois.


About Advance Illinois
Advance Illinois is an independent policy and advocacy organization working toward a healthy public education system that enables all students to achieve success in college, career and civic life. Since its founding in 2008, Advance Illinois has become a nationally recognized thought leader in education policy advocacy. To learn more, visit