State receives $3.7 million early childhood grant

The state has received a $3.7 million grant officials say will allow Illinois to enhance early childhood programming.

The Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five Initial Grant Award is one of 45 distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child Care.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to work across Illinois’ early care and education systems to unify our planning and address barriers to access and quality, as we continue to meet the needs of our youngest children and their families,” said Cynthia Tate, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development.

The grant is set to run through the end of the year. The state can apply for renewal.

Gov. Bruce Rauner said the grant will “bolster” the state’s commitment to making sure children in Illinois are “well-prepared for kindergarten and beyond.”

“Decades of research have shown us that children who have a strong educational and developmental foundation before they start kindergarten are much more likely to be successful later in life,” Rauner said.

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