Press Release - Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Governor Pritzker Announces $60 Million Competitive Grant Program for Early Childhood Construction in Illinois
Funding will support the construction, expansion, and renovation of facilities that support early student learning
Springfield - Governor JB Pritzker has announced $60 million in capital grant opportunities for Illinois Early Childhood Education providers through the Rebuild Illinois Capital Program. The funding will support the construction, expansion, and renovation of facilities that support early student learning.
"If we want to improve and transform our state's education system, then we must invest in our facilities," said Governor Pritzker. "From cradle to career, every Illinois student deserves quality, welcoming school environments where they can learn, grow, and thrive. And thanks to Rebuild Illinois, we have been making long overdue investments at educational facilities at every level—addressing critical renovations, deferred maintenance projects, and site upgrades. This additional $60 million in grant funding will ensure that the youngest of Illinoisans get the best learning experience possible."
The initial grant installment delivers $60 million to qualifying public school districts and not-for-profit early childhood facilities providing educational, health, social, or child development services to children aged zero to five years old and their families. Centers seeking to increase their capacity to provide care or educational opportunities for children in underserved communities are eligible for up to $10 million under the Early Childhood Construction Grant. A three to ten percent match is required. Rebuild Illinois, Governor Pritzker's historic $45 billion bipartisan capital plan, will provide a total of $100 million in state funding for early childhood education provider grants.
"Illinois' early childhood workforce provides critical care and education for thousands of families across the state. This construction opportunity bolsters the physical infrastructure for educators and children during a crucial time in their lives," said Grace Hou, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services. "This investment builds powerfully on Governor Pritzker's proven commitment to making Illinois the best state in the country to raise young children."
"Positively transforming spaces where our children receive instruction can improve long-term educational outcomes, while better protecting their physical, developmental, and emotional wellbeing," said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. "This critical funding will also allow early childhood providers serving low-income families to expand their capacity and meet the needs of more of Illinois' youngest learners."
"The Capital Development Board is eager to partner with the Illinois State Board of Education to assist early childhood centers with the renovation and expansion of their facilities," said Jim Underwood, Capital Development Board Executive Director. "These transformative improvements will create an elevated learning experience for countless children in Illinois."
"Illinois' early childhood education community is grateful to the Governor and the Capital Development Board for the investments in these facilities," said Dr. Jamilah R. Jor'dan, Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development. "These investments will ensure increased access to both physical and quality spaces. Physical environments support the implementation of high-quality programs and well-being of children, their families and early childhood educators."
Applications for the Early Childhood Construction Grant will be accepted through October 10, 2022. For more information, including selection criteria, visit Grants - Grants (illinois.gov).