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Gov. Pritzker Highlights Investments in Early Childhood Initiatives During Visit to Carole Robertson Center for Learning in Chicago

Press Release - Wednesday, January 04, 2023

CHICAGO — Today, Governor JB Pritzker visited the Carole Robertson Center for Learning in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago to highlight historic investments in early childhood education under his administration. The Governor was joined by Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas, Senator Celina Villanueva, and Representative Camille Lilly.

"Since day one of my administration, one of my top priorities has been making Illinois the best place to live and raise a family," said Governor Pritzker. "The expansion of our childhood care and education programs is honoring that pledge and setting up our youngest Illinoisans for a successful lifetime of learning. One of the most fiscally responsible investments that we can make is to focus our dollars on our youngest children. This leads to higher graduation rates, higher college attendance rates, greater lifetime earnings, and greater overall wellbeing."

During his administration, Governor Pritzker has committed the largest amount in Illinois history to expanding and improving early childhood education across Illinois. Throughout the last year, Illinois has expanded its continued investments in the state's early childhood care and education system in the following ways:

• Extending and expanding the Strengthen and Grow Child Care (SGCC) grant program through July 2023. These grants provide funding for eligible childcare centers and homes.
• Extending the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) eligibility for job seekers through June 2023. • Enabling more families to access Child Care Assistance Program Benefits than ever before by lowering income thresholds and expanding benefits.
• Launching the "I Got Love/¡Siento Amor!"—a statewide enrollment campaign for childcare and early education services.
• Increasing access to healthy food options in schools across the state, providing Illinois children with the well-rounded, nutritious meals vital to a healthy learning environment.
• Enacting the Children's Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative to evaluate and redesign the delivery of behavioral health services for children and adolescents throughout Illinois.

For more information on early childhood education and care, visit the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Early Childhood.

The Carole Robertson Center for Learning has served countless young families in Chicago since 1976, welcoming children six weeks to seventeen years of age from low-income families. They're one of the largest early childhood education and development organizations with a variety of programs aimed at educating, enriching, and empowering children, and families. The Infant Toddler Development is for children aged six weeks to three years and focuses on supporting a lifelong foundation of learning. The Pre-School Education program is for ages three to five and fosters cognitive and social-emotional growth. Their Out-of-School Time (OST) Program is geared towards youth aged five to seventeen and provides after-school, summer, and school break care with multiple development activities including music writing, woodworking, and gardening. The organization has a presence in 27 diverse communities.


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