Early Childhood Education Funding Restored in Gov. Quinn’s Proposed Budget
CHICAGO, Feb. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is a statement from Diana Mendley Rauner, President of the Ounce of Prevention Fund:
“We applaud Gov. Quinn’s proposal to restore funding to early childhood education. The governor rightly recognized in his budget announcement that early learning and child care programs, beginning at birth, provide the foundation Illinois children need to succeed in school and in life.
“Restoring Early Childhood Block Grant funding to $380 million will help Preschool for All programs get back on track after enduring a 10% cut in FY 2010 and payment delays for the last few years. Restoring this funding is necessary to support the early learning of children who are most at risk of school failure. High-quality, birth-to-five education programs provide valuable learning opportunities that far too many low-income children don’t otherwise get. They help build the cognitive and character skills that research says are essential for later success in school.
“Economists unanimously say that now, when the budget is tightest, is when states should be investing public dollars in programs such as early childhood education that have the best long-term return on investment. Early learning programs bolster Illinois’s economy by ensuring that we’ll have a better-educated workforce in the future–one that has a higher earning potential and contributes significantly more tax dollars to the state’s economy. Economists note that every dollar spent on high-quality early childhood programs for disadvantaged children creates $7 to $9 in future savings. Effective early childhood programs help reduce teenage pregnancy, crime, and other social burdens.”
“Illinois has long been regarded as a national leader in implementing high-quality, public early childhood programs. We hope that Illinois lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle act to support the governor’s proposed budget by restoring early childhood funding, protecting child care funds for low-income families and helping the state get back on track for a more fiscally sound future.”
Ounce of Prevention Fund
The Ounce of Prevention Fund works to ensure that all children, particularly those in poverty, have quality early childhood experiences from birth to age five. Educare of Chicago, the Ounce’s state-of-the-art school on the South Side, has become a national model of high-quality early childhood education. Learn more at www.ounceofprevention.org.
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SOURCE The Ounce of Prevention Fund