Spring 2013 - Ounce of Prevention Fund

In This Issue
Illinois Budget
Protects Early
Childhood Funding
Building Support,
Gaining Momentum
Early Childhood
Advocacy Day
New Child Care
It's Good Business
to Invest in Young
Illinois Budget Protects Early
In the face of
difficult budget
decisions, the
Illinois General
Assembly last
funding for
early learning programs in the fiscal year 2014
The final budget adopted by the General
Assembly includes:
Our new video shows how
early learning programs
prepare children for success.
Level funding of $300 million for the Early
Childhood Block Grant
Level state funding for Department of
Human Services (DHS) home visiting
programs: $10 million for Healthy Families
and $6.9 million for Parents Too Soon
$7.9 million increase to state funding for
the Child Care Assistance Program ($252
million total) in the DHS budget to
maintain current service levels
$2.8 million increase to Early Intervention
Ounce Policy
(total $75.7 million) in DHS to maintain
current service levels
The first policy paper in our
new series, Early Learning at
the Turbulent Dusk of the
Pangloss Eraexplains how
changes to the way states
report student proficiency
could provide opportunities for
increased investment in early
In contrast to past years, the budget bills were
developed in cooperation between the House and
the Senate. The efforts of Senators Heather
Steans and Dan Kotowski and Representatives
Will Davis, Greg Harris, Ken Dunkin and Fred
Crespo, along with the members of the Senate
and House appropriations committees, helped
avoid harmful cuts to public education and human
Quick Links
While flat funding actually translates to good
news for Illinois children and families, it doesn’t
help us regain ground lost by recent cuts. The
Early Childhood Block Grant had been slashed by
$80 million over the last four years, forcing nearly
22,000 at-risk children out of their preschool
classrooms. Only by reversing these funding cuts
can we put Illinois back on the right path of
increasing access to early learning programs for
the children who need them most.
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The General Assembly also approved SB26 to
implement provisions of the Affordable Care Act in
Illinois to provide Medicaid to childless adults. The
bill includes language advanced by the Ounce and
our health partners to provide dental services to
pregnant women as one strategy to improve
maternal health and pregnancy outcomes.
Building Support, Gaining
proposed early
initiative is focusing national attention on how the
country can provide comprehensive programs for
children from birth to age five. While the proposal
faces an uphill battle in Congress, it sends a
critical message that early childhood education
must be a national priority.
Now is the time for early learning advocates to
voice their support. Sign a petition to encourage
Congress to support the president’s early learning
The initiative would include:
$75 billion over 10 years to increase
access to high-quality preschool for 4 year
olds through state-federal partnerships
$15 billion over 10 years to support home
$1.4 billion for partnerships between Early
Head Start and child care to expand access
to higher-quality care
The Department of Education released state-bystate reports detailing how expanding high-quality
early education opportunities for children birth to
age five would directly benefit our nation’s
children. Find out how it would impact Illinois.
Visit Grow Stronger America to stay
informed about new
Early Childhood
Advocacy Day
When Breanna Brosam
found out she wouldn’t be
able to enroll her 3-yearold daughter Aniyah in
preschool, she knew she
had to act. So she joined 250 other early
childhood advocates at Early Childhood Advocacy
Day on April 16 in Springfield to share her story
with her legislator. “Every child deserves the
same opportunity for early childhood education,”
Brosam said. “Unfortunately, in Illinois, that’s not
Read more of Breanna’s story.
New Child Care Regulation
For the first
time in more
than a decade,
the US
Department of
Health and
substantial changes to the Child Care and
Development Fund, which serves about 1.6
million low-income children by providing
affordable child care for working families.
Notable revisions include:
Minimum state standards for criminal
background checks with fingerprinting
12-month eligibility redetermination for
Additional training and compliance with
safety and security measures
Required on-site monitoring for all
Improved communication to parents about
program quality
Read a fact sheet about how the changes would
affect child-care providers. Read the proposed
rule. The public is encouraged to submit
comments about the changes by August 5.
It's Good Business to Invest in
Young Children
More than 825 business, community and
philanthropic leaders joined the Ounce at our
Annual Luncheon on April 24. Mayor Rahm
Emanuel spoke about his administration's
commitment to early childhood education.
Keynote speaker Dr. Bruce Perry explained how
high-quality and poor-quality care affects the
brain development of young children. Watch
videos and see photos from the luncheon.
Reports and Resources
The State of Preschool 2012: State
Preschool Yearbook (National Institute for
Education Research)
Wage Gap, State by State (National
Women’s Law Center)
College and Career Readiness: The
Importance of Early Learning (ACT
Research and Policy)
Webinar, June 11, 1pm CST, Treating
Depressed Mothers in Home Visiting - An
Evidence-Based Approach (PEW Home
Visiting Campaign)
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