Gov. Quinn: Early Childhood Programs Vital to Illinois Economy

Gov. Quinn: Early Childhood Programs Vital to Illinois Economy

Ounce of Prevention Fund applauds recognition of early learning initiatives


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CHICAGO, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The Ounce of Prevention Fund applauds Gov. Quinn’s recognition that investing in the education of Illinois’s young citizens is essential to creating a better future and stronger economy. Gov. Quinn included early childhood investments as part of his vision for a stronger Illinois in today’s State of the State Address.

“The best way to invest in Illinois’s future is to fully fund the public education system, starting with early learning programs that begin at birth,” said Diana Rauner, executive director of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, an early childhood advocacy organization. “We can’t afford not to make these investments. Every dollar spent on high-quality early childhood programs for disadvantaged children creates $7 to $9 in future savings.”

The Ounce is calling on the state’s elected officials to protect and grow funding for the Early Childhood Block Grant, which funds Preschool for All and infant-toddler development programs. The Ounce is also asking for increased funding for voluntary home visiting programs, which offer parenting education to low-income parents of young children.

Research has shown that at-risk children with quality early-learning opportunities are less likely to need special education and more likely to graduate from high school, earn more money and contribute more tax dollars.

Illinois’s standing as a national model of early childhood systems has been threatened because of last year’s 10 percent budget cut. And now the state owes programs millions of dollars in delayed grant payments.

“An avalanche of IOUs is threatening many early childhood programs in Illinois,” Rauner said. “Programs are struggling to pay teachers and some have closed their doors. Disadvantaged young children are at risk of losing the very programs that will prepare them to be successful in school and in life.”

Ounce of Prevention Fund

The Ounce of Prevention Fund gives children in poverty the best chance for success in school and in life by advocating for and providing the highest quality care and education from birth to age five. Educare, the Ounce”’s birth-to-five school on Chicago’s South Side, has become a national model for narrowing the academic achievement gap for low-income children. The Ounce also advocates for programs and policies that benefit young children and families; provides training to early childhood professionals in Illinois; and engages in rigorous research and evaluation projects that contribute to best practices throughout the early childhood field. Learn more at www.ounceofprevention.org.

Contact: Jelene Britten

Office: (312) 348-3997

Mobile: (312) 312-714-6660

jbritten@ounceofprevention.org

Contact: Chaunda Roseborough-Smith

Office: (312) 453-1947

Mobile: (773) 320-3719

croseboroughsmith@ounceofprevention.org

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Diana Rauner

https://profnet.prnewswire.com/Subscriber/ExpertProfile.aspx?ei=85840

SOURCE The Ounce of Prevention Fund

Gov. Quinn: Early Childhood Programs Vital to Illinois Economy