Illinois launches rural child care quality improvement program

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Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 1:35 PM CDT
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CHICAGO, Ill. (KFVS) - The Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) announced on March 19 that they will launch a new pilot problem to help rural child care meet the state’s quality of care standards.

Thirty-five centers in rural counties will receive $3.8 million in funding per year for staffing for the next three years.

The following centers are participating in the pilot:

  • Amity Learning Center, Freeport
  • Bright Beginning Learning Day Care Center, LLC, Harrisburg
  • Bright Start Child and Family Education Center, Mt. Vernon
  • Buckeroo Early Education Center, Inc., Flora
  • Bumblebee Child Care Center & Pre-K, Mt. Vernon
  • Centralia’s Mary’s House, Centralia
  • Decatur Day Care, Decatur
  • D’s Day Care, Breese
  • Educational Child Care Center, Jacksonville
  • Kiddie Kollege Early Childhood Center, Fairfield
  • Kids Corral, Frankford
  • Kids Day Out, Murphysboro
  • Knox County YMCA Early Learning Center, Galesburg
  • Little Angels Learning Center, Harrisburg
  • Malone’s Early Learning Center, Inc., Carterville
  • Murry’s Child Development Center, DeSoto
  • Prairieland Kids Daycare and Learning Center, Inc., Morris
  • Presbyterian Church Day Care Center, Jacksonville
  • Primrose Academy, Sandoval
  • Rainbow Day Care Center, Inc., Eldorado
  • RBC Early Education, LLC dba KidZone, Olney
  • Robin’s Nest, Carbondale
  • Robin’s Nest, Carterville
  • Robin’s Nest, Marion
  • Step by Step, Aquarius in Ottawa
  • Step by Step, Diamond
  • Step by Step, McKinley in Ottawa
  • Step by Step, Morris
  • Stepping Stones Children’s Center II, LLC, Charleston
  • Stepping Stones Children’s Center II, LLC, Mattoon
  • Sunny Days Child Care & Learning Center, Vandalia
  • The Learning Zone, Mattoon
  • The Little School House, LLC, Mattoon
  • We Care Center, Macomb
  • Yellow Brick Road Learning Adventure, Marion

“Child care investments not only nurture our youngest residents, but also allow working parents to embrace their full potential,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’m proud that Illinois has been the best in the nation during this pandemic in supporting child care providers and the children they serve. This important pilot program strengthens our ongoing efforts to improve equity in every corner of our state, bringing new resources to regions where families have historically had less easy access to quality child care. The truest measure of our pandemic recovery will be the opportunities and support we offer our working families, and Illinois will leave no community behind as we build the future our residents deserve.”

This program is different from others because it does not only apply to centers already fulfilling the state’s standards. This program was created to help centers who do not already meet the ExceleRate Illinois’ standards for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI).

“Childcare providers frequently operate with limited or scarce resources and when the pandemic hit, the consequences on the childcare industry were devastating,” said State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg). “The pandemic only reinforced the fact that childcare centers are critical to working families. This program will give facilities and workers in Southern Illinois some much needed financial assistance to help them recover and continue to provide the critical service they do to our communities.”

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