Preschool for All Children
In May 2006, the Illinois General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1497, House Amendment 3. This bill amends the Illinois School Code to establish the Preschool for All Children program and funds the program beginning in July 2006. The purpose of the program is to provide educational services to all 3- to 5-year-old children whose families choose to participate.
The Preschool for All Children program expands funding available under the Prekindergarten Program for Children at Risk of Academic Failure. In awarding grants under the Preschool for All Children program, the Illinois State Board of Education will give first priority to applicants that primarily serve children at risk of academic failure; and second priority to applicants that primarily serve children whose family income is less than four times the poverty guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Preschool for All Children program has seven required components:
Applications must provide a description of the services to be used to screen all children and their families to determine their need for services.
- Educational program
Preschool for All Children initiatives must offer an appropriate education program for children who participate. The education program that is established must meet requirements that include (among others):
- curriculum aligned with Illinois Early Learning Standards
- staff-child ratio for each classroom must not exceed 1 adult for 10 children, and no more than 20 children can be served in a single classroom
- Parent education and involvement
Programs must provide parent education and involvement in each of five areas.
- Community collaboration
Collaborative partnerships that combine high-quality education and care for preschool children will be given extra consideration in the approval process.
- Staff requirements
All staff providing instruction to preschool children must hold either an Initial or Standard Early Childhood Certificate (formerly Type 02 and Type 04 Early Childhood Certificates).
- Professional development
Staff development needs must be assessed and appropriate ongoing professional development activities provided.
A plan for evaluating program and staff must be in place.
For more information...
- Illinois State Board of Education Preschool for All Children page.