Established in 2009 and renewed in 2019, the Illinois Early Childhood Construction Grant (ECCG) Program is a state-sponsored initiative to invest in quality early childhood education facilities. In July 2022, Governor J.B. Pritzker committed $60 million in capital grants for early education providers through this program. The funding supports the construction, expansion, and renovation of facilities for early learning for children from birth to age five. Centers that plan to increase their capacity to provide care and education for children in underserved communities are eligible for up to $10 million under the Early Childhood Construction Grant. The centers must contribute from 3% to 10% of the cost. The ECCG Program is administered by the Capital Development Board (CDB), an independent state agency that oversees construction of state facilities and other public purpose capital projects. Grant funds must be used for non-recurring durable improvements, such as adding onto an existing building, new construction of a facility or renovations to an existing facility to create a new early childhood center, acquisition of a facility, purchase or replacement of equipment, safety improvements, and classroom conversions.
IFF. (2022). Frequently Asked Questions: Illinois Early Childhood Construction Grant Program.
Illinois Capital Development Board. (2022). Governor Pritzker Announces $60 Million Competitive Grant Program for Early Childhood Construction in Illinois.
Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:
Learn More about ELS@H Findings
High-quality, affordable early education and care supports children’s healthy development and allows families to work, engage in their own educational pursuits, and/or participate in other aspects of community life. To support children and families in these instrumental ways, research suggests there is a need to expand the availability of early education opportunities across the mixed-delivery system.
Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:
- Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
- But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.