Duckworth, Durbin announce funding to help kids prepare for kindergarten after recent study

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U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced $62,694,857 in federal funding Thursday to help children in Illinois access Head Start and Early Head Start programs in central Illinois, northwest Illinois and the Chicago area.

The announcement comes after a recent Illinois Board of Education study that shows only 24 percent of Illinois kindergarten students were rated as prepared in all development areas for kindergarten, while 42 percent were not ready in any development area.

The following Central Illinois providers will receive funding for Head Start programs:

·         Tazewell-Woodford Head Start (East Peoria): $1,516,095

·         Parent & Child Together for West Central Illinois (Mt. Sterling, IL): $3,759,836

·         Peoria Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity, Inc. (Peoria, IL): $4,096,534

This funding comes from the Administration for Children and Families, that works to promote the social and economic well-being of children and families.  

“I’m proud to support programs like Head Start that give children in Illinois a fairer shot at reaching their full potential,” Duckworth said. “When we invest in childhood education and parental support services, we help provide children with the tools they need to succeed both in and outside of the classroom. With less than a quarter of Illinois children fully prepared to enter kindergarten, it is critical that we support these programs.”

“Head Start is a crucial program that helps lay the educational foundation for Illinois students to have an equal opportunity to succeed in school, starting with early education,” Durbin said. “I am proud to support such a great investment in the future of Illinois students.”

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