We continue to be concerned about the lack of a State of Illinois Budget, which impacts early childhood education and families of these children. We are still working with less money due to this impasse. The following is re-printed in part from The Ounce Early Edition Winter 2017.
Illinois has gone 19 months without a state budget, as efforts stalled in the state senate on a bipartisan proposal to end the stalemate.
In the midst of this ongoing uncertainty, on February 15, Governor Rauner outlined his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year.
His FY2018 budget proposal included:
· $50 million increase to the Early Childhood Block Grant
· $151.3 million increase to the Child Care Assistance Program to restore eligibility to families earning up to 185% of the Federal Poverty Level and to families participating in non-TANF education and training activities
· Maintain home visiting services at $16.9 million
· $4 million increase to funding for Early Intervention
· $38 million increase to funding for educational supports for English learners to fully fund those payments to school districts
Despite these proposed increases, we know that for Illinois to truly support its most vulnerable children and families, the state must commit to a path toward sustaining its investments. That path includes raising enough revenue for the state to pay its bills and meaningfully make these investments.
Every day that passes costs Illinois money, makes the problem more difficult to solve and further harms programs that help young children and their families thrive. Home visiting programs continue to scale back and close down. Child care providers still cannot enroll many families left out because of the restricted eligibility, and Early Intervention providers wait months to receive payment for the services they’ve provided to babies and toddlers. Governor Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly must work together to put forth a budget that supports revenue to adequately fund critically important early childhood investments.
In the coming weeks, legislative committees will meet to review the governor’s proposal and hear from advocates. The Ounce of Prevention Fund and our partners will continue to advocate for a full-year, fully-funded budget and remind lawmakers of the mounting cost of inaction.
It is up to all of us to be advocates for our children.
The belief in “fadeout” (i.e., that benefits of early childhood education fade out as a child progresses through school), is a factor that can make obtaining financial support for early childhood education a challenge. Recently released research from Nobel Laureate James Heckman proves that “fadeout” does not occur. In fact, quality early childhood education – like that available at The Day Nursery – improves IQ and socio-emotional skills that provide profound benefits through adulthood. Read James Heckman’s rebuttal to claims of “fadeout” in the Washington Post.
Part of the article states: “In our recent work, we carefully study the effectiveness of a wide range of early childhood programs that received government funding, including Head Start. We find that all provide benefits and lasting effects to children who would have experienced lower quality care or have otherwise not received quality early childhood education.”
We continue to provide a curriculum in early childhood education that prepares each child for their future in learning.
Thank you for your continued support of The Day Nursery.
You have been there to support us, every step of the way.
Today, we need your help to be the voice for our young learners.
The state’s budget impasse is affecting us…all of us.
Without an adequate fully funded state budget, essential services are being impacted statewide, most of the programs and services involving our most vulnerable populations.
Closer to home…
The Day Nursery currently provides an Illinois State Board of Education Preschool for All program for 40 children who have been identified as at risk for school success through the Early Childhood Block Grant. This specific program has not received any of its allocated funds for the current fiscal year, amounting to almost $70,000.
Join The Day Nursery and The Ounce of Prevention in sending a very strong and clear message to those who have been chosen to represent all of us in IL.
Please use this link provided by The Ounce of Prevention to deliver a personal message to your legislators and Governor Rauner. (Please put your home address and zip code to locate your local representative)
The time has come to pass a reasonable and responsible budget.
For our children, for our families.
Their future depends on it.
An old picture of The Day Nursery. It speaks to the fact that we are 103 years old and still serving our communities of Oak Park, River Forest and even beyond. Each year we have a set number of children we can accept into our program. As you know our program covers the spectrum of family income and therefore can offer a sliding scale for the monthly fee.
This year The Day Nursery must raise $58,000.00 for financial support given to our enrolled families. Your contribution provides access to early detection and early interventions that ultimately unlock possibilities for all our young children.
In fact, “How Investing In Preschool Beats The Stock Market, Hands Down” is an article by NPR Ed about early childhood education. This is the link to that article which we ask that you read and share. One of the beginning paragraphs read: “What if the investment is in children, and the return on investment not only makes economic sense but results in richer, fuller, healthier lives for the entire family?”
We recently shared a blog post about Why I Give by Susan Murphy. It is people like Susan and you that does make a difference in why we do what we do.
In our year end letter November 8th, 2016 we asked our supporters for their help in reaching our goal. We hope you are one of them and donate now.
It is wonderful to have your support!
Today, we gather to give thanks for family, friends, those important around us, and… Especially you.
We are reminded of how a community can come together to make a difference in the lives of our children. Here is a reminder of how this happens when people care as they did to build a playground in a day.
Thank you for your continued support
From our table to yours,
The Staff, Board of Directors, Volunteers, Children and Families of The Day Nursery