For Immediate Release
August 1, 2003
State Board of Education Announces Early Childhood Block
The Illinois State Board of Education today announced
the names of the more than 100 organizations and centers
receiving a total of nearly $30 million in new grant funds.
The grants were awarded to 130 child care centers, community-
based organizations, social services agencies, and education
entities including local school districts, regional offices
of education and two and four-year colleges and universities
across the state.
These programs provide children with opportunities
to jumpstart their learning experiences, State Superintendent
of Education Robert Schiller said. The grant money
funds educational programs for students and parents which
is a critical element in establishing lifelong learning.
The Early Childhood Block Grant is a competitive grant
program that combines three early childhood initiatives,
the Pre-kindergarten Program for Children at Risk of Academic
Failure, Parent Training, and the Prevention Initiative.
Funds from the grant are used to emphasize the relationship
among early childhood education, parent education and
involvement, and future success in school.
The 130 programs will be funded for the 2003-04 school
year. This is in addition to the 476 programs currently
funded with Early Childhood Block Grant funds of $184
million. The General Assembly, and Gov. Blagojevich recently
signed, the appropriation of $30 million in new funds
aimed at helping an additional 8,000 at-risk three- and
four-year-olds currently on a waiting list for pre-school
programs. The increase is the first step in a three-year
plan to make preschool available to every one of the approximately
25,000 three and four year-olds in Illinois who are at
risk of falling behind when they enter school.
Eligible applicants include public school districts,
university laboratory schools, charter schools, area vocational
centers, and other entities such as child care providers
and community-based organizations.
The Early Childhood Block Grant Recipients List can be
accessed at http://www.isbe.net/news/2003/ec_block_grant_recipient.pdf.