SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced 142 public school-based early childhood sites that received the Gold Circle of Quality in fiscal year 2019 through ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s system for supporting continuous improvement among early learning providers.
Illinois has made historic investments in early childhood services, increasing appropriations for the Early Childhood Block Grant, which serves children from birth to age 5, by $50 million for a total of $543.7 million in FY 2020.
“Early childhood education is the foundation for our children’s future, and these outstanding early learning providers are the gold standard,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “With a record $50 million increase in the Early Childhood Block Grant and $100 million to build and repair child care centers and pre-schools, we’re making real strides to make Illinois a national leader in early childhood education and improve outcomes for thousands of children. I’ve been committed to improving early childhood education for decades, because every child deserves high-quality care from their youngest days.”
“High-quality early childhood services prepare students for success throughout their educational careers,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “Schools across the state are improving the quality of their early childhood programs thanks to increased funding and support. ISBE congratulates all of these sites on their dedication to supporting our youngest learners.”
Gold Circle programs have met the highest standards for quality in three areas: learning environment and teaching, administration, and training and education. Gold Circle programs are actively engaged in continuous quality improvement.