The Illinois Policy Team at Start Early (formerly known as the Ounce) is proud to share our first-ever policy agenda! This new, three-year policy agenda represents Start Early’s policy priorities in Illinois through fiscal year 2023 and encompasses not only our advocacy efforts in Springfield, but the administrative policy and systems-building work we do with our public and private sector partners.
Our agenda demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that Illinois has an early childhood system that is designed, implemented and sustained in order to equitably provide a continuum of high-quality services to children from before birth through age 5.
To that end, we will be focused on five key priorities:
- Increasing investments in and strengthening the design and implementation of Illinois’ core early care and learning programs
- Strengthening the infrastructure of Illinois’ core early care and learning system
- Recruiting and retaining a representative, well-compensated and qualified workforce
- Improving the health, mental health and well-being of young children and their families
- Improving economic security for families with young children
Incorporated in this agenda are objectives that support the work of the Illinois Prenatal to Three Coalition, a collective effort to advance the Illinois Prenatal to Three (PN3) Policy Agenda. The comprehensive and multi-year PN3 Agenda was developed by a broad group of more than 100 diverse stakeholders with a goal to ensure that Illinois’ youngest children and their families, especially those furthest from opportunity, are on a trajectory for success. In partnership with the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, we are thrilled to continue leading efforts to forward the work of the Coalition. We are eager and excited to roll up our sleeves alongside so many partners and get to work for Illinois infants and toddlers! Learn more.
In addition to our three-year policy agenda, each winter we will unveil our one-year legislative agenda, which features our top priorities for the state’s General Assembly. Stay tuned for our 2021 Legislative Agenda in January. Until then, we invite you to read our Start Early Illinois Policy Agenda for Fiscal Years 2021-2023. To stay in touch and learn about new publications or updates on our agenda, please sign up for Illinois policy email alerts and follow Start Early’s Illinois Policy Team on Twitter (@EarlyEdIL).