About the Early Childhood Transformation Team
In December 2019, the Governor appointed the Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding to study and make recommendations to establish funding goals and funding mechanisms to provide equitable access to high-quality early childhood education and care services for all children birth to age five. The Commission’s report uncovered what families and providers already know to be true: the system is too complex, inequitable, and unstable to adequately meet the needs of children, families, and the providers who care for and educate our state’s youngest learners. To act on the commission’s recommendations, the Governor created an Early Childhood Transformation Team (ECTT) to find the best path forward for Illinois, in partnership with the Governer’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) state agencies and key stakeholders. The work of the ECTT supported ECEC Funding Systems in Illinois to be “simpler, better, and fairer,” ensuring families with children ages birth to five could equitably access the early education and care young learners need to succeed.
For policymakers to address Illinois’s inequities and insufficiencies in ECEC, the state needed an articulated funding goal, a long-term, unified planning and policy infrastructure, and the development of an inextricably linked funding and accountability system. The ECCT:
- Worked to understand how the state currently funds early childhood education and care services, how that investment measures up to the current, actual cost of care, and then how that ultimately compares to the cost of the high-quality, accessible, and affordable care system the state has prioritized.
- Developed new approaches to funding ECEC services that ensured programs would be adequately and stably funded and worked to take the burden off of parents and providers by creating simpler and fairer funding mechanisms while maximizing public investments.
- Connected learning, program, and workforce standards to infrastructure, funding, and governance systems—across funding streams—to build equitable and effective ECEC systems at the state and local level and work with agency and program staff to inform the design of data systems to drive policy and build-in accountability metrics around equity and adequacy.