ECEC Funding Equity Maps


The ECTT was charged to do more due diligence into the work and initial findings from the Funding Commission. Specifically, we need to better 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.

An ECEC Funding Equity Map is the primary mechanism by which the ECTT assesses our progress. The work will build upon the work established during The Funding Commission and the geographic distribution of funding to better assess the level of inequity in the system and the inadequate funding amounts for each service available for children aged 0-5.

Strategy in Action

Regional Councils

With this information, we can then leverage Regional Councils to use the data available to them to inform state policymakers as to the localized needs based on population.

For example, the state adopts a baseline funding formula established through the work of the ECTT, and the Funding Commission before it, to establish adequate levels of funding by the program. The regional Council then has the responsibility to use data to:

  • Establish the percentage of unmet needs (slot/gap analysis)
  • Determine, through authentic engagement, family preferences on types of care (community-based, school-based, family child care, half-day vs. full-day, etc)
  • Highlight needs by special populations (disability, ELL, extreme poverty, etc) and then make recommendations to the state for additional funding to ‘equalize’ funding to match their specific need, essentially layering funding on top of the state’s baseline.

The implementation of a regional infrastructure has long been the goal in Illinois as a way to ‘operationalize equity’ by authentically creating opportunities for local involvement and investment, and a vehicle by which local and/or regional needs find their way to inform policy and financing of ECEC.