Restructuring Funding


The ECTT 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.

The System in Illinois

The work to determine the adequacy and ascertain the level of inequity of the current ECEC system is foundational to right the wrong that state system inadvertently create. However, the ECTT emphasizes that states also need a mechanism by which funding is distributed that overrides the disjointed nature of the ‘system’.

Right now, in Illinois, the highest quality programs pay for their program by being savvy and leveraging more than one funding stream and ‘layer the per-child funding’ they have to run their program. This is completely legal and, in fact, is what has been standardized as a way to make up for inadequate funding in any one funding stream/program.

​​These are the currently existing funding streams that a community-based childcare program could possibly access. Agencies who administer any one of these programs have no view or knowledge of what other funds the program might also receive.

Foundational Investments

There is a growing interest by the Federal Health and Human Services as well as states in using contracts as a better mechanism by which to distribute funds to providers. Contracts take the burden off providers to layer funding from the state and federal governments in order to put enough funding together to provide a decent program.

Contracts shift the burden onto the government to coordinate the funding available for children 0-5 at the state level, align standards and requirements, and then fund the programs based on the ‘adequate’ amount per child. Every program might get to this number differently, but roughly every program serving similar populations will have the SAME amount of funding per child.