The FY23 state budget (Public Act 102-698) makes new investments in several early childhood programs:
$54.4 million (10.0% increase) in additional state funding for preschool, evidence-based home visiting services, and center-based infant-toddler programs funded by the Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
$7.0 million (6.4% increase) in additional state funding for the Early Intervention program, fully restoring the FY22 funding cut.
$1.0 million (6.0% increase) in additional state funding for the Illinois Department of Human Services’ evidence-based home visiting programs, the first funding increase in nearly 20 years.
$2.0 million appropriation to IDHS for deposit into the newly-created Off-Hours Child Care Program Fund.
$2.5 million appropriation to the Office of State Treasurer to fund the recently created Children’s Savings Account Program, which opens long-term savings or investment accounts for a child at birth.
HB4242 is a bill aimed to better connect families involved in the child welfare system to early care and education programs, does the following:
Extends automatic eligibility to EI for infants and toddlers in the child welfare system
Extends automatic eligibility to the CCAP program for parenting youth in care and families on the DCFS Extend Family Support Program
Requires DCFS to pay child care providers the same reimbursement rates IDHS pays its providers
HB4999 is a bill that codifies into state law the timeline (30 days) by which services for families in the EI program must be initiated after a service plan has been approved.
HB1571 is a bill that creates the Off-Hours Child Care Program at IDHS to identify and access off-hours child care for first responders and other workers whom, on account of their work schedule, need child care outside of the hours when licensed facilities typically operate.
SB157 is now Public Act 102-700, a bill that, among other things, expands the Earned Income Tax Credit benefit for all filers; extends eligibility to the EITC for those aged 18-25, those above 65, and ITIN filers; and provides a one-time child tax credit.
Bills to create a statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program were introduced in both chambers. There is hope to move these bills more aggressively in 2023, following fall 2022 elections.