cpzonthefloorSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas, the chair of the Senate Early Childhood Education Committee, is excited to announce that the Illinois Board of Higher Education has awarded $3.37 million in Early Childhood Faculty Preparation Grants. These grants will support working adults from diverse backgrounds and those who work with diverse populations working to join or continue their career in the early childhood workforce.

“If we want to make child care more accessible, we need to make the child care industry sustainable for members of its workforce — ensuring they do not take on large amounts of debt to pursue this career with low wages,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “These grants will support folks looking to further their career in this field by taking away financial barriers to success.”

By granting scholarships and other academic and holistic supports for 78 students to earn a master’s degree, the Early Childhood Faculty Preparation Grants are intended to expand the pool of providers and help diversify the faculty in early childhood education. Those who enroll in the programs are expected to graduate by the summer of 2024.

“We need more folks in our child care workforce, and we need the workforce to be made up of employees with diverse backgrounds and perspectives so children can receive the most full-rounded and inclusive education,” said Pacione-Zayas. “This plan will address both of these concerns, allowing our children to receive the high-quality child care they deserve.”

Grant amount by institution:

Illinois State University - $800,753

Lewis University - $358,390

National Louis University - $1,191,511

University of Illinois Chicago - $1,027,989

Category: Press Releases

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