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New Early Childhood Agency Transition 

Illinois strives to be the best state in the nation to raise a family. To do this, we must make early childhood education and care services simplerbetter, and fairer for families with young children. 

The majority of early childhood services for babies, toddlers and young children are split among three state agencies - the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). 

A new state agency, the Department of Early Childhood will unite the majority of early childhood services into one place, making it easier for families to access critical services for stronger coordination between the various early childhood programs and services provided by the state.

Reducing complexity will advance equity for families with young children through:

  • better coordinated programs,
  • more equitable allocated resources,
  • less bureaucracy for providers to navigate, and
  • greater access to services for families with young children.

This multi-year process was launched with Governor Pritzker signing Executive Order 2023-09 in October 2023. Next steps include working with the General Assembly on legislation in the spring of 2024 and, deep and ongoing stakeholder engagement that, centers the voices of parents and families.