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Early Childhood Funding at the Community Level: A Case Study from Illinois

By David Lloyd and Larry Joseph

Abstract

The Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) distributes state funding for preschool and birth-to-three programs in Illinois. The authors conducted a case study in Evanston, a city in north Cook County, Illinois, interviewing community representatives and analyzing ECBG program data to discern how ECBG funds are used to provide early childhood services. Evanston’s community infrastructure for early care and education encompasses its elementary school district, community service providers, various collaborative initiatives, and an active community foundation. These organizations use multiple funding streams from the ECBG and a variety of other sources. This practice, although it can enhance their ability to serve young children and their families, can also contribute financial instability for community-based providers, as well as discontinuity in services. The authors found that the state’s fiscal crisis and related budget cuts have resulted in fewer children served in Evanston, in part because of long delays in ECBG payments. Suggestions are offered for future research and for building a community-focused knowledge base that would support community-level and statewide advocacy for public investment in early care and education.

Citation: David Lloyd &  Larry Joseph. “Early Childhood Funding at the Community Level: A Case Study from Illinois,” 15 Early Childhood Research & Practice 2 (2013).

Read the full article online in the journal of Early Childhood Research & Practice.

The full article is also available in Spanish.

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