Governor JB Pritzker has awarded the Illinois Board of Higher Education $1.3 million in grants to strengthen the early childhood education workforce. The funding comes from a $13.4 million grant to Illinois from the federal Preschool Development Birth to Five Renewal Grant program.
Funds will be used by colleges and universities to help early childhood educators attain a credential or degree. IBHE is currently trying to help fill the void in Early Childhood Educators across the state by providing multiple supports and cohorts in the credentialing and education process. According to the Illinois Career Information System and Illinois Department of Employment Security, the need for well-prepared teachers is expected to grow by nearly 10 percent in the next six years.
IBHE is now looking for proposals from Illinois community colleges and four-year institutions that plan to support groups of early childhood educators in the next academic year as they pursue an Illinois Gateways credential or degree. For more information about how to apply for the grant, go to ibhe.org.