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Pritzker Celebrates Childcare in Quad Cities

Office of the Governor

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker visited the Aldridge Early Learning Center in East Moline Tuesday morning.

He discussed Smart Start, a statewide plan rolled out last year to increase the number of childcare workers and make childcare more affordable.

"Over 4,200 childcare programs statewide have recieved more than $147 million in Smart Start funding, benefiting 30,000 childcare workers and 166,000 children."

The program includes building 5,000 new preschools in the state plus grant funding to help kids attend preschool.

Pritzker says he wants Illinois to be number one in the nation for education. To get there, he says there are three parts.

"One is we need to keep moving forward with Smart Start Illinois. Second is, we have this evidence based funding model, it allows us to fund the districts that have been so underfunded for so many years. Third, big one, is higher education."

Pritzker says childcare providers in the Quad Cities area have received $1 million in in Smart Start funding last year.