Our 2023 Accomplishments & 2024 Priorities
Reflecting on last year's wins and setting this year's goals
2023 was a big year for Illinois' infants, toddlers and expecting families. Over the course of this year we saw two major announcements from the Pritzker administration; the launch of the multi-year Smart Start initiative, which made historic early childhood investments, as well as the announcement of the creation of a new state agency governing early childhood. It's a galvanizing time to be in Illinois, and we look forward to using this momentum to drive even more change for our state's youngest.
Each year, our coalition sets the policy priorities which spearhead our collective work. Our 2023 wins were achieved through federal, state, and local budget advocacy, legislative advocacy, administrative and implementation advocacy, and public awareness and engagement. We're excited to share with you the successes we had in 2023, and look ahead to our priorities for 2024.
Highlights from our 2023 Accomplishments include:
- $38M in FY2024 for Illinois Dept of Public Health (IDPH) to improve access to care in safety-net hospitals
- Federal reauthorization and expansion of MIECHV
- $18.75M increase in FY2024 to fund and expand center-based infant-toddler care slots
- $40M increase in FY2024 to the IDHS Early Intervention program
- Implementation of Illinois First Steps program
- Continued administration of the ECACE scholarship program, awarding nearly 12.8M to 1,438 students in its first 18 months
- Extension of the temporary rule permitting families to qualify for CCAP
Building on last year's wins, we've set our policy priorities for 2024 across four policy-specific goals and eight interconnected strategies.
Highlights from our 2024 Priorities include:
- Increase public understanding of home visiting and its benefits
- Inform implementation of Medicaid coverage for postpartum care services
- $75M increase in FY 2025 to the Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG)
- Increase Early Intervention participation rates for children under age 1 and children who meet automatic eligibility criteria
- Passage of statewide paid family and medical leave insurance program
- Uplift the Birth to Five Illinois Early Childhood Regional Needs Assessments
We encourage you to join us in advancing new and refreshed priorities, amplifying efforts and sharing information about our collective work. Get involved today to join the Raising Illinois coalition and be a part of our robust and diverse advocacy efforts!