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2    WHEREAS, The first years of a child's life are the period
3of the most rapid brain development and lay the foundation for
4all future learning; children's cognitive, physical, social
5and emotional, and language and literacy development are built
6on the foundation of positive interactions with adults, peers,
7and their environment; and
8    WHEREAS, There are 916,880 children birth through age five
9in our State, 19% of whom live in families with incomes at or
10below 100% Federal Poverty Level; and
11    WHEREAS, In Illinois, 69% of children have all available
12parents in the workforce; and
13    WHEREAS, High-quality early childhood programs provide
14important benefits to children, families, and our state and
15national economies; and
16    WHEREAS, High-quality early care and education can help
17ameliorate the effects of poverty, detect and remediate
18delays, identify and help prevent child neglect, and lead to
19positive outcomes for individual children, helping them be
20better prepared for school and more likely to succeed in life;



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1    WHEREAS, Participation in high–quality early childhood
2education saves taxpayer dollars, makes working families more
3economically secure, and prepares children to succeed in
4school, earn higher wages, and live healthier lives; and
5    WHEREAS, Many early childhood educators do not have
6equitable, affordable access to needed early childhood
7education credentials and degrees; in Illinois, 70% of
8licensed early childhood educators have earned degrees; and
9    WHEREAS, Tuition from fee–paying parents and subsidy rates
10for families with low incomes are typically insufficient to
11afford consistent early childhood education with
12highly–qualified early childhood educators and low
13child–to–early educator ratios that ensure the health and
14safety of children; and
15    WHEREAS, Payment rates provided to early childhood
16educators to provide high–quality early care and education
17services to low–income children do not cover the costs of
18quality; and
19    WHEREAS, The lack of sufficient public investment in the
20face of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced child care programs,
21educators, and families into a series of impossible choices



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1with devastating consequences; and
2    WHEREAS, The essential yet chronically undervalued child
3care sector has sacrificed and struggled to serve children and
4families since the start of the COVID pandemic; therefore, be
7ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we declare April 1-7,
82023 as the Week of the Young Child and April 30, 2023 as El
9Dia Del Niño (Children's Day) in the State of Illinois; and be
10it further
11    RESOLVED, That we recognize the complex, valuable,
12essential, and demanding work of early childhood educators and
13recognize that when our society invests in educators, we also
14invest in children and families; and be it further
15    RESOLVED, That we urge all communities to support efforts
16that increase access to high–quality early childhood education
17for all children and families.