This Issue: Gearing Up for 2018 Elections

Election Day may seem far away, but November 6th is quickly approaching! From candidate education to voter registration, there is a lot of work to be done in the next few months. Before the busy back-to-school season, we encourage you to start now: take advantage of summer engagement opportunities and plan ahead for the fall. To help get you thinking, this eAdvocate includes election information, resources, and examples of ways to engage children and families in the voting and elections process.

 

Review: Primary Election Results

In March 2018, the Illinois primary election determined the majority of candidates who will be on the ballot in November. Click here for a refresher on primary winners, and check out IAFC’s March eAdvocate for more general election information, including a list of offices up for election.


Preview: Changes in the Illinois General Assembly

This election will usher in many new elected officials, particularly in the General Assembly, and the early childhood field should be prepared for how changes could impact early childhood.

  • More than 30 current legislators are not seeking re-election, and the entire House of Representatives up for election. There will be a new legislator in at least 20% of the General Assembly seats, which could impact how the General Assembly prioritizes and invests in early childhood
  • Outcome of the Governor’s race could lead to state agency administrator and staff turnover. This could influence the state’s policies guiding implementation of services such as CCAP, PFA, etc.

What can early childhood professionals do?

It is important to talk to candidates about their support for early childhood and their commitment to children and families in our communities:

  • Reach out to the candidates running in your community and ask to meet with them
  • Invite candidates to tour your program so they can see the services available for children and the economic role early childhood plays in their district
  • Attend candidate campaign events to hear what issues they care about and ask about their commitment to early childhood

Do you want IAFC’s policy and advocacy team to join you or help schedule a visit? Contact us at advocacy@actforchildren.org.


Coming Soon: IAFC Election Education & Voter Registration Campaign

In the months leading up to Election Day (November 6), Illinois Action for Children will be doing election education and voter registration campaigns. We will release videos and helpful materials so you know what to expect on Election Day.

National Voter Registration Day is September 25th. We encourage all early childhood providers to host voter registration drive that day at their programs! Early childhood programs are a convenient location for parents to register to vote, and it’s a great opportunity to engage families in the democratic process and talk to them about the importance of electing officials who prioritize investments in early childhood services. Look for IAFC’s Voter Registration Toolkit, coming later this summer!


Did You Miss IAFC’s 2018 Legislative Recap Webinar?

Do you want to learn what’s new in Illinois early childhood policy? What policy changes are on the horizon? How did early childhood fare in the FY2019 state budget? Webinar participants heard about:

  • Early childhood legislation that passed the Illinois General Assembly this spring, including what it means for programs and next steps for implementation
  • • The state budget for FY2019 (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019) that has been signed into law, including early childhood funding levels and what it means for the field

If you couldn’t join us or want to access the webinar materials, you can find them here:


Rate Increases for Centers Effective July 1st

reportIncreases to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) reimbursement rate for child care centers went into effect on July 1st. This 4.26% increase is a huge victory for the field, as this is the first increase for centers in 6 years! No word yet on when rate increases will go into effect for home providers, but as always, IAFC will share updates as soon as more information becomes available.

 

Illinois Early Childhood Expulsion Policy

In 2017, Illinois passed Public Act 100-105, which prevents licensed child care centers, homes, and group homes, as well as programs receiving Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) funds, from expelling children 0-5 due to child behavior. Specific requirements and details on enforcement of this policy will be outlined in administrative rule.

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The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (OECD), and other state agencies have been working collaboratively to coordinate rulemaking and policy development, in order to ensure consistent implementation of the expulsion policy across programs and funding streams. The proposed rules are not yet published, but the state agencies expect to publish them in the near future. Once the proposed rules are posted, there will be a public comment period for stakeholders to weigh in on the proposed rules, and the state agencies may make changes before adopting the final rules. Stay tuned for updates on when the proposed rules have been posted and how to submit public comments.

In the meantime, check out these resources for more information on Illinois early childhood expulsion legislation: