ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — A bipartisan measure spearheaded by state Rep. Mary Beth Canty, D-Arlington Heights, that guarantees all-day kindergarten for all Illinois children was signed into law this afternoon.
“High-quality early childhood education can provide the foundation that our kids need to succeed in the following years in their school and working lives,” Canty said. “By guaranteeing that foundation for all kids, we are leveling the playing field and preparing every Illinois child for a competitive job market they’ll ultimately have to face. In addition to these benefits, working and single parents will get relief from the taxing burden of providing round-the-clock care for their kids when they may not be able to afford it.”
Currently, school districts may provide either half-day or full-day kindergarten. Canty’s House Bill 2396 provides a four-year period in which school districts must begin to offer full-day kindergarten. The law establishes the Full-Day Kindergarten Task Force to inform the planning and implementation of full-day kindergarten in the state. The law also allows struggling schools to apply for a two-year extension if they meet certain criteria.
It was passed with strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
“The measure that Governor Pritzker codified into law today is going to play a major role in building a stronger Illinois for current and future generations,” Canty said. “While this is not the end of the work we have to do to give all Illinois families the support they deserve, it is a promising step.”