ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – In order to ensure that young students have the educational support they need to succeed, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, helped pass legislation requiring public schools to institute full-day kindergarten over the next four years which was signed into law last week by Gov. JB Pritzker.

“When it comes to educating our children, it is important that we are setting them up for success from the very beginning of their time in school,” said Manley. “Kindergarten helps set the educational foundation for students to continue learning from, so it is critical that we are giving kids the time to learn the skills that will ensure they can achieve their short and long-term educational goals.”

According to a report from the National Education Association, full-day kindergarten is beneficial to student’s academic achievement and the development of their social and emotional skills. In order to ensure that students in Illinois are able to gain these benefits, Manley supported House Bill 2396, which requires public schools to transition to full-day kindergarten by the 2027-28 school year. The bill also allows for school districts to continue offering optional half-day kindergarten.

Supporting full-day kindergarten is just one way that Manley has worked to provide additional resources to students of all ages this year. She helped pass legislation creating the Start Smart initiative, which will expand access to affordable childcare and strengthens funding for early childhood education. Manley also fought for the state budget to help make college more affordable to Illinois residents, securing $100 million in new funding for grants that provide fiscal aid to Illinois students who attend an Illinois-based college or university.

“All of our students, regardless of the financial situation of their families, deserve to receive a quality education that will provide them with the foundation to succeed later in life,” said Manley. “While we have made progress towards strengthening our education system, there is still more to be done. I look forward to continuing to work to ensure that we are investing in our kids and putting them on a path to success both in the present and the future.”

Rep. Natalie ManleyRep. Natalie Manley


Assistant Majority Leader

98th District

Springfield Office:
300 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3316

District Office:
1050 W. Romeo Rd.
Suite 101
Romeoville, IL 60446
(815) 725-2741