SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – More families will have the option of sending their children to a full-day kindergarten program under a measure supported by state Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur.
“As an educator, I have seen firsthand the impact that disinvestment in a child’s early education can have down the line,” said Scherer. “A student’s earliest years are absolutely critical. I believe that we should do everything we can to make sure our students are prepared to lead successful lives after leaving school, whether they enter the workforce, vocational training, college or the armed forces.”
House Bill 2396, which passed out of both chambers of the General Assembly with strong bipartisan support in May, was recently signed into law by Gov. Pritzker. The law will require all public-school districts across Illinois to offer all-day kindergarten by the 2027-2028 school year. Parents will still have the option to send their children to half-day programs, and struggling school districts will have additional time to comply with the statute. The measure seeks to address disparities in early education and access to childcare through the expansion of full-day kindergarten programs throughout the state.
“Nearly 20 percent of our schools currently don’t offer full-day kindergarten, and that’s unacceptable. That’s 20 percent of our kids who are being shortchanged and worse prepared than their peers,” said Scherer. “I am proud to have helped make this law a reality, and bring quality education to all of Illinois’ children regardless of where they live.”