Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed Smart Start program would allow an additional 5,000 kids to go to preschool next year, eventually adding a total of 20,000 slots. The plan would also add money to increase wages for early education providers.
As child care centers and schools closed at the height of the pandemic, parents were left balancing work and caretaking responsibilities while also navigating economic uncertainty. But as child care centers reopen, some families appear slow to enroll their children.