Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces his intention to create a new state agency to oversee early childhood education programs, combining functions currently managed by three state agencies. (Andrew Adams / Capitol News Illinois)

New entity would coordinate child care, preschool, early interventions

Vowing to make Illinois the top state in the nation for child care accessibility, Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled a plan to consolidate all the state’s early childhood programs and funding into one new state agency. Currently, early childhood services are spread across three agencies.

Milk and Moon Lactation Counseling LLC in Spring Valley, Ill., is a milk depot and donor milk dispensary in partnership with the Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. (Courtesy of Milk and Moon Lactation Counseling)

Demand for donor breast milk has been growing as the country continues to recover from last year’s infant formula shortage that left many store shelves empty following a host of supply chain issues and product recalls.

Maryville Academy started nearly 133 years ago as an orphanage, but as a result of major cuts in funding, the agency announced it will no longer house children. We speak with Maryville's executive director about the changes and organization's new direction.