The Carole Robertson Center for Learning celebrates the landmark signing of Senate Bill 1 (SB1), which authorizes the Department of Early Childhood Act. This transformative legislation consolidates early childhood services under one unified state agency and heralds a new era of investment in Illinois’ youngest learners.

As an early childhood education provider, the Center is grateful to members of the Illinois Senate, Illinois House of Representatives, and Governor Pritzker for recognizing the value and stability that early learning and care bring to communities, and we commend the steadfast support of SB1.

Our commitment to the children and families we serve is anchored in the belief that high-quality early learning is a public good. However, for too long, families and providers have spent precious time and resources navigating a complex bureaucracy that often causes confusion and gaps in service delivery.

The Department of Early Childhood is the first step in reimagining a more streamlined early learning and care system to ensure that every young child has access to the program that best fits their needs.

An integral component of this transformation is meaningful stakeholder engagement. Leading one of those efforts is Carole Robertson Center President & CEO Bela Moté. Bela serves as Chair of the Early Childhood Education and Care Transition Advisory Committee (TAC), a diverse group of early learning providers, community-based organizations, and families.

Their expertise, lived experiences, and continued championship will help shape the way for a simpler, better, and fairer early childhood system. In the months ahead, the TAC, in partnership with the State Transition Director and many others, will work together to release a report in December 2025 that summarizes stakeholder input and recommendations on how to continue centering families and provides within the new early childhood agency.

As we celebrate this milestone, we recommit to the ideals of equity, access, and quality in early childhood education. We look forward to working alongside other families, providers, advocates, funders, and state partners in the months ahead!

Publication Date: June 25, 2024

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Since 1976, the Carole Robertson Center for Learning has been dedicated to educating, enriching, and empowering children and families through comprehensive child and family development programs.