Pritzker Requests $30,000 per child for Preschool in FY25

State Representative Brad Halbrook questioned the Governor’s staff about the high cost of state-funded preschool and daycare at the Appropriations General Services Committee on Wednesday. Governor Pritzker plans to fund universal preschool by 2027.

 “I got the numbers from staff. In Illinois we spend over $900 million just on preschool which according to the Governor’s budget address services 82,000 children. That is an average cost of $11,609. Then, in his budget address, Gov. Pritzker said he wants an additional $150 million to provide 5,000 more children with preschool. Did anyone do the math on that?  It comes out to $30,000 per child – for preschool.”

New studies reveal that many of these early childhood education programs are not effective and, in some cases, may be detrimental. The Annenberg- Brown University study titled Why are Preschool Programs Becoming Less Effective? indicated problems with current preschool programs leading to less favorable academic trajectories in the early grades.

“We need to get this right for our children, parents, and taxpayers. Just throwing money at something is not the answer.  There was no discussion about the effectiveness of these taxpayer funded preschools, no specifics on where the programs are, how many hours and days the preschool operates, or what programs service children with special needs. Regardless, I don’t know of any preschool worth $30,000 per child.”

Early childhood funding details below: