040422HAO00359CHICAGO — State Senator Patricia Van Pelt announced that the University of Chicago will receive a $1 million Early Childhood Faculty Preparation Grant to increase the state’s early childhood providers and faculty diversity in the field.

“Providing early childhood faculty workers with more applicable resources and tools allows our community to become stronger and our children to have a better chance at success,” said Van Pelt (D-Chicago). “This funding will us to provide students seeking to enter the early childhood workforce to have more opportunities to do so.”

The Illinois Board of Higher Education awarded $3.37 million in Early Childhood Faculty Preparation grants to four universities, including $1,027,989 to the University of Chicago. This funding is designed to implement programs of study for working adults from diverse backgrounds and those who work with diverse populations interested in becoming early childhood faculty. The grants will fund scholarships and other academic and holistic supports for 78 students to earn master’s degrees.

“This funding allows us to provide a diversified education curriculum and faculty that can meet the needs of all students from an early age,” said Van Pelt. “We owe it to our youth to enrich their early childhood experience while making sure educators feel secure in doing their jobs at the highest level.”

The Early Childhood Faculty Preparation Grants are a part of the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity initiative, a key strategy in A Thriving Illinois, the state’s strategic plan for higher education. Those who enroll in the programs are expected to graduate by the summer of 2024.


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