twitter disc-downloads disc-email disc-links disc-phone arrow facebook faces invest-in-us email

Chicago, IL

In 2013, Chicago Public Schools and the City of Chicago’s Department of Family Supports and Services came together to launch Chicago: Ready to Learn!, an initiative that expands early learning opportunities across Chicago. This initiative serves children in Early Head Start, the IL Prevention Initiative, Head Start, and Preschool for All. The city recently committed to a new investment of $36 million over three years, beginning with $10 million in the 2013-2014 school year, to increase access to early learning programs and raise the quality of existing programs, reaching 5,000 additional children who were not previously served. Those investments have resulted in over 2,300 additional children being served this school year. In addition, the city is investing in raising the quality of existing early learning services through efforts focused on intensive parent engagement, teacher preparation and development, nursing and health services, and community partnerships. The city has ensured that early learning services across Chicago are aligned and form a strong continuum of experiences for young children and their families, starting with home visiting and infant/toddler programs, full-day preschool, and full-day kindergarten. The Chicago: Ready to Learn! program is free of charge for income-eligible families, children with special needs, and children in temporary living circumstances. Fees for other children depend on family income level. The city has partnered with Goldman Sachs, the Northern Trust financial services firm, and the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation to reach additional children through $17 million in private investments and the use of innovative financial tools, including social impact bonds, that leverage the city’s investment.