HB1822 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  


102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2021 and 2022
HB1822

Introduced 2/17/2021, by Rep. William Davis

SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
New Act

Creates the Early Childhood Program Eligibility Screening Act. Establishes the Early Childhood Program Eligibility Screening Program to coordinate the enrollment of children into early childhood programs that receive 90% or more of their funding through federal and State funds and that provide services to children from birth to 5 years of age. Sets forth requirements for the program. Provides that the program shall be implemented and administered by the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development, which shall act in cooperation with other programs serving young children in the community. Requires the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development to develop a Universal Early Childhood Program Application. Provides that each early childhood program in a community that receives 90% or more of its funding through federal and State funds and that provides services to children from birth to 5 years of age shall use the application to determine a family's eligibility for any and all of the community's early childhood programs. Sets forth what must be included on the application. Contains provisions concerning enrollment and placement. Provides for rulemaking.


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FISCAL NOTE ACT MAY APPLY
STATE MANDATES ACT MAY REQUIRE REIMBURSEMENT

A BILL FOR

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1 AN ACT concerning children.
2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4 Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Early
5Childhood Program Eligibility Screening Act.
6 Section 5. Definitions. In this Act:
7 "Blended classroom" means a classroom that is operated
8under a program that gives the provider the option to operate
9classrooms that are shared by a Head Start program and an early
10childhood program in which children enrolled in the program
11are financially supported through several funding sources and
12agencies. Classrooms may be partially blended in which one or
13more classrooms are blended at one or more program locations
14but not all classrooms are blended, or classrooms may be fully
15blended in which every classroom is offered by a Head Start
16program and receives 90% of its funding from State or federal
17sources. However, other sources such as Title I and private
18tuition may also be used to support the enrollment of
19children.
20 "Classroom", with respect to a Head Start program, means a
21group of children who are supervised and taught by 2 paid staff
22members, both of whom are teachers or one of whom is a teacher
23and one of whom is a teacher's aide, and, if possible, a

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1volunteer.
2 "Communication" means a discussion by an early childhood
3program provider with the parents or guardians of all eligible
4participants in the program that must describe the program to
5the parents or guardians to ensure that the parents or
6guardians are made aware of and are informed about the program
7and their right to participate in the program.
8 "Full utilization" means an Early Head Start program's
9funded enrollment numbers for children from birth to 3 years
10of age are met or exceeded or a Head Start program's funded
11enrollment numbers for children 3 or 4 years of age are met or
12exceeded per federal requirements, whichever is applicable.
13 "Funded enrollment" means the number of participants that
14a Head Start or Early Head Start grantee is to serve as
15indicated on its federal grant award.
16 "Head Start or Early Head Start program" means a program
17that provides services to children and their families who live
18in extreme poverty, as set by guidelines established by the
19federal government that are tied to the poverty guidelines
20updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S.
21Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of
2242 U.S.C. 9902(2), or to children who are homeless or in foster
23care; provides the skills those children need to be successful
24in school and life; promotes the school readiness of those
25children by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional
26development in a learning environment that supports children's

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1growth in language, literacy, mathematics, science, social and
2emotional functioning, the creative arts, and physical skills;
3provides approaches to learning to low-income children and
4their families; and provides health, educational, nutritional,
5social, and other services that are determined based on a
6family needs assessment.
7 "Head Start or Early Head Start program eligibility" means
8that families who live in extreme poverty, as determined by
9the poverty guidelines updated periodically in the Federal
10Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
11under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2), families who are
12homeless, children in foster care, and children from families
13who receive public assistance from this State's Temporary
14Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program or from
15Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are eligible regardless of
16income.
17 "Scientifically valid research" includes applied research,
18basic research, and field-initiated research in which the
19rationale, design, and interpretation are soundly developed in
20accordance with the principles of scientific research.
21 "Universal Early Childhood Program Application" means an
22application form for services that is required to be utilized
23by each early childhood program in this State that receives
2490% or more of its funding through federal and State funds and
25that provides services to children from birth to 5 years of
26age.

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1 Section 10. Findings.
2 (a) Every young child and family has the right to
3equitable learning opportunities that help them achieve their
4full potential as engaged learners and valued members of
5society regardless of race, ethnicity, and social
6circumstances. Early childhood programs, including Head Start
7and Early Head Start programs, provide essential support,
8structure, and opportunities for young children and blended
9classroom structures that provide support, encourage learning,
10and promote a healthy child.
11 (b) Head Start and Early Head Start programs:
12 (1) provide support for the whole child by promoting
13 school readiness and actively ensuring each child is
14 healthy, including nutrition, oral health, and mental
15 health, and is ready to learn;
16 (2) provide comprehensive health, educational,
17 nutritional, social, and other services needed to aid
18 participating children in attaining their full potential
19 and to prepare children to succeed in school;
20 (3) attract and retain qualified staff who are capable
21 of delivering and implementing a high-quality and
22 comprehensive program, including the ability to carry out
23 a research-based curriculum aligned with State early
24 learning standards;
25 (4) have child-to-teacher ratios, group size, and

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1 family service worker caseloads that reflect best
2 practices and are tied to high-quality service delivery;
3 (5) are based on scientifically valid research,
4 including:
5 (A) curricula that are based on scientifically
6 valid research, are developmentally appropriate, and
7 promote the school readiness of children participating
8 in the program involved; and
9 (B) teaching practices that are based, as
10 appropriate, on scientifically valid research, that
11 are developmentally appropriate, and that promote the
12 school readiness of children participating in the
13 programs.
14 (6) maintain strong fiscal controls and cost-effective
15 fiscal management;
16 (7) coordinate and collaborate with other public or
17 private entities providing early childhood education and
18 developmental programs and services for young children in
19 the community;
20 (8) coordinate with public and private entities that
21 are willing to commit resources to assist the programs in
22 meeting their program needs;
23 (9) facilitate the involvement of parents,
24 grandparents, and kinship caregivers, as appropriate, of
25 children participating in the programs and in activities
26 at home and, if practicable, at the location of the

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1 programs, which is designed to help such persons become
2 full partners in the education of their children;
3 (10) provide an opportunity for parents to participate
4 in the development and overall conduct of the programs at
5 the local level;
6 (11) provide parenting-skills training;
7 (12) perform a family needs assessment with respect to
8 each participating family that includes consultation with
9 parents, foster parents, grandparents, and kinship
10 caregivers, as applicable, in a manner and language that
11 such persons can understand, to the extent practicable,
12 about the benefits of parental involvement;
13 (13) meet the diverse needs of the population served,
14 including, but not limited to:
15 (A) meeting the needs of limited
16 English-proficient children and their families by
17 implementing procedures to identify such children,
18 implementing plans to provide trained personnel, and
19 implementing plans to provide services to assist these
20 children in making progress toward the acquisition of
21 the English language, while making meaningful progress
22 in attaining knowledge, skills, abilities, and
23 development; and
24 (B) meeting the needs of children with
25 disabilities by implementing procedures to identify
26 such children and implementing procedures for referral

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1 of these children for evaluation to State or local
2 agencies providing services and plans for
3 collaboration with those State or local agencies;
4 (14) reserve a percentage of their funding, as
5 required and set by federal guidelines, for the enrollment
6 of children with disabilities; and
7 (15) meet the needs of homeless children, including
8 their transportation needs, and the needs of children in
9 foster care.
10 (c) Blended classrooms in early childhood programs share
11all of the following characteristics:
12 (1) Costs are shared in that costs are prorated from
13 each funding source.
14 (2) Separate audit trails are maintained for each
15 funding source.
16 (3) A classroom must meet the operating requirements
17 of all funding sources. If classroom standards are not
18 comparable or the same between 2 or more classrooms, the
19 most stringent standard applies.
20 (4) Children receive all services for which they are
21 eligible.
22 (5) Wrap-around services provide before-school and
23 after-school child care that is coordinated with child
24 care providers and family resource centers.
25 (6) Head Start and Early Head Start programs
26 coordinate with medical, health, mental health, and social

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1 service agencies to meet the comprehensive needs of
2 children and families.
3 Section 15. Early Childhood Program Eligibility Screening
4Program.
5 (a) The Early Childhood Program Eligibility Screening
6Program is created to coordinate the enrollment of children
7into early childhood programs that receive 90% or more of
8their funding through federal and State funds and that provide
9services to children from birth to 5 years of age. The Early
10Childhood Program Eligibility Screening Program shall provide
11improved program coordination to identify and serve this
12State's neediest children by avoiding a duplication of
13services and the supplanting of federal funds and shall
14maximize the use of Head Start and Early Head Start program
15funds. In addition, the Early Childhood Program Eligibility
16Screening Program shall prioritize families who meet Head
17Start or Early Head Start program eligibility guidelines for
18enrollment into those programs, which frees up enrollment
19slots for other early childhood programs in the local
20community that have broader eligibility guidelines.
21 (b) The Early Childhood Program Eligibility Screening
22Program shall be implemented and administered by the
23Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development, which shall
24act in cooperation with other programs serving young children
25in the community, including public schools, child care

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1providers, special education cooperatives, Head Start and
2Early Head Start programs, Preschool for All and Preschool for
3All Expansion programs, Prevention Initiative programs, early
4intervention services or programs, Child and Family
5Connections offices, the Child Find Project, and the Maternal,
6Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.
7 Section 20. Universal Early Childhood Program Application;
8enrollment.
9 (a) The Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development
10shall develop a Universal Early Childhood Program Application.
11Each early childhood program in a community that receives 90%
12or more of its funding through federal and State funds and that
13provides services to children from birth to 5 years of age
14shall use the Universal Early Childhood Program Application to
15determine a family's eligibility for any and all of the
16community's early childhood programs. One of the eligibility
17criteria included on the Universal Early Childhood Program
18Application must be based on the family's household income
19level as determined by poverty guidelines updated periodically
20in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and
21Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2).
22 (b) If an applicant family meets the income eligibility
23guidelines established by a Head Start or Early Head Start
24program, the applicant family must be offered the opportunity
25for communication about enrollment into the Head Start or

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1Early Head Start program and to enroll in the Head Start or
2Early Head Start program prior to enrolling in any other
3community program. If the applicant family does not meet the
4income eligibility guidelines set forth by the Head Start or
5Early Head Start program, the applicant family must be offered
6the opportunity for communication about enrolling in another
7community program selected by the applicant family.
8 If a Head Start or Early Head Start program has met full
9utilization, a family may be placed in another early childhood
10program serving young children in the community.
11 Section 25. Waiting list. Each early childhood program
12that receives 90% or more of its funding through federal and
13State funds and provides services for children from birth to 5
14years of age shall coordinate with similar early childhood
15programs in the community to ensure that a child whose
16household income meets the eligibility requirements of the
17Head Start program and early childhood programs or the
18eligibility requirements of local, State, or federal early
19childhood programs remains on a waiting list for an eligible
20provider for no longer than 45 days.
21 Section 90. Rules. The Governor's Office of Early
22Childhood Development may adopt any rules necessary to
23implement this Act.