SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - The Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development has received a Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five Initial Grant Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The grant is one of 45 distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Child Care to enhance early childhood programming.

"Decades of research have shown us that children who have a strong educational and developmental foundation before they start kindergarten are much more likely to be successful later in life," Governor Rauner said.

"The PDG B-5 grant will bolster our commitment to making sure that every child in Illinois is well-prepared for kindergarten and beyond."

"We are looking forward to the opportunity to work across Illinois' early care and education systems to unify our planning and address barriers to access and quality, as we continue to meet the needs of our youngest children and their families," said Cynthia Tate, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development.

The grant will run through Dec. 31, 2019.

The Office will then be able to apply for renewal grants before the end of the year. 

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