Faraci SB1SPRINGFIELD – A new law supported by State Senator Paul Faraci establishes a new state agency – the Department of Early Childhood – to streamline the administration of early childhood education, care programs and services.

“Right now, early childhood programs are offered in piecemeal by three different state agencies,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “Streamlining this down to one department makes it easier for parents to figure what resources are available.”

Beginning July 1, the law creates the Department of Early Childhood, which will focus on administering early childhood education programs. The new agency is dedicated to making access to such state programs easier for parents and providers to navigate.

Combining streamlined oversight of state-funded early childhood programs within the State Board of Education, Department of Human Services and Department of Children and Family Services, the new agency will also house the responsibility of the Early Childhood Block Grant – which funds the Preschool for All initiative – among other items. Early childhood programs administered by other agencies will be transitioned to the new agency by July 1, 2026.

“Study after study shows that a positive early learning experience helps with not only long-term academic success, but also social and cognitive development,” said Faraci. “This new agency will help set children from all economic and social backgrounds up for success, making our state a better place for generations to come.”

Senate Bill 1 was signed by the governor on Tuesday.