Disparities in cognitive skills emerge in children as young as nine months old and widen during later years. At kindergarten entry, sizable school readiness gaps exist. Illinois children—particularly children living in adverse environments—have shown inadequate levels of school readiness. Through mapping the journeys children from birth to eight years old take through Illinois early childhood programs and services and identifying the effectiveness of different pathways, IWERC provides important evidence for early childhood interventions and policies aiming to promote equality of opportunity.
IWERC began this portfolio of work by creating a comprehensive overview of Illinois early childhood programs and services that are provided at the state level. The report categorizes programs by the children served, the government agencies, the content, the delivery mechanisms, and the funding sources. More critically, it describes the evidence available for each program. The report—along with its figures and a summary table—can be found below.