The Cost of Universal Access to Quality Preschool in Illinois

Stacie Carolyn Golin, Anne W. Mitchell, Margery Wallen

February 1, 2003
  • ID: #G712

Responding to research indicating the value of a good early childhood education program, Governor George H.
Ryan of Illinois, in Spring 2001, convened the Task Force on Universal Access to Preschool made up of prominent
representatives from government and the private sector. The task force’s objective was to design a plan to
ensure that all three- and four-year-old children in Illinois have access to high-quality early education. The task
force was also instructed to include an estimate of the proposed plan’s costs.
The task force, coordinated by Margery Wallen, collaborated with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research
(IWPR) and with Anne Mitchell of Early Childhood Policy Research to estimate the costs of the proposed program,
which was given the name “Illinois Preschool.” This report provides those estimates.