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.