CENTREVILLE – To increase the success of our youth, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) is urging schools to submit an application to receive the Early Childhood Block Grant from the Illinois State Board of Education.

“Schools need to close their student’s achievement gap sooner than later and that starts with increasing the investment in our kids at a young age,” Belt said. “We are trying to improve access to quality early childhood programs and early childhood investors need to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Last year’s $543.7 million appropriation for early childhood was the largest in Illinois history. 

Eligible applicants for the Early Childhood Block Grant include public school districts, university laboratory schools approved by Illinois State Board of Education, charter schools, area vocational centers, and public or private not-for-profit or for-profit entities with experience in providing educational, health, social, or child development services to young children and their families.

For more information visit www.isbe.net/ecbg. Applications are due to the Illinois State Board of Education no later than 4 p.m. on March 23.