Early Childhood Data

Why Early Childhood Opportunities Matter

Brains are built, not born. 85-90% of brain growth occurs in the first 1,100 days of life. Studies demonstrate that children exposed to positive early experiences during the first 2,000 days typically exhibit improved school and life outcomes. Presently, only 24% of children entering School District U-46 demonstrate school readiness.

Early experiences and positive relationships with caring adults help build a strong, healthy foundation for readiness. Consequently, ensuring access to high-quality early care and education programs is essential for fostering children’s enduring long-term success in kindergarten and beyond 

Community Demographics and Early Learning Landscape

Elgin has 112,000 residents, and over 9,000 are children ages five and under. School District U-46, the second-largest school system in Illinois includes Elgin and ten additional communities, The district will serve a combined 18,744 children five and under in kindergarten in the future.

Our community faces the challenge of a substantial ‘slot gap,’ indicating a shortage of early learning opportunities compared to the number of eligible children residing at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level. Specifically, the eleven communities within School District U-46, face a deficit of 2,552 spaces for children aged birth to two years old, and a shortage of 1,392 slots for children aged 3 to 5 years old.

EPEL is currently leading community planning to collaboratively build a plan to offer equitable access to additional high-quality programs. We use quantitative and qualitative data to measure progress, identify community needs, influence policy and co-create innovative approaches to strengthen families.

Community Data Birth to Five

Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map

Erikson Institute

The Illinois Risk and Reach 2019 Data Report presents county-by-county data on risk factors that undermine optimal child development as well as the reach of publicly funded programs and services that support early childhood well-being.

Innovation Zone Data

iz data map

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