January 09, 2020

Duckworth, Durbin Announce Over $8 Million in Grants to Head Start Programs Across Illinois


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced $8,933,201 in federal funding to help children in Decatur, Joliet and Alton, Illinois, access Head Start and Early Head Start programs. This funding comes through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) that allocates funding, provides technical assistance, and helps build strategic partnerships in order to promote the social and economic well-being of children and families.

“When we support kids by investing in early childhood education and parental support programs, we give them all a fair shot at reaching for and achieving their full potential,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud to support programs like Head Start that provide children throughout Illinois with the tools they need to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.”

“This federal funding helps ensure that children across Illinois have the strong foundation they need to flourish throughout preschool, elementary school, and beyond,” Durbin said. “Head Start programs are sources of countless success stories in our state and remain crucial for the healthy development of young children.”

Under today’s announcement, the following organizations will receive HHS funding:

  • Baby TALK, Inc. will receive $591,933
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet, Inc will receive $3,495,458
  • Riverbend Head Start and Family Services will receive $4,845,810

Since arriving in Congress, Duckworth has been a strong advocate for working women and families. Last May, she wrote an op-ed advocating for the fair pay of preschool educators and stressing the importance of high-quality early education, while highlighting her own experience with a teacher who made a difference in her life. In 2018, a bipartisan majority of Congress passed the Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act, which was signed into law and makes sure all medium and large airports in the nation provide private spaces in each terminal for mothers to express breastmilk and allows airports to use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding to make these enhancements. Last month, the Senator’s bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Improvement Act passed the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation (CST) Committee unanimously, which would expand the FAM Act to small airports. Duckworth first introduced the FAM Act in May of 2015 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.