SPRINGFIELD - To expand access to the Illinois’ Early Childhood Construction Grant program, State Senator Ram Villivalam passed legislation through the Senate that would make community-based not-for-profits eligible for $40 million.

“As a father of two, I understand the importance of having access to quality early childhood education,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “Our next generation is quickly growing up and it is important that we invest in resources to provide them with the quality education they need to succeed.”

The measure would allow the Capital Development Board to approve Early Childhood Construction Grants for nonprofit early childhood entities in the state – broadening eligibility to new providers, including nonprofits that rent or lease their space from another nonprofit entity.

The Early Childhood Construction Grant Program provides construction, renovation, equipment and acquisition funds for early childhood facilities, including both public school districts and community-based not-for-profits. Grants are administered by the Capital Development Board, who gives priority to projects located in communities with the greatest underserved populations of young children.

“Expanding grant access eases the burden on non-for-profits to continue providing high quality, affordable and accessible education for youth,” said Villivalam. “By allowing nonprofits to have access to this grant program, we can continue to enrich our communities and open doors for our youth.”

Senate Bill 2675 passed the Senate on Friday and heads to the House for further consideration.