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Ready to Learn shifts preschool funds

STORY CORRECTED TO REFLECT UPDATED INFORMATION--More than 40 community-based preschool providers around the city will lose preschool funding under the city’s “Ready to Learn” preschool competition, an effort to shift preschool seats to high-quality programs in neighborhoods where they are needed.

Less than a handful of schools lost their programs. Where schools with preschool programs are closing due to this year's school actions, their respective welcoming schools will all have preschool programs. Mays, Cullen, Burnham, Wells, Mollison, and Gompers elementaries will all be getting new preschool programs.

Most of the community agencies that are were not funded in the contest, roughly 25, are on the city’s South Side. About five are on the West Side, and just ten are on the North Side.

As part of the grant competition, all schools and community agencies that had been offering preschool had to reapply for their funding. They were judged on neighborhood need as well as factors like communicating with parents and reaching out to the neediest children. 

In the application, schools also were asked to provide evidence of their quality from teacher observations and assessments like Teaching Strategies GOLD and the Kindergarten Readiness Tool.

In one area, Englewood, the city is stepping in because it says there weren’t enough qualified providers who applied for the program. The city plans to open a birth-to-5 early learning center to serve 370 children in Englewood, because of a lack of quality applications to meet need in the area. Altogether, the city says it is spending $10 million more this year to provide 2,300 more preschool seats.

It is unclear how many children currently attend the programs that are losing their funding. Also, CPS did not provide information on how many seats each of the programs funded for next year would have, or on where the new community-based preschool programs would be located.

CPS also announced it will begin charging some families for preschool programs in CPS schools. The 97 percent of preschool students who qualify for free or reduced price school lunches will be able to attend for free, but others will be required to pay between $160 and $4,250 a year depending on income.

All families must now submit proof of income when applying for preschool, under a new application process with a deadline of May 3. Low-income families will get the first shot at available slots.

List updated April 8. Tuition-based preschools will not be affected, and CPS officials were still trying to confirm the fate of preschools at Montessori schools and special education schools.

New programs in elementary schools, other than welcoming schools

Dubois Elementary

Frazier Prospective IB

Faraday Elementary

Green Elementary

Neil Elementary

Orozco Elementary

Tonti Elementary

White Elementary


New programs in community agencies

Archer Ave. Learning Station, Inc.

Chance after Chance

Chicago Lighthouse for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Developmental Institute

Home of Life Community Development Corporation

Little Achievers Learning Center

Montessori School of Englewood

One Hope United – Northern Region


Community agencies previously in CPS Community Partnership Program that will not receive funding

Abraham Lincoln Centre

A-Karrasel Child Care Centers

Black Rhino, Inc. / Building Blocks Learning Academy

Bunnyland Developmental Childcare Association

Caring Hands A Step Ahead Learning Center

Chesterfield Tom Thumb Day Care Center

Children’s Development Corporation

Children’s Garden Child Development Center

Children’s House – Lake Meadows

Chipper Preschool and Kindergarten

Creative Mansion Children’s Academy

Ezzard Charles School Day Care Center

First Start Child Care Academy

Fresh Start Daycare

Happy Kids Learning Center

Institute for Positive Education (New Concept)

JFH Educational Academy / Jolly Fun House Playschools

Jones Academy

Keeper’s Institute Infant / Child Care

Kenyatta’s Day Care Center

Kids Place II

Kidwatch Plus

Kimball Day Care Center

Kove Learning Academy

Lava Inc / Chatterbox Preschool

Lee’s Cuddles N Care

Les Finch’s Learning Tree

Little Giant Child Care Center

Little Hands Child Creative Center

Little Leaders of Tomorrow

Little People Day Care and Kindergarten

Loren Children’s Learning Center

Love Learning Center / Day Care

Lutheran Day Nursery

North Kenwood Day Care Center

Pinks Child Care Academy

Precious Little Ones Learning Center

Ravenswood Community Daycare

Small Stride Academy

South Harper Montessori School


Tiny Tot Villa 


Cur wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Check your facts this time catalyst.

Your list of schools loosing programs is not correct. The montisori schools never has pfa, but do start at prek and are not changing. Also a few of the schools on the list with tbpk programs will still have those programs, like Newberry and south loop and Alcott.

ECE Advocate wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

List is not correct

"Cur" your are absolutely correct - Alcott, Skinner, Hamilton and South Loop are Tuition Based - I'm sure THEY are NOT closing ---Suder and Mayer have not been funded by ECE in years - they are Montessori specialty schools funded through "Academic Enhancement" or what ever it is called now. Vick Village was opened last year - so how could they be NEW???? Who provided this information? Wonder just how much this process cost the schools and now much additional time was wasted by principals and teachers preparing the application??? The number of changes in school base sites are so few that this was a colossal waste of time and money - so CPS. What do we expect.

Fred Bates wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

School Actions

A lot of the children have been behind for so long. Not having comparable resources like other schools. BBB is going to right size them.

disagree - bbb wrong sizes wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

new per pupil budget hurts large schools

An elementary school with 400 student gets 1 counselor and 1 clerk, an elementary school with 1800 students and three seperate buildings, gets 1 counselor and 1 clerk. Most 'small ' elementary schools are magnet, gifted or slective. Per-pupil budgets are meant to punish more, the large neighborhood schools.

northside wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago


She really has a plan with ac , ipads, and a counselor....whatever...moving 60 schools should be a five year plan.....not five weeks with an outside contractor

rharris wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Thank you for noting those errors.

Thank you to those who noted the problems with the program list. We have now updated the story with correct information. 

K. Anderson wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Not all unfunded are low quality

Tiny Tots Villa was unable to meet the stringent timeline set up by CPS. This is a HIGH QUALITY Montessori school on the south side whose children have always been above grade level when they enter elementary school. Former students continue to seek out Tiny Tots Villa for their children to obtain the same early learning beginning and to instill a love for learning.

Anonymous wrote 8 weeks 5 days ago


tank you veryyy much man for this post is nice work games girls العاب تلبيس

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