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The Economic Impact of the Early Care and Education Industry in Illinois

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Publication Date: January 2005

Publisher(s): Action for Children; Chicago Metropolis 2020 (Organization); Illinois Facilities Fund

Author(s): David Alexander; Susan Cahn; Sara Slaughter; Saskia Traill

Topic: Education (Education)
Education (Education policy and planning)

Keywords: education; young children; education policy

Coverage: United States


Early care and education for young children is an important industry to Illinois, both in direct employment and revenue and in the benefits it provides to children and their parents. This report looks at this industry through a new lens — an economic one that considers for the first time the industry’s contributions to the Illinois economy.

It concludes that the early care and education industry generates $2.1 billion every year, making it comparable in size to the state's soybean farming industry. It employs almost 56,000 full-time workers, more than the hotel and motel industry, while preparing young people to succeed in school and enabling parents to work and continue their education.

The findings in this report highlight the financial significance of the industry as well as the need to ensure access to high quality Early Care and Education for Illinois children. By targeting the industry for economic and workforce development, the business community, government and industry leaders can capitalize on the high returns to our children and our economy.


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