Illinois legislators tour Educare West DuPage

Educare West DuPage hosted a breakfast on January 26, welcoming 10 new members of the Illinois General Assembly and other elected officials. The guests, including Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, toured Educare West DuPage and heard from Eugenie Lee Matula, the school’s executive director, about how high-quality early learning programs, like Educare, benefit young children and their families.

“Working with families is really a crucial part of this model,” Matula told the elected officials. Sheexplained how family engagement works at Educare and the team approach that Educare takes, bringing teachers, family engagement specialists and parents together to ensure that children get the best support and education at school and at home.

Mayor Ruben Pineda, City of West Chicago, also shared with the group how important Educare West DuPage is to him personally and how essential programs like Educare are in his vision for improving the West Chicago community.

“I am living proof that early education works,” Mayor Pineda said. “My mom made sure I could read and write in English and Spanish,” he added, explaining how the education he received at a young age led him to the accomplishments he achieved as an adult.

Mayor Pineda also said he is proud of what Educare West DuPage has accomplished since it opened in 2012, crediting the school for putting West Chicago on the map for early childhood education. The new legislator breakfast was organized in partnership with Illinois policy staff from the Ounce of Prevention Fund to bring together the state’s new legislators and discuss why the early years matter, the history of early childhood education in Illinois, as well as opportunities and priorities for improving early learning state-wide. Events like this are part of Educare’s commitment to being a platform for long-term policy change. Educare schools across the country are helping to strengthen public investments in high-quality, research-based early learning programs.

View photos of the legislators’ visit to Educare West DuPage.