Educare in the suburbs

Posted on February 14, 2012


Educare West DuPage, located near Pioneer School and Pioneer Park in West Chicago, is a pioneer in its own right.  Educare is blazing a new trail by building an early childhood center for low-income families in the suburbs. Most other state-of-the-art Educare centers serve urban areas across the country.

Building in the ‘burbs

Suburban communities are often proud of their safe neighborhoods, good schools and economic opportunities. But poverty is a growing problem in the suburbs. Now 40% of children in poverty live in the suburbs. In one of the Chicago area’s wealthiest counties, DuPage, 5,000 children under age 5 live below the poverty line.

Starting when they’re small

Birth to age five are critical years. Without access to high-quality early childhood education, children from low income families fall behind their more economically advantaged peers.

For example, children as young as 18 months from low-income families have smaller vocabularies. Much of the achievement gap that shows up in kindergarten carries through high school.

Investing early pays off

Helping kids grow up safe, healthy and eager to learn is good for all of us.

One study showed that every $1 invested in high-quality early education returns $9 in benefits to the community — such as more efficient K-12 schools, higher earnings, lower crime and fewer welfare payments.

Educare uses the latest research and employs Masters’ level teachers to offer the best care to the children they serve.

Dr. Karen Carradine, the new Executive Director of Educare of West DuPage, led a tour of the construction site.

Coming soon

The Tellabs Foundation supported Educare West DuPage with a grant in 2010. The building has come a long way since the uplifting groundbreaking ceremony in April 2011. (See photos I took on a recent tour, above and at right.)

Educare will welcome 150 students later this year. So much promise and potential — it will be fun to watch what unfolds in these classrooms.

For this post, I used statistics from Educare West DuPage website.

Posted in: Education grants