- Associated Press - Thursday, December 11, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois has won an $80 million federal grant to increase access to early childhood education.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the award Wednesday. His office says the state will receive a maximum of $20 million per year for four years.

The federal program is intended to help four-year-olds from low-income families attend preschool. In a news release, Quinn’s office says the grants will help more than 33,000 additional kids nationwide attend high-quality preschool programs.

In Illinois, more than two dozen school districts and organizations will receive funding. They include preschool programs in Chicago and its suburbs, Rockford and Monroe and St. Clair counties.

Quinn says “Providing high-quality early childhood education is a game changer for our economy.”

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