Kish awarded state grant for Early Learning Center renovation

A state grant will move Kishwaukee College further toward its goal of finding a new home for the College’s Early Learning Center (ELC).

Kish recently learned it will receive a grant of $225,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to make renovations and relocate the Early Learning Center — a project with an estimated cost of $350,000.

The development will repurpose space in the existing Campus Operations Building on the northwest side of campus. The grant will allow for the conversion of the former print shop into an updated and safe space for the children attending the ELC.

“I was proud to partner with Kishwaukee College to help them secure a state grant for this vital project,” said state Rep. Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore). “The work that Kishwaukee College has done to prepare our students for continued learning and jobs has been fantastic. I’m excited that the renovation of the Early Learning Center will continue a proud tradition of working to help families attain impactful accomplishments in education and work.”

Both Keicher and state Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) were instrumental in helping the College secure funding for the project.

“I am happy to support Kishwaukee College and their efforts to continue meeting the needs of area residents,” Demmer said. “Since 1968, the college has served DeKalb, Sycamore, Rochelle and many surrounding communities in our region. With this state grant, Kishwaukee College can carry on with their mission of improving lives through quality, affordable education.”

Work on the project is already underway and Kishwaukee College expects construction to be complete by Summer 2021. All renovations will meet the standards set by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for day care providers.

Kish’s current ELC facility was originally built as a temporary building in the 1970s and is in need of various upgrades to meet current and future demands. The new space will allow Kish to increase its enrollment and child care services to better meet the community’s needs. The ELC currently serves children ages 2-5. The relocation will allow for potential future expansion of care for children ages infant to 2.

The ELC is accredited by the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs and has achieved Gold Circle of Quality rating in the ExceleRate Illinois Quality Rating and Improvement System administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services. For more information on enrolling a child at Kish’s ELC, contact ELC Director Maria Lombardo at 815-825-9781 or mlombardo@kish.edu or visit www.kish.edu/elc.