CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Governor JB Pritzker held events in Springfield and Champaign to tout his fiscal year 24 budget.

In Champaign, Pritzker visited International Prep Academy to talk about early childhood education. He’s investing $250 million in a Smart Start Program that aims to provide every child with access to preschool, stabilize the childcare workforce and includes funding to begin the overhaul of the childcare payment management system.

Pritzker also proposed a teacher pipeline grant pilot program that ensures schools have high-quality educators by increasing pay. IPA’s Principal Cheryl Dearing said this plan will help her school by making sure both kids–and teachers are set up for success.

“We are a preschool desert,” Dearing said. “We are unable to serve a lot of children that come to kindergarten, not having any pre-k experience and having a quality school experience is key to being successful in school.”

Along with the Smart Start Plan, the budget also includes a $1.6-million investment for books. Pritzker said this budget sets up Illinois families and children for a stable financial future while remaining fiscally responsible.