On February 20, we welcomed State Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo) to the Lighthouse Learning Center in Cahokia. Sen. Schimpf spent nearly two hours at the Center discussing the importance of early childhood services with our staff.


During the visit, Sen. Schimpf shared quite a lot about himself and how he came into office. A former U.S. Marine, Sen. Schimpf is the father of two children, including one with special needs. In 2013, Sen. Schimpf retired from the Marine Corps and returned home to Waterloo. After his run for Illinois Attorney General in 2014, Sen. Schimpf was approached by Sen. David Luechtefeld (R-Okawville), who was retiring, to run for Senator in his district. Elected in 2016, Sen. Schimpf’s district includes St. Clair, Monroe, Randolph, Jackson, Perry, Jefferson and Union Counties.


Sen. Schimpf said his children have greatly benefited from quality early childhood programs, so he understands the importance and need for early childhood services in the community. While at the Center, Sen. Schimpf also met with a Lighthouse parent, who has received Child Care Assistance Program vouchers, which allowed her to obtain her early childhood teaching certificate while her children received quality, affordable child care.


The visit was also a great opportunity for our boys and girls to learn about state government — one little 8-year-old was dancing around, saying, ”I just met my state senator!” We hope Sen. Schimpf will return to the Lighthouse Learning Center to read to the children and to visit our play groups!