Chicago, IL.—(ENEWSPF)–July 9, 2015–The child care crisis continues to mount into epic proportions. The Department of Human Services (DHS) published new guidelines for working families leaving over ninety percent ineligible to qualify for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP.) Over 200 low-income working families, who would typically qualify, are being denied, per day! Parents and providers are in an uproar as they begin to digest the dismal forecast for child care that leaves many working families faced with the decision, “Will I have to quit my job to stay home with my children?” The child care crisis of 2015 was averted in late April when legislators passed a Hail Mary funds allocation restoring the $296 million dollar shortfall. During those negotiations, many services were interrupted, altered or permanently discontinued. The child care crisis of 2016 is back with a vengeance and promises to be more accelerated than its recent predecessor.
Families of two (including the child) that qualified under the old guidelines could earn up to $2456.00 per month. Meaning a working mom or dad could earn $123.00/day or $15.35/hour to qualify for child care assistance. Under the new guidelines, families of two can only earn $664.00 per month to qualify for child care assistance. That breaks down to a working mom or dad earning $32.00 per day or $3.95/hour to qualify for child care assistance. Families using CCAP under the old guideline rates, were barely scraping by with no surplus nor room for any financial emergencies. Under the new guidelines, it would render families virtually homeless, creating a newly expanded working poor population.
“I almost lost my job during the last crisis,” is the consistent worry families are sharing with providers in mass numbers. Providers are empathetic but have little information to share with inquiring parents as no encouragement is coming from Springfield regarding when an agreement will be reached. Contrarily, the word from legislators indicates this battle could continue well into September.
On Friday, July 10, 2015, Child Care Advocates United (CCAU) will host a Town Hall Meeting at Village Leadership Academy at 1001 W. Roosevelt Road from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm. Several community organizers, parents, providers and legislators will be in attendance to answer vital questions about how these changes will alter the tapestry of life in Illinois. Confirmed panelist are State Representative La Shawn K. Ford, State Representative Mary Flowers, Maria Whelan (Action for Children), Senator Donne E. Trotter, Alderman Rod Sawyer, Alderman Leslie Hairston and a host of other elected officials and activists.
Source: Child Care Advocates United