Child Care Advocates United Statement on Partial Restoration of IL Child Care Assistance Program

Chicago—(ENEWSPF)—November 9, 2015. On behalf of nearly 400 child care providers and thousands of children and families across the State of Illinois, Child Care Advocates United (CCAU) would like to commend Governor Rauner and Illinois lawmakers for working together to reverse the devastating impact of the emergency rule change that nearly dismantled the Child Care Assistance Program and left approximately 70,000 children without access to childcare.  

The eligibility changes that went into effect July 1st, excluded 90% of typically qualified families from access to child care for their infants and children, made it impossible for low-income working parents to survive in Illinois.  Parents were pressured to either choose between remaining employed or staying at home with their children.  Without access to child care, many college students with children abandoned their higher education aspirations. Child care businesses closed their doors, laid-off staff, and excluded children from their facilities in record numbers. This emergency rule put Illinois’ economy on a downward spiral.

The bipartisan compromise presented today is a huge step in the right direction:

Eligibility for CCAP participation will be increased for 50% to 162% of the federal poverty level (for a family of two the income threshold moved from $664 to $2151/month);

Background checks for relative caregivers will not be enforced, allowing families who work odd-hours/overnight shifts alternative care arrangements;

Child support inclusion on CCAP application submission will be suspended; and

Upon passage of a balance budget, eligibility will be returned to 185% of the federal poverty guidelines.

CCAU joins Illinois Action for Children, Fight Crime: Invest In Kids Illinois, Latino Policy Forum, Ounce of Prevention Fund, ReadyNation Illinois, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Voices for Illinois Children, and SEIU Healthcare Illinois in our commitment to working with the Governor and the General Assembly on a state budget solution that includes sufficient revenue to fully fund all programs that low-income, hard-working families rely upon.

Thank you for hearing the cry of working families across our great State and putting our most valuable resource, our children, first. We look forward to continued bipartisan support for the Child Care Assistance Program.

Source: Child Care Advocates United