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Child Care Assistance

  • Senator HutchinsonSPRINGFIELD – A working family of three who earns up to $41,560 per year would be eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) under a proposal by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) that passed the Senate Human Services Committee Tuesday afternoon.

    “Working families are finding it harder and harder to afford the ever-increasing cost of child care,” Hutchinson said. “For many families, it makes more financial sense for one parent to stay at home rather than work at all. And for single parents, the cost is often overwhelming.”

    Hutchinson’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 1679, would raise the income threshold for qualifying for CCAP from 185 percent of the federal poverty level to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, for a family of three, 185 percent of the federal poverty level represents $38,443 per year. Under Hutchinson’s plan, families of three could earn up to $41,560 and still qualify for the program.

    CCAP provides financial assistance to low-income families so they can afford to enroll their children into the child care program. While the program was once nationally recognized, Gov. Rauner made drastic cuts to the program in 2015, reducing eligibility for 90 percent of CCAP participants. While the governor’s cuts were later reversed, the high-profile cuts to the program have led to decreased enrollment by working families.

    “Every child requires someplace safe to be so their parents can be full and active participants in our economy,” Hutchinson said.

    Senate Bill 1679 was heard in the Senate Human Services Committee on Tuesday afternoon and will now move to the Senate floor for further debate.

  • The Majority Report - May 25, 2018 - Challenging the status quo on child care, equal pay


  • hutchinson 031517Nearly two years ago, Governor Rauner made drastic cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), eliminating safe and affordable child care for tens of thousands of working Illinoisans. While some of those cuts were later reversed, families with parents enrolled in education or training programs remain ineligible.

    State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) passed Senate Bill 1705 out of the Senate Human Services Committee recently that would restore child care eligibility for these families.

    “Every child requires someplace safe to be so their parents can be full and active participants in our economy,” Hutchinson said. “It makes no sense for us on one hand to advocate for training and educational opportunities, which will have long-term financial benefits for families, while taking away any helping hand that would support that parent in achieving their goal.” 

  • rckfrd daycareAs the director of Circles of Learning daycare center in Rockford, Anita Rummage’s passion is providing a safe, fun place for children to play and learn while their parents work.

    But the state’s historic budget crisis has stopped Anita from accepting as many children as she would wish. For the first time ever, the center doesn’t have a wait list. That’s because the eligibility requirements for the Child Care Assistance Program changed in November 2015.

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  • ccapupdate mrDecision raises eligibility to crucial program for working families

    CHICAGO - Since July 1, thousands of Illinois children have been turned away from the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Cuts enacted by the governor dramatically lowered eligibility to CCAP, turning away 90 percent of previously eligible children.

    Earlier this week, a state panel that sets rules for CCAP voted to enact an agreement reached by Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) and the governor restoring eligibility to 90% of applicants, according to Illinois Action for Children. For example, a family of two earning up to $2,151 a month can immediately access CCAP services. That family had been cut out by the governor.

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  • Governor’s cuts to child care program affecting Illinois families, small businesses

  • hutchinson gordon ccap

  • bush ccap presserGURNEE - State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, joined parents, child care providers and representatives of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to speak out in favor of restoring full funding and access to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).

    The program helps working families afford day care for their children. Under tighter restrictions imposed by Governor Bruce Rauner starting July 1, an estimated 90% of parents who apply for CCAP would be denied.

    “The Child Care Assistance Program is a vital service for working families,” Bush said. “Parents should never need to wonder if it’s better to just stay home. I voted to reinstate CCAP funding, and I urge Governor Rauner to listen to parents and child care providers and do the right thing by signing that legislation.”

  • harmon jcar ccapSPRINGFIELD – In an effort to support working parents who cannot afford childcare State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) voted against Governor Rauner’s drastic new rules that have cut the Child Care Assistance Program for needy families. Harmon joined with the rest of his Democratic colleagues in support of these families at the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules hearing, but the deep cuts prevailed, however, when Republican members sided with the governor over working families.

    “It is extremely disappointing that not a single one of my Republican colleagues was able to stand up for working families today. These emergency rules, proposed by Governor Rauner, do not respond to an emergency, but they will create emergencies for people all across the state. The legislature should have the will to stand up to the governor and check this overreach of his powers,” said Harmon.

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  • holmes womenhlthcareSenate passes measure to fully fund day care assistance

    SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Linda Holmes issued the following statement following a Wednesday vote in the Senate to restore funding and original entry requirements to the Child Care Assistance Program:

    “Governor Rauner’s decision to roll back accessibility to the Child Care Assistance Program is harmful to families who are doing all they can to work and ensure their children are cared for,” Holmes said. “Delays in funding have already caused the closure of a day care center in my district earlier this year. We can’t tell our working families that it’s better to just stay home. That’s why I support this measure and call on the House to pass it.”

    The legislation is Senate Bill 570. It proceeds to the House for consideration.

  •  toi ccap 8 6 15 mrThousands of working parents throughout the state had access to affordable child care services last year thanks to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Drastic cuts instituted by the governor on July 1 have put these vital services in jeopardy, with approximately 90 percent of new applicants who otherwise meet program requirements no longer eligible for the program.

    “Families on CCAP are doing exactly what we tell them they are supposed to be doing, which is waking up every morning and going to work or school,” sponsor State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “Children should not be used as leverage in this budget impasse.”  

    In response to the crisis, Hutchison passed a proposal out of the Senate today to restrict the ability of the governor and the Department of Human Services to drastically cut CCAP. In addition to dramatically lowered eligibility standards, children currently in CCAP are facing higher copays and waiting lists to receive services.

    With more than 70,000 Illinois jobs tied to the child care industry, the large decrease in families eligible for CCAP has the potential to cause layoffs at child care centers and even the closing of entire facilities, especially in lower-income areas where a majority of families access CCAP. And with CCAP only available to parents who are either in the workforce or enrolled in school, and the average cost of daycare more than $950 a month, many working parents will be forced to drop out of the workforce and stay home to care for their children. Many would then be forced onto public assistance programs, costing the state more money than is being saved by slashing CCAP.

    “Centers are on the verge of closing now. Children are being denied services now. This is not an abstract issue that might happen on some future date. This crisis is playing out in front of us today,” Hutchinson said.

    Senate Bill 570 passed the Senate today and now heads to the Illinois House for further debate.