SB570

  • 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.

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

  • hutchinson gordon ccap

  • 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.

  • 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.