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What is Happening to The Child Care Assistance Program in Illinois

by Early Math Counts

I actually didn’t want to write anything about this because I keep hoping that the funding for the Child Care Assistance Program is going to magically appear from somewhere and all of this will have been a bad dream.

But alas, it has not.  As of today, this program has completely run out money… and I mean OUT OF MONEY. Before leaving office, Governor Quinn knew (possibly?) that this day was coming.  Some believe that he intentionally did this, knowing that in his next term unfunded childcare, loss of work, and general statewide devastation would provide the necessary arguments for raising taxes.(see Tuesday, February 10, 2015 Chicago Tribune for more details).  But he didn’t win the reelection, and the new Governor may or may not find the money to cover this shortfall.

What does this mean for the citizens of Illinois.  For those families who receive assistance – they receive this in the form of reduced cost for their childcare needs based on a sliding scale of need – there won’t be assistance anymore.  For centers, this means that the state will not pick up the shortfall for every child who qualifies.  This might mean centers will close, classrooms will close, parents may lose their jobs, children will no longer have a quality program to attend so their parents can work, and good teachers will lose their jobs.

How are you communicating this potentially devastating situation to your families? How are you and your center handling this?


4 Replies to “What is Happening to The Child Care Assistance Program in Illinois”

  1. Jen:

    It is indeed a sad day – while Mayor Emanuel and the White House are advocating early childhood education – the State who has had problems with the budget for decades – lets the most important initiatives wither away and now die

    As you know , I have spent my entire career in teaching illustrating the correlations between poor education for young children and the overrepresentation of that population in prisons and jails ten to fifteen years later years –

    We must raise our voices this election and after – use our power as a collective to mandate funding – that is how ALL change we have seen over the decades has occurred – we just have to find yet another way to lobby for those who have always been marginalized by governments that just do not understand/care about education for our most vulnerable citizens – young children – the givers of their care- As you know when teachers and parents come together on one accord change DOES come ( most of the time late) but it does happen

    We must reconfigure our efforts and NEVER give up——– although we are tired of the fight in our quest to make legislators \”find\” resources for our children their families and the people who make the least caring for the most important \”commodity\” our children

  2. This is such a thoughtful reply Ellen, and I too believe that we need to speak up with our votes. Somehow taking funding away from underserved communities to make it impossible for them to work, seems like a crime in and of itself.

  3. I have spoken with my current subsidy family and let them know what\’s going on. At this point, I have not changed the way I deal with payments until I know for sure it will or will not get taken care of. I have confidence in our legislators that they will find a way to appropriate funds. If we go months with no pay, then I will have to make a contract with my parents to pay more out of pocket. Then if and when I get reimbursed, I can reimburse them for the amount they paid over their co-pay.

    1. That is a good plan. I suppose you have enough money set aside for a \”rainy day\” such as this, but I worry about very small programs that survive week to week.

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