SPRINGFIELD (AP) – Effective April 1, all essential workers in health care, human services, essential government services, and essential infrastructure now qualify for the state’s Child Care Assistance Program.
The state will cover most of the cost of care provided by emergency child care centers and homes. This expansion of eligibility includes those working as nurses and doctors, supporting staff in hospitals, grocery store clerks and food producers.
For emergency child care centers and homes, the state will be paying enhanced reimbursement rates effective April 1st, which are 30 percent above the usual pay rate. The change seeks to reflect the additional costs of providing care in smaller groups.
Child care centers are interested in re-opening as emergency child centers are able to apply for a permit through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
Information is available on the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) website www2.illinois.gov/sites/OECD. Home child care providers do not need a permit, and can serve up to 6 children.
The state developed a simple waiver process to allow child care providers to be paid for all of their enrolled children in the Child Care Assistance Program for March and April so that child care staff could continue to receive pay through this crisis.
The state also reduced parent co-payments in April and May to $1 per month to relieve cost burdens on parents and to make sure that providers don’t miss out on this important revenue.
Full details and applications for assistance are available on the Department of Human Services (IDHS) website DHS.illinois.gov/helpishere and coronavirus.illinois.gov.