The Illinois Department of Human Services’ Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provides low-income, working families with access to child care that allows them to continue working and contributes to the development of children.

Sadly, CCAP, which serves about 195,000 children and is only available to low-income parents who work or are enrolled in school, is currently facing a $300 million shortfall. Failure to fill this gap will force parents to quit their jobs or put their education on hold. Additionally, it will increase reliance on other forms of government assistance and prevent children from having access to educational opportunities.

A Senate hearing took place last week to discuss the underfunding of CCAP and the impact it is having on families and child care providers. We heard powerful testimony from CCAP recipients. One mother was able to earn an associate’s degree while her son attended a high-quality preschool; another works four jobs to provide for her family and fears being unemployed and homeless if CCAP is cut. Furthermore, we learned that many child care centers and in-home providers will be forced to close their doors or reduce services if state funding is not restored.

I am a strong supporter of CCAP and other social programs that have proven to be successful. Losing child care can create a crisis for families, and I am committed to working in a bipartisan manner to address this issue. However, I am disappointed in the lack of urgency shown by Gov. Rauner’s administration regarding child care assistance. Gov. Rauner ran on a platform of making Illinois a more “compassionate and competitive” state, yet his administration has failed to provide the public with a good explanation of how it will keep low-income workers with children on the job. I would like to see available funding moved to CCAP immediately.

Please feel free to contact me through my website or at 773-278-2020 regarding CCAP or any other issue. I also urge you to contact the governor’s office at 312-814-2121 or 217-782-0244 to voice your concerns.

Category: In The News

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