See below for child care information for parents, essential worker parents, and providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adult holding hands with children while walking through fall leaves

For Parents

To find child care in your area, you can:

  • Contact your local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) Agency.
  • Call the State of Illinois Emergency Child Care help line at (888) 228-1146. The helpline will be available from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM M-F, but callers will be able to leave a message 24 hours a day.
  • In Cook County, use Illinois Action for Children’s (IAFC) text messaging service to answer Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) questions. Text: 312-736-7390 M-F between 8:30 AM-5:00 PM. Priority will be given to first responders, health care workers, and essential workers to help them find and pay for child care.

For help paying for child care, visit:

  • The Illinois Action for Children Paying for Child Care website (note that many, but not all, of these resources are tailored to Chicago-area residents).
  • The unemployment Benefits website from Illinois Department of Employment Security.

For more information, visit:

teacher reading stories to children

For Providers

Key resources for early childhood programs/child care providers are being collected by the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development on their COVID-19 for Early Childhood website.

In addition, Illinois Action for Children has developed a COVID-19 microsite that includes important notices, updates, funding information, and more for child care providers in Illinois, with a focus on the Chicago-area region. Be sure to use the tabs at the top to navigate around the website as the main body of the website is not interactive.

More from the Governor’s Office:

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services:

Head Start:

Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE):

Chicago Public Schools

Home Visiting

Early Intervention


  •  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act – or CARES Act has been passed by Congress to help stabilize the child care industry. More details here.