Gov. Pritzker Announces Over $175M in Early Childhood Education and Care Funding
Gov. Pritzker has announced the following investments in Illinois' early childhood education and care field:
• Increasing Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) reimbursement rates for all providers by 8% over 2022. CCAP provides low-income, working families with access to affordable, quality child care that allows them to continue working. This represents up to 30% more than the reimbursement rates in January 2019. Currently, more than 100,000 Illinois children are served through CCAP.
• Increasing the CCAP income eligibility limit to include families with incomes below 225% of the federal poverty level (FPL), an increase from the previous limits of 200% and 185%, and increasing the eligibility limit at redetermination to 275% of the FPL (up from 250% FPL). Using the latest available U.S. Census data, this could increase the number of children served by up to 20,000.
• Continuing the Child Care Restoration Grant Extension through December 2022. It was set to expire in June 2022. This will provide $60 million to approximately 2,400 childcare providers.
• Extending the Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grant program through June 2023. These grants provide funding for eligible child care centers, child care homes, and group child care homes.
• Lowering copays to $1 for CCAP-eligible families with a parent or guardian working in child care.
• Implementing a 3% cost-of-living adjustment to the reimbursement rate for all early intervention services.
Additional policy changes are designed to benefit low-income families and support access to child care and other services:
• Eliminating copays for families experiencing homelessness.
• Expanding eligibility to parents/guardians attending online school from home.
• Continuing to provide three months of child care assistance for unemployed parents seeking to reenter the workforce, through December 2022.
• Investing in an early childhood enrollment campaign, including investments in community outreach.
• Extending the suspension of family fee collection for early intervention services through the end of this calendar year.