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Illinois expands emergency child care support for essential workers

“Our essential workforce deserves to know their kids are safe and cared for in a small and affordable group setting”

CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced in a Sunday briefing that Illinois is expanding eligibility for the state's Child Care Assistance Program and is increasing financial support for emergency child care centers and homes.

Effective immediately, all essential workers in health care, human services, essential government services and essential infrastructure now qualify for the Child Care Assistance Program, and the state will cover most of the cost of child care for these workers.

“We have essential workers and healthcare professionals who can’t stay home with their kids because they are heroically going out to do their jobs, which are vital for public safety and to make sure other families can get the food and gas and pharmacy goods they may need,” Pritzker said in a press release. 

“Our essential workforce deserves to know their kids are safe and cared for in a small and affordable group setting.”

For more details and information on how to apply, go to the Department of Human Services website and coronavirus.illinois.gov.

The state will also pay emergency child care centers and home child care providers an enhanced reimbursement rate, 30% above the usual rate.

"The change seeks to reflect the additional costs of providing care in smaller groups," the press release said.

Child care centers can reopen as emergency child care centers by applying for a permit through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. 

Home child care providers don't need a permit and can serve up to 6 children.

More information is available at the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) website.

According to the press release, more than 550 centers have received an Emergency Child Care permit and more than 1,500 home child care providers have reported they are still active.

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