Undoing Child Care Restrictions Good for Illinois
Voices for Illinois Children joined ten other organizations today in releasing a memo to members of the General Assembly and Governor Rauner on the need to undo the severe child care eligibility restrictions put in place by Governor Rauner. These restrictions have resulted in 9 in 10 families who were previously eligible being shut out of the program. The text of the memo is below.
From: Children’s Home + Aid, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Illinois Action for Children, Latino Policy Forum, Metropolitan Family Services, Ounce of Prevention Fund, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, ReadyNation, SEIU Healthcare, Voices for Illinois Children, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
To: Members of the General Assembly, Office of the Governor
Date: November 4, 2015
Re: Positive Impact of SB570 on Illinois Economy, Working Families
Next week the General Assembly has the opportunity to restore Illinois’ commitment to working families by voting yes on SB570, a bill that reverses dangerous cuts implemented unilaterally by the Rauner Administration on July 1, 2015.
The unprecedented use of the Administration’s emergency rulemaking authority to restrict eligibility for child care assistance has resulted in the denial of 90 percent of applicants who would have otherwise been eligible for child care services through CCAP. That means approximately 20,000 children have been rejected from the program since the drastic restrictions took effect July 1.
Access to affordable, quality child care allows low and middle-income parents to enter and remain in the workforce, and gives them the opportunity to provide for their families.
The Illinois economy benefits from the Child Care Assistance Program in the following ways each year:
- 80,000 Illinois families are able to enter and remain in the work force
- 69,000 skilled early childhood education workers are employed in early learning facilities
- 46,450 employers in Illinois rely on CCAP to ensure their employees have a safe place to leave their children and are able to come to work every day
- CCAP generated $2.6 billion in revenue in 2014. For every 100 jobs created in child care, 56 are created in other industries. For every $100 spent on child care, $213 is spent in the economy
But the Administration’s restrictions mean that a single mom of one child entering the work force can only access child care assistance in Illinois if she makes less than 50% of the federal poverty level, or $664 per month ($8.25 per hour for 20 hours per week.) Before the cuts, a single mom of one who earned up to 185% of the federal poverty level, or $2,456 per month (about $15 an hour working 40 hours per week), had access to child care assistance.
The bottom line is that a vote for SB 570 is a vote to restore self-sufficiency for the hard-working families in Illinois who are doing everything we as a society and as a government have asked them to do as they support their children and better their lives. It is a vote in favor of the economic value that thousands of working parents – able to go to their jobs every day because of child care assistance – contribute to both their family’s economic stability and the state’s fiscal well-being. It is a vote for the future of the more than 150,000 children who will have access to child care if SB 570 is passed and CCAP is restored.
We believe that Illinois needs adequate and sustainable revenue that supports the hard-working families in Illinois with the services and supports they need to thrive. Advocates stand at the ready to work with Governor Rauner and the members of the ILGA on revenue – but we need leadership to get us across the finish line. Until then, voting for SB 570 is the most responsible policy decision lawmakers can make.