First in the Nation Program to Help Restore Child Care in Illinois Through COVID-19 Pandemic
Moline – Joined by childcare providers, local officials, and
parents during visits to Skip a Long Child Development Services in Moline and
Rock River Valley YMCA Children’s Learning Center in Rockford, Governor JB
Pritzker announced a $270 million Child Care Restoration grant program,
provided for in the FY21 budget passed by the General Assembly. The first
program of its kind in the nation, this program will support Illinois’ vast
network of childcare providers as they continue to provide care to children
across the state through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Strengthening child care is as much about building a strong economy as it is
investing in our young people – both critical aspects of building an Illinois
that truly serves our working families,” said
Governor JB Pritzker. “Before this pandemic hit, I promised
that Illinois would become the best state in the nation for raising young
children. The path forward has certainly become more complicated – but our
commitment is stronger than ever.”
The Child Care Restoration grant program will dedicate at least $270 million of
the state’s Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (CURE) Fund to support the
economic health of childcare providers as the state’s economy continues to
reopen in the coming weeks and months. As part of CURE, the Business
Interruption Grants (BIG) Program is specifically designed to support
businesses who endure lost revenue due to the COVID-19 public health
Earlier today, the governor joined U.S. Congresswoman Cheri Bustos,
Representative Mike Halpin, Moline Mayor Stephanie Acri, and other stakeholders
at Skip a Long in Moline to make the announcement. The Governor and
Congresswoman Bustos were then joined by State Representative Maurice West,
State Senator Steve Stadelman, and Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, in Rock River
Valley YMCA Children’s Learning Center in Rockford.
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, in partnership with the
Illinois Department of Human Services, is charged with developing the grant
program for licensed childcare providers. The Child Care Restoration Grants
will be administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource &
Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).
The “Intent to Apply” survey launched today and is available online HERE.
The information gathered will help to inform the development of the grants
program to be released in July 2020 and providers will receive their first
installments later this summer. The opportunity to respond to the survey will
close on June 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm.
The state has made significant investments in its vast childcare network during
the COVID-19 pandemic, such as implementing a simple waiver process to allow
providers to be paid for all of their enrolled children in the Child Care
Assistance Program for March through June, so that child care staff could
continue to be paid as normal through this unprecedented period. The state also
increased the CCAP money that emergency center providers receive for each child.