August 28 2015

Help ensure Illinois families can work: Restore CCAP

We received this action alert from The Ounce of Prevention and we ask you to consider showing your support for families relying on the Child Care Assistance Program. Please read, consider supporting this initiative, and sharing it in your networks. We are grateful.

Dear Supporter,

By now you’re well aware of the damaging “emergency” changes the Department of Human Services and the Rauner administration have issued to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) – changes that limit eligibility to only four priority groups, shutting out families from getting the child care assistance they need in order to go to work or school.

Recently, a working mom and college student was denied assistance under the new CCAP eligibility policies because the income from her part-time work coupled with child support payments for her child were over the income guidelines. Her income – less than $1,000/month – was too high to qualify for any help from CCAP. Because this working mother cannot afford to pay the full cost of care with her current income and without child care assistance, it is unlikely she can continue working or further her education.

Ounce of Prevention Fund Action Alert

During the last week of June 2015, One Hope United, one of our Head Start delegates, opened a brand new early childhood center in Joliet. As part of the Early Childhood Construction Grant program, Illinois provided the agency with $3.14 million to build a state-of-the-art educational facility in a quickly growing community that was identified as having a high need for quality early learning programs; but since the state remains without a final FY2016 budget and because the governor has frozen child care intake, One Hope’s new center has few of the children it could enroll prior to July 1 emergency changes. Although the center has a capacity for 212 children, only 11 CCAP children are enrolled.

The devastating policies that have been set in motion are harming children’s opportunities to attend high-quality early learning in their communities – especially in those communities that need it most. And as a result, the changes are making it harder for low-income working families to earn a living, further their education and improve their families’ lives.

The emergency CCAP policies need to be withdrawn, and new sources of revenue must be proposed to end the budget impasse.

Contact Gov. Bruce Rauner today and tell him to rescind the Child Care Assistance Program policy changes, particularly the restrictive eligibility changes.

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