Proposed bill could save daycares

Families at Caywood that use the Child Care Assistance Program to pay for day care expenses could see set backs

UPDATED: May 22 at 6:15 a.m.

Good news for those who depend on childcare subsidies from the state.

Governor Pat Quinn has signed off on a plan to keep the child care fund going through the end of the budget year in June.

The Department of Human Services program subsidizes community and in-home child care for parents who work, go to school or get job training.

Lawmakers shuffled more than $73 million dollars from other parts of the budget to find the program. Without it some providers may have had to close.



A proposed bill could save state funded child care providers from making drastic cut backs.

Last week child care facilities were notified that money to fund its program had run out.

But a proposed bill introduced Friday in Illinois General Assembly could change that by transferring $73.6 million dollars from "unspent general revenue funds" from the state's budget to child care facilities.

That would stop the two month break in payments that was threatened last week.

Something parents who rely on state money are hoping for.

"If they don't get it I don't know how I'm going to pay and I might have to quit my job just to stay at home with him because I won't be able to pay for daycare," Tiffany Harding said.

Tiffany Harding is worried about who will watch her son while she's at work. Usually she brings him to Caywood's Youth Center for day care but that could all change if she doesn't get the government funding that she needs.

"No I won't be able to even begin to pay it," Harding said. "I struggle with my co-payment with West Central so I don't even think I would be able to pay even half of what West Central was paying them."

Harding is enrolled in the state's Child Care Assistance Program through West Central Child Care Connection, an organization that promotes quality child care services. The program helps to pay for Harding's daycare costs, but recently the government has announced that fund have dried up.

"What are my parents going to do then what are my teachers going to do because my parents can't afford to pay" Judy Bush, Caywood's Youth Center director said.

Caywood's Youth Center is among the 40,000 child care providers that are funded through the Child Care Assistance Program, without state assistance they could face drastic set backs.

"The choices are either go get a loan which they will not pay the interest on that," Bush said. "Somebody's going to have to so it's going to come back to the owners of the daycares to either pay that or whatever or we're going to have to pass it off somewhere or another to the parents and some of them can't afford to do that either."

But a proposed bill could stop that from happening. House Bill 6174 would allow the state to make payments to child-care services for April and June instead of waiting until the new fiscal year starting in July. Something parents are hopeful for.

"There's going to have to be a way for them to get that money," Harding said. "Or something or there's going to be a lot of parents quitting there jobs just to stay home with their kids because they can't afford day care."