Sen. Hutchinson on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Thousands of Illinois families would again be eligible to access safe, affordable child care under a plan passed yesterday by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights).

Hutchinson’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 1705, would restore eligibility for families with parents enrolled in education or training programs in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), which helps low-income families afford the ever-increasing cost of child care.

“Access to affordable child care is a central part of any parent’s ability to go back to school to acquire skills, which in the long run lifts families out of poverty and increases their earnings potential,” Hutchinson said. “We as a state should not have a policy of standing in the way of families who are investing in themselves.”

Nearly two years ago, Governor Rauner slashed CCAP, eliminating eligibility for a majority of the families on the program. While some of the governor’s cuts were later reversed, families with parents enrolled in education or training programs remain ineligible.

"Research shows that parents who have access to affordable child care services are more likely to complete training and college programs, leading to higher incomes for their families and a lower reliance on programs such as CCAP," said Samir Tanna with Illinois Action for Children.

Illinois Action for Children estimates more than 30,000 fewer children in total are receiving child care today than in June 2015. Before Governor Rauner’s cuts, nearly 4,000 children whose parents were enrolled in school or a training program received child care services.

Senate Bill 1705 passed the Senate yesterday on a 41-12 vote and now heads to the Illinois House for further debate.

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