05242018CM0474RSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) passed a proposal out of the Senate Thursday afternoon that would increase stability for the thousands of Illinois families who rely on the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).

House Bill 4965 would bring Illinois in line with federal law by moving to a 12-month redetermination process for CCAP families instead of the current system, which redetermines eligibility every six months.

“Working families must have certainty that child care access will be available past an arbitrary six-month deadline,” Hutchinson said. “Increasing the eligibility period to 12 months brings that certainty to families who are doing exactly what we tell them they are supposed to be doing, which is waking up every morning and going to work or school.”

Illinois Action for Children estimates the state will receive an additional $82.8 million in federal child care funding should it move to a 12-month redetermination process.

Hutchinson co-sponsored a separate proposal that passed the Senate yesterday afternoon to maintain current eligibility requirements for CCAP. The plan – contained in House Bill 5599 – protects CCAP from drastic cuts at the whim of the governor.

The proposal seeks to prevent the near decimation of the program that took place in 2015 under Gov. Bruce Rauner, who unilaterally reduced eligibility for 90 percent of CCAP participants. Legislators on both sides of the aisle decried the move. 

“Nearly three years later, CCAP is still recovering from the governor’s cuts,” Hutchinson said. “The gutting of this once-hailed program has had lasting impact on child care centers and families across Illinois. We must do everything we can to instill trust between our child care providers, families and the state.”

House Bill 4965 and House Bill 5599 will now head to the governor for his approval.

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