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Hutchinson works to bring continued stability to the Child Care Assistance Program

Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) sponsored two bills in the Illinois Senate that would improve the needs of working families with children.

House Bill 4965 is designed to increase stability for the thousands of Illinois families who rely on the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). The second bill, House Bill 5599,  protects CCAP from drastic cuts at the discretion of the governor.

The bills now await Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature. 

Under the first bill, the redetermination period for families to receive child care benefits would be 12 months. It currently is six months. The change would bring Illinois in line with federal law.

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

“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.”

Hutchinson co-sponsored the second bill that will maintain current eligibility requirements for CCAP. 

The senator said 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.”

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