Statement on Changes to Child Care Assistance Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2015 | Chicago, IL
On Monday, the office of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner announced changes to the eligibility requirements for the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) effective November 9, 2015. Most notable among these changes are the program’s income requirement, which was raised from 50% to 162% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL)—roughly $12.40 per hour for a single parent working 40 hours per week—as well as a retraction of child support and family background check requirements.
Both amendments addressed changes that had been instituted earlier this year on July 1 by Gov. Rauner, leaving thousands of Illinois families without access to the program designed to promote self-sufficiency and a stronger workforce. Once a balanced budget is passed, the governor’s office has pledged it will restore the income requirement to its previous level of 185% of the FPL.
Erie Neighborhood House acknowledges the significance of this measure, declaring it a victory for working families and child care providers across the state.
“The past four months have been extremely difficult for working families affected by the July 1 changes to the program,” says Celena Roldán-Moreno, executive director at Erie House. “We are grateful to all the parents and advocates who have raised their voices with us to send a clear, strong message to Springfield: The access to quality, affordable child care that CCAP provides is essential to the wellbeing of our families and communities, and it’s an investment worth making.”
Roldán-Moreno adds that it is important for organizations like Erie House and human services advocates to continue working for an immediate resolution to the budget impasse. “We want to ensure that the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Rauner acknowledge the critical role human services play when passing a budget. The prosperity of our state depends on it.”
The state’s most vulnerable—children, single parents, immigrants, seniors, people with disabilities—have shouldered the brunt of the ongoing budget impasse, Roldán-Moreno points out. “Unless Springfield can pass a balanced budget that draws on revenue to ensure vital human services can be restored, thousands of Illinoisans will continue to suffer.”