12/20/2019 11:16:00 AM Pritzker announces major
investment in downstate Illinois child care centers
CHICAGO — Child-care providers in certain downstate Illinois counties will see their reimbursement rates increase by 20% under the Child Care Assistance Program, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced this week.
In order to address Illinois’ early childhood workforce crisis, child care reimbursement base rates for all child-care centers and home-based providers are increasing by 5% statewide, with an additional 15% increase for providers in counties that are categorized as predominately rural, including Macon County.
State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said the move will improve access to child-care in Central and Southern Illinois communities and boost wages of child-care workers.
“I commend Governor Pritzker for working with downstate legislators on a bipartisan budget that prioritized Illinois’ child-care woes. These rate increases are much-needed, especially in underserved communities,” said Manar, a lead budget negotiator in the Illinois Senate.
Counties in Manar’s district that will see a 20% increase include Montgomery, Macoupin, Macon, Christian.
Madison and Sangamon Counties are among those that will see a 5% increase.
The state will invest another $3 million to expand access to training and education opportunities for child-care workers.
“These investments will provide relief to child-care centers that are struggling to keep their doors open and is a step toward ensuring every working family, no matter your ZIP code or economic status, has access to high-quality child care,” Manar said.
It was also announced this week that Manar will serve as co-chair of the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding, which will make recommendations on how to fund equitable access to high-quality early childhood education and care services for all children birth to age 5.