Advocates Kick Off 3-Week Campaign to Reverse Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Extreme Child Care Cuts As Vital Program Risks Collapse
(October 22nd, 2015) —Child care providers, along with working parents and children, held a press event in Gurnee to call on Illinois’ State Rep. Sheri Jesiel to pledge to support the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).
Following the press conference, providers and parents delivered a letter — (see pasted below) — and a large pledge sign to Representative Jesiel’s (R-61st) district office asking her to commit to vote on Tuesday, November 10th for SB 570.
Univision: Providers urge State Rep Jesiel to support SB-570 to save Illinois’ child care program (10pm broadcast)
Univision Gurnee: Child care providers fight to save Illinois’ vital program for working families (5pm broadcast)
The legislation, SB 570, will save the state’s child care program from being systematically destroyed because of Gov. Rauner’s extreme eligibility requirements that are denying 90% of all parents seeking assistance. As an example of Rauner’s new eligibility rules which he implemented unilaterally starting on July 1st, a single parent working a full time minimum wage job now currently makes too much money to be eligible for child care assistance. Within a matter of months, providers and parents are facing the real possibility that CCAP could collapse.
Home-based child care providers, who are small businesses, are at risk of being forced to close their doors unless urgent action is taken. In that scenario parents will be forced to leave their jobs if they cannot access affordable child care, or have to patch together potentially unreliable child care services from those who likely don’t have early learning training or any experience.
As the Rockford Register Star editorialized this week, advocates from across the state are urgently calling on Gov. Rauner to stop his administration’s agenda to dismantle Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program.
The Register Star’s editorial follows the Springfield Journal Register’s reporting that because of Gov. Rauner’s unilateral changes to Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program at least 15,000 working families have been denied access to affordable child care, forcing many to remain unemployed or quit their current jobs altogether. In order to project Illinois families from Rauner’s cuts, parents and child care providers are asking their legislative representatives to support SB 570.
In addition, Innovation Illinois, a think tank which analyses public policy issues in the state, also just published an op-ed in the Rockford Register Star highlighting Gov. Rauner’s emergency rules to Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and how they are inflicting grave damage to the state’s economy.
Innovation Illinois’ economic impact study found that the state’s caregiver programs directly support 77,000 jobs in the child care industry. And when those employees spend their combined wages it creates another 43,000 jobs here in Illinois. Gov. Rauner’s attempts to destroy CCAP will cost tens of thousands of jobs, and when coupled with parents being forced out of the workforce for lack of child care, the economic damage will be significant.
An Open Letter to State Representative Sheri Jesiel:
October 22nd, 2015
The Honorable Sheri L Jesiel
State Representative, 61st District
Warren Township Center
17801 W. Washington St.
Gurnee, IL 60031
On November 10th, As Parents and Child Care Providers, We Urge You to Vote for SB 570 to Save Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program
As parents and child providers who live, work, and serve constituents in your district we are calling on you to pledge your support for SB 570, a bill to save Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) which is slated to be voted on by the House on Tuesday, November 10th. We need you to lead on this important issue and to do what’s right for Illinois’ families and what’s good for our economy.
SB 570 will save the state’s child care program from being systematically destroyed because of Governor Rauner’s extreme eligibility requirements that are denying 90% of all parents applying to the program. While parents work hard to provide for their children and families, often making extremely low wages, this isn’t the time to cut off an important life line that empowers parents and allows them to rebuild their lives. This program gives parents the tools to work and pay their taxes, and not have to stay at home to receive public aid.
On September 2nd, when SB 570 was called to the House floor for debate, Representative Jesiel you did not cast a vote on this bill. As parents and providers, we are counting on your leadership now more than ever. We sincerely and respectfully urge you to publicly state your support for protecting CCAP and to cast a vote for SB 570 when it is called.
Within a matter of months, providers and parents are facing the real possibility that CCAP will be hollowed out and collapse entirely. Such an event would be catastrophic for parents, our communities, and our economy. According to the Springfield Journal Register’s reporting on Oct. 15th, because of Gov. Rauner’s unilateral changes to CCAP it is estimated that at least 15,000 working families have been denied access to affordable child care. This horrific trend will continue unless action is taken.
Child care providers are small businesses and we will continue to be forced to close our doors. That also means that working parents will be forced into a very difficult decision – to either leave the workforce or cobble together unreliable child care from those who likely have no training or early education experience.
Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program is a vital program that, according to Innovation Illinois’ study, greatly contributes to our state’s economy, empowers working parents to find and to keep jobs, or go back to school to improve their lives knowing their children are safe, nurtured and learning. The study found that CCAP directly created 77,000 jobs in Illinois, with another 43,000 jobs indirectly. CCAP also generated $7.96 in economic activity for every dollar of general revenue spent which means that Illinois’ child care program is one of the smartest investments we can make.
We respectfully request that you sign our attached pledge to commit to voting for SB 570 to save our state’s child care program that serves our children, families, local economy and our communities.