Child care providers, parents face looming crisis to Child Care Assistance Program which could leave thousands of children without care.
On Tuesday, August 22, the House Human Services committee met to hold a Subject Matter Hearing surrounding a looming crisis in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Child Care providers and parents say that backdoor cuts in the form of mandatory training requirements will eliminate thousands of families from CCAP by September 30th.
“I am really worried that many CCAP providers will not be able to finish the training by September 30th and that it will be like 2015 again- with thousands of children without care while their parents are at work. Back in 2015 parents lost their jobs, or had to drop out school because they have kids. I see these training as a backdoor cut on the program. Right now thousands of CCAP providers haven’t been as lucky to finish the training as I have.” said Annie Wilder, a grandmother who cares for her grandchildren and SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana member.
The backdoor cuts come in the form of federal mandatory training requirements that must be completed by the end of September, largely impacting “Family, Friend, and Neighbor Care”, which provides care vital care for low-income people in a trusted setting.
On top of the trainings being long and largely inaccessible, the administration is also requiring providers to pay for their own training and miss days of work.
At the hearing Jamaine Wells, SEIU HCII member and child care provider, told the committee that “The state can exempt relative providers like me from the mandatory training. The state can also give us more time and provide us more resources to get trained. We need solutions and right now the state is not providing them.”
Providers and parents asked House Human Services committee to put pressure on the Illinois Department of Human Services to exempt relative providers from these trainings, a carve-out allowed by the federal requirements. This exemption would save thousands of families from losing vital child care.