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Illinois free child care assistance programs.

Low income families that are working or in some form of training or education programs may be able to receive assistance with their child care expenses from the Illinois Department Human Services (DHS). Free grants or vouchers may be offered to pay for daycare. The state works closely with each town and county to process applications and ensure that the funding gets to the correct families. There are a number of conditions that need to be met by applicants, funding is limited, and there is often a waiting list in place.

The state works to ensure that qualified families receive access to low cost or even better, free high quality, affordable child or day care. The financial aid that is available is for low-income, working families and they need to be using the government assistance in order to keep working or attending this training. The parent also needs to continue to contribute to the healthy, emotional and social development of the infant, teenager or child that is enrolled.

The state will only pay a portion of your total bill and enrolled families will still be required to cost-share on a sliding scale. The amount the parent needs to pay will factor in their income, family size and also the total number of children that they have enrolled in state subsidized care. Illinois can help some or all of the following residents. Program terms may change over time as well.

  • Teen parents that are in school and are actively seeking a high school degree may qualify. They will of course need to remain working towards their degree.
  • Low income families or individuals that are currently receiving cash assistance from the Illinois Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program may qualify. These applicants also need to be actively participating in some form of job training and/or education that was put into place by their social worker as part of TANF. So they need to follow their responsibility and service plans.
  • Assistance for child care may also be available for otherwise qualified families who are pursuing additional education or job training to improve their overall employment opportunities.

Overall, the State of Illinois will try to help income eligible families pay for their child care services while they go to school, are currently employed, in training or are participating in some other form of work related activities. So participants need to be on the way towards self-sufficiency.

 

 

 

To determine eligibility for free daycare, it is strongly recommended that parents work closely with your Child Care Resource and Referral agency. The phone number is (866) 697-8278. This office can supply you with all of the information that is needed, and they will process your application. All of this is required in an effort to see if you qualify for the program.

At the conclusion of the process, CCR&R will either deny or approve your application based on the information you give them. If it is incomplete or inaccurate, then the state of Illinois will go ahead and request addition or clarification details from you.

There are several income restrictions put into place by Illinois. To learn more, including qualifications, or to apply you need to call your local Child Care Resource & Referral agency. They can provide residents with an application to apply for the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program. In addition, staff from that agency can help parents or their caretakers find a high quality, licensed child care provider in their town or city.

Additional resources are provided by the Child Care Resource & Referral agencies. They include parents can receive consumer education material, free information and referrals to registered and qualify child or day care in their town and local communities. The office also delivers training and assistance directly to providers. CCR&R offices in Illinois also maintain an accurate database to provide up-to-date information to parents on all resources that are available to them.

The state provides information so that families can feel more comfortable in choosing a child care provider. Illinois residents can select a licensed or license-exempt provider. It can be a center/company or someone‘s home. If approved for low cost or free child care services, the provider can even be a family member such as an aunt or uncle or a friend. The state can give you advice for evaluating your options, a list of approved child care providers in your area, and other support.

 

 

 

 

Contact information for free day or child care in Illinois

As indicated, Illinois generally requires the family to contribute towards costs, so don’t expect 100% reimbursement from the program. This is known as a monthly co-payment. Illinois Department of Human Services will determine this amount based on many factors such as income, family size, and more. Some families may be given free daycare though, based on various factors. Call (866) 697-8278.

 

By Jon McNamara

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