Jacobs: We must restore childcare funding

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Senator Mike Jacobs (D-Moline) is working with his colleagues to ensure that the legislature reauthorizes additional funding to help fill the hole in childcare funding.

“Last week, the Department of Human Services sent child care providers throughout the state letters informing them that there is not enough money in the state budget to pay for child care services for the rest of the fiscal year, ending June 30, 2012,” said Senator Jacobs.  “Child care providers have no financial safeguards to help them until the new fiscal year begins, unlike many other service providers in Illinois.”

Without child care, nearly 85,000 single parents and families would lose a safe, reliable facility to care for their children while they work or go to school.  In addition, the state would be putting nearly 3,000 child care centers and approximately 30,000 home-based providers out of business.

In addition, if no child care is available, parents cannot go to work, school, or participate in any sort of training programs. Child care is expensive, and many families can barely afford to work. This isn’t just an issue for low-income families either. Many middle-income families are struggling to pay for daycare. In addition, child care centers are largely not-for-profit organizations that provide quality care for children at a reasonable cost.

House Bill 6164 has been amended in the House of Representatives to provide these much needed funds and ensure that child care providers are able to continue to offer these critical services.  This legislation will help to ensure that current child care services are not interrupted.  Without these funds, a significant percentage of providers across Illinois would go out of business, leaving thousands of families without care for their children.

Senator Jacobs went on to say, “We need to find a resolution that will allow for continued funding through the end of the fiscal year for these vital services.”