State of Illinois
2017 and 2018


Introduced , by Rep. Carol Ammons


305 ILCS 5/9A-11  from Ch. 23, par. 9A-11

    Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. In provisions concerning the child care assistance program, requires the Department of Human Services to provide child care services to parents or other relatives who are engaged in a good-faith job search for a period of up to 6 months. Deletes certain provisions regarding eligibility of certain families eligible for child care assistance and factors for determining assistance. Adds language providing that no family shall be excluded from eligibility for child care benefits based solely on household income and that the amount of child care assistance shall (i) take into account the amount families can afford to pay based on the co-payment scale established by the Department and (ii) cover the cost of quality child care. Contains provisions limiting redeterminations to once every 12 months. Removes provisions authorizing the Department to lower income eligibility ceilings, raise parent co-payments, create waiting lists, or take such other actions during a fiscal year as are necessary to ensure that child care benefits paid under the Code do not exceed the amounts appropriated for those child care benefits. Contains provisions requiring the Department to: (1) establish a wage scale sufficient to recruit and retain a skilled and diverse child care workforce; (2) annually publish in draft form its determination of the cost of quality care; (3) adopt policies that maximize the participation of eligible children in Head Start and Early Head Start programs; and (4) submit annual reports to the General Assembly concerning certain matters.

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1    AN ACT concerning public aid.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Legislative findings.
5    The General Assembly finds that child care in Illinois is
6often unaffordable for families, difficult for families to
7access, and relies on a low-wage workforce.
8    The average annual cost of child care for an infant in a
9licensed center is more than the cost of in-state tuition at a
104-year public university. Child care for 2 young children
11exceeds the average cost of rent in the State. In Illinois, a
12parent earning minimum wage would have to spend more than 55%
13of their annual earnings on child care for a 4-year old, and
14nearly 75% for an infant. Federal rules concerning the Child
15Care and Development Fund recommend an affordability benchmark
16of no more than 7% of a family's income be charged as
17co-payment for child care assistance.
18    Child care services are not always available when and where
19they are needed by families. There was a significant shortage
20of licensed child care capacity in 60% of Illinois ZIP codes as
21of 2016. Overall, the capacity to serve children ages 0-5 years
22in licensed centers, license-exempt centers, and licensed
23family child care homes was not sufficient to serve all
24children in families below 185% of the federal poverty level in



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12015. Many working parents in Illinois work "non-traditional"
2schedules including nights and weekends. In 2016, almost twice
3as many families made requests to child care resource and
4referral agencies for weekend care as was reported by
6    The child care workforce is highly degreed and credentialed
7but underpaid. Over 74% of child care teachers in Illinois have
8completed a college degree, yet their average wage is only $12
9per hour. Licensed family child care homes report annual net
10income of $15,000 per year. The wages of both child care
11workers and preschool teachers in Illinois declined in real
12terms over 16 years from 1997-2013. Women make up 97% of this
14    Section 5. The Illinois Public Aid Code is amended by
15changing Section 9A-11 as follows:
16    (305 ILCS 5/9A-11)  (from Ch. 23, par. 9A-11)
17    Sec. 9A-11. Child care.
18    (a) The General Assembly recognizes that families with
19children need child care in order to work, that parental income
20and economic stability is a key determinant of child outcomes,
21that an adequately compensated child care workforce is central
22to the quality of child care that young children receive, and
23that it is therefore in the State's interest to support parents
24in accessing child care services that best meet their family's



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1needs. Without assistance, working families often find quality
2child care to be unaffordable and hard to find, particularly
3for families with unpredictable work schedules or for those who
4work non-standard hours. The child care workforce has
5historically been paid poorly for its vitally important work.
6The General Assembly declares that child care should be
7affordable, accessible, and available to all parents including
8those working all schedules, and should be provided by a
9workforce that earns a living wage. Child care is expensive and
10families with low incomes, including those who are
11transitioning from welfare to work, often struggle to pay the
12costs of day care. The General Assembly understands the
13importance of helping low income working families become and
14remain self-sufficient. The General Assembly also believes
15that it is the responsibility of families to share in the costs
16of child care. It is also the preference of the General
17Assembly that all working poor families should be treated
18equally, regardless of their welfare status.
19    (b) The To the extent resources permit, the Illinois
20Department shall provide child care services to parents or
21other relatives as defined by rule who are working, engaged in
22a good-faith job search for a period of up to 6 months, or
23participating in employment or Department approved education
24or training programs. At a minimum, the Illinois Department
25shall cover the following categories of families shall be
26included: recipients of TANF under Article IV participating in



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1work and training activities as specified in the personal plan
2for employment and self-sufficiency; families transitioning
3from TANF to work; families at risk of becoming recipients of
4TANF; and families with special needs as defined by rule. :
5        (1) recipients of TANF under Article IV participating
6    in work and training activities as specified in the
7    personal plan for employment and self-sufficiency;
8        (2) families transitioning from TANF to work;
9        (3) families at risk of becoming recipients of TANF;
10        (4) families with special needs as defined by rule;
11        (5) working families with very low incomes as defined
12    by rule; and
13        (6) families that are not recipients of TANF and that
14    need child care assistance to participate in education and
15    training activities.
16    (b-1) The Department shall specify by rule the conditions
17of eligibility, the redetermination of eligibility, the
18application process, and the types, amounts, and duration of
19services. Eligibility for child care benefits and the amount of
20child care provided may vary based on family size, income, and
21other factors as specified by rule.
22        (1) No Illinois family shall be excluded from
23    eligibility for child care benefits based solely on
24    household income. The amount of child care assistance
25    provided shall take into account the amount families can
26    afford to pay based on the co-payment scale established by



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1    the Department under subsection (d) and shall cover the
2    cost of quality child care as determined by the Department
3    under subsection (e-2).
4        (2) Eligibility for child care assistance shall be
5    redetermined no more often than once every 12 months.
6    Parents shall be required to notify the Department of any
7    material changes in circumstances related to the cessation
8    of work, training, or education. The Department shall take
9    steps to ensure that the requirements for redetermination
10    of eligibility do not cause undue disruptions to parents'
11    employment or the continuity of care for children.
12    In determining income eligibility for child care benefits,
13the Department annually, at the beginning of each fiscal year,
14shall establish, by rule, one income threshold for each family
15size, in relation to percentage of State median income for a
16family of that size, that makes families with incomes below the
17specified threshold eligible for assistance and families with
18incomes above the specified threshold ineligible for
19assistance. Through and including fiscal year 2007, the
20specified threshold must be no less than 50% of the
21then-current State median income for each family size.
22Beginning in fiscal year 2008, the specified threshold must be
23no less than 185% of the then-current federal poverty level for
24each family size.
25    In determining eligibility for assistance, the Department
26shall not give preference to any category of recipients or give



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1preference to individuals based on their receipt of benefits
2under this Code.
3    Nothing in this Section shall be construed as conferring
4entitlement status to eligible families.
5    The Illinois Department is authorized to lower income
6eligibility ceilings, raise parent co-payments, create waiting
7lists, or take such other actions during a fiscal year as are
8necessary to ensure that child care benefits paid under this
9Article do not exceed the amounts appropriated for those child
10care benefits. These changes may be accomplished by emergency
11rule under Section 5-45 of the Illinois Administrative
12Procedure Act, except that the limitation on the number of
13emergency rules that may be adopted in a 24-month period shall
14not apply.
15    The Illinois Department may contract with other State
16agencies or child care organizations for the administration of
17child care services.
18    (b-2) (c) Payment shall be made for child care that
19otherwise meets the requirements of this Section and applicable
20standards of State and local law and regulation, including any
21requirements the Illinois Department promulgates by rule in
22addition to the licensure requirements promulgated by the
23Department of Children and Family Services and Fire Prevention
24and Safety requirements promulgated by the Office of the State
25Fire Marshal and is provided in any of the following:
26        (1) a child care center which is licensed or exempt



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1    from licensure pursuant to Section 2.09 of the Child Care
2    Act of 1969;
3        (2) a licensed child care home or home exempt from
4    licensing;
5        (3) a licensed group child care home;
6        (4) other types of child care, including child care
7    provided by relatives or persons living in the same home as
8    the child, as determined by the Illinois Department by
9    rule.
10    (c-5) Solely for the purposes of coverage under the
11Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, child and day care home
12providers, including licensed and license exempt,
13participating in the Department's child care assistance
14program shall be considered to be public employees and the
15State of Illinois shall be considered to be their employer as
16of the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th
17General Assembly, but not before. The State shall engage in
18collective bargaining with an exclusive representative of
19child and day care home providers participating in the child
20care assistance program concerning their terms and conditions
21of employment that are within the State's control. Nothing in
22this subsection shall be understood to limit the right of
23families receiving services defined in this Section to select
24child and day care home providers or supervise them within the
25limits of this Section. The State shall not be considered to be
26the employer of child and day care home providers for any



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1purposes not specifically provided in this amendatory Act of
2the 94th General Assembly, including but not limited to,
3purposes of vicarious liability in tort and purposes of
4statutory retirement or health insurance benefits. Child and
5day care home providers shall not be covered by the State
6Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971.
7    In according child and day care home providers and their
8selected representative rights under the Illinois Public Labor
9Relations Act, the State intends that the State action
10exemption to application of federal and State antitrust laws be
11fully available to the extent that their activities are
12authorized by this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly.
13    (d) The Illinois Department shall establish, by rule, a
14co-payment scale that provides for cost sharing by families
15that receive child care services, including parents whose only
16income is from assistance under this Code. The co-payment shall
17be based on family income, and family size, and the number of
18children needing care and may be based on other factors as
19appropriate. The co-payment scale shall ensure that:
20        (1) no family is required to pay more than 7% of its
21    family income toward the cost of quality child care as
22    determined by the Department under subsection (e-2);
23        (2) low-income and moderate-income families are
24    required to pay no more than they can reasonably afford;
25    and
26        (3) co-payments are Co-payments may be waived for



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1    families whose incomes are at or below the federal poverty
2    level.
3    (d-5) (Blank). The Illinois Department, in consultation
4with its Child Care and Development Advisory Council, shall
5develop a plan to revise the child care assistance program's
6co-payment scale. The plan shall be completed no later than
7February 1, 2008, and shall include:
8        (1) findings as to the percentage of income that the
9    average American family spends on child care and the
10    relative amounts that low-income families and the average
11    American family spend on other necessities of life;
12        (2) recommendations for revising the child care
13    co-payment scale to assure that families receiving child
14    care services from the Department are paying no more than
15    they can reasonably afford;
16        (3) recommendations for revising the child care
17    co-payment scale to provide at-risk children with complete
18    access to Preschool for All and Head Start; and
19        (4) recommendations for changes in child care program
20    policies that affect the affordability of child care.
21    (e) (Blank).
22    (e-1) The Department shall, by rule, establish a wage scale
23sufficient to recruit and retain a skilled and diverse
24workforce. All child care providers receiving payment from the
25Department shall be required to meet or exceed wage standards
26under the wage scale. The wage scale shall be established and



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1updated annually in consultation with unions representing the
2child care workforce and shall:
3        (1) at a minimum, provide a living wage for family
4    child care providers and all staff of child care providers;
5    as used in this paragraph, "living wage" means an hourly
6    wage that is sufficient for a full-time year-round worker
7    to cover the basic self-sufficiency needs of a family of 4
8    in the geographic area in which the worker resides;
9        (2) ensure wages for family child care providers and
10    staff of child care providers that are comparable to wages
11    for elementary educators with similar qualifications and
12    experience; and
13        (3) recognize variations by geographic area.
14    (e-2) The Department shall annually publish in draft form
15its determination of the cost of quality care which shall be
16revised based upon public review and comment. The determination
17of the cost of quality care shall be based on a statistically
18valid and reliable cost estimation process, established by
19rule, that:
20        (1) collects information about actual costs and
21    expenses;
22        (2) recognizes variations in the cost of child care
23    services by geographic area, type of provider, and age of
24    child;
25        (3) recognizes the additional costs associated with
26    providing quality and inclusive child care services for



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1    children with disabilities;
2        (4) recognizes the additional costs associated with
3    providing child care during non-traditional hours or in
4    cases where work hours and care needs vary from week to
5    week;
6        (5) includes a process to define the cost of quality
7    child care provided by a family member, friend, or neighbor
8    that takes into account the unique needs and
9    characteristics of this type of care;
10        (6) is based upon definitions of quality care
11    established in consultation with parents, unions
12    representing the child care workforce, and other
13    stakeholders;
14        (7) accounts for the costs of paying all family child
15    care providers and all staff of child care providers at or
16    above the wage scale established in subsection (e-1); and
17        (8) is updated annually.
18    (f) Rates shall be set at levels that cover the full cost
19of quality child care, as established under subsection (e-2),
20and shall be updated annually in consultation with parents,
21unions representing the child care workforce, and other
22stakeholders. The Illinois Department shall, by rule, set rates
23to be paid for the various types of child care. Child care may
24be provided through one of the following methods:
25        (1) arranging the child care through eligible
26    providers by use of purchase of service contracts or



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1    vouchers;
2        (2) arranging with other agencies and community
3    volunteer groups for non-reimbursed child care;
4        (3) (blank); or
5        (4) adopting such other arrangements as the Department
6    determines appropriate.
7    (f-5) (Blank).
8    (g) Families eligible for assistance under this Section
9shall be given the following options:
10        (1) receiving a child care certificate issued by the
11    Department or a subcontractor of the Department that may be
12    used by the parents as payment for child care and
13    development services only; or
14        (2) if space is available, enrolling the child with a
15    child care provider that has a purchase of service contract
16    with the Department or a subcontractor of the Department
17    for the provision of child care and development services.
18    The Department may identify particular priority
19    populations for whom they may request special
20    consideration by a provider with purchase of service
21    contracts, provided that the providers shall be permitted
22    to maintain a balance of clients in terms of household
23    incomes and families and children with special needs, as
24    defined by rule.
25    (h) The Department shall establish, by rule, policies that
26maximize the participation of eligible children in Head Start



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1and Early Head Start programs. The Department shall facilitate
2the coordination of the delivery of services under this Section
3with the goal of increasing participation in Head Start and
4Early Head Start programs in the State.
5    (i) No less than 9% of the funds appropriated in any fiscal
6year for the purposes of this Section shall be dedicated to
7improving the quality of child care in the State. The
8Department shall determine the utilization of these funds by
9regularly consulting with parents, unions representing the
10child care workforce, and other stakeholders to identify
11quality improvement strategies, goals, and priorities.
12Allowable uses of funds under this subsection include:
13improving the skills and qualifications of the existing
14workforce; increasing workforce compensation; and building the
15supply of quality care, including provider start-up and
17    (j) The Department shall annually provide a report to the
18General Assembly that includes the following:
19        (1) how the Department is ensuring a sufficient supply
20    of quality child care programs to meet the needs of
21    families in the State, including access to non-standard
22    hour care, care for children with special needs, and care
23    for English language learners;
24        (2) how quality standards and quality funding are being
25    coordinated to minimize barriers to quality improvement
26    and ensure the continued employment of an experienced,



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1    diverse workforce; and
2        (3) how the Department is minimizing barriers to
3    provider participation in the child care assistance
4    program funded under this Section, including, but not
5    limited to, following generally accepted payment practices
6    and ensuring timeliness of payments.
7    The report to the General Assembly shall be filed with the
8Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the
9Senate in electronic form only, in the manner that the Clerk
10and the Secretary shall direct.
11(Source: P.A. 100-387, eff. 8-25-17.)