State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1        AN ACT to amend the Child Care Act of 1969.

 2        Be  it  enacted  by  the People of the State of Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section 5.  The Child Care Act  of  1969  is  amended  by
 5    adding Section 4.5 as follows:

 6        (225 ILCS 10/4.5 new)
 7        Sec. 4.5.  Great START program.
 8        (a)  Beginning  October  1, 2000, the Department of Human
 9    Services shall, subject to a specific appropriation for  this
10    purpose,  operate  a  Great  START  (Strategy  To Attract and
11    Retain Teachers) program. The  goal  of  the  program  is  to
12    improve  children's  educational  outcomes  in  child care by
13    encouraging increased professional preparation by  staff  and
14    staff  retention.  The  Great  START program shall coordinate
15    with the TEACH professional development program.
16        The program shall provide wage  supplements  to  licensed
17    child   care  center  personnel,  including  early  childhood
18    teachers, school-age  workers,  early  childhood  assistants,
19    school-age   assistants,   and   directors,   as  defined  by
20    administrative rule of the Department of Children and  Family
21    Services.  The  program  shall  provide  wage  supplements to
22    licensed family day care home personnel  and  licensed  group
23    day  care home personnel, including caregivers and assistants
24    as defined  by  administrative  rule  of  the  Department  of
25    Children   and  Family  Services.  Individuals  will  receive
26    supplements commensurate with their qualifications.
27        (b)  The Department shall convene an advisory  commission
28    to  make recommendations by October 1, 2000 on the components
29    of the Great START program.  The  advisory  commission  shall
30    consist  of  experts  from the child care and early childhood
31    education field.  In  addition  to  the  Secretary  of  Human
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 1    Services,  ex  officio,  and other appropriate members of the
 2    Department of Human Services, the Commission shall include  a
 3    Senator  appointed  by the President of the Senate, a Senator
 4    appointed by the Senate  Minority  Leader,  a  Representative
 5    appointed  by  the  Speaker  of  the  House, a Representative
 6    appointed by the House Minority  Leader,  and  the  following
 7    ex-officio  members:  the  Director  of  Children  and Family
 8    Services, the Director of Commerce and Community Affairs, the
 9    Director of Employment Security, the  Superintendent  of  the
10    State  Board of Education, the Chair of the Community College
11    Board, and the Chair of the Executive Committee of the  Board
12    of  Higher  Education. Ex-officio members may name a designee
13    to represent them.
14        (c)  The  Department  shall,  by  rule,  develop  a  wage
15    supplement scale. The scale shall pay increasing amounts  for
16    higher   levels  of  educational  attainment  beyond  minimum
17    qualifications and shall recognize longevity  of  employment.
18    The wage supplements shall be paid to child care personnel in
19    the  form  of  bonuses  at  6  month intervals. Six months of
20    continuous service with a single employer is required  to  be
21    eligible   to   receive   a   wage  supplement  bonus.   Wage
22    supplements shall be paid directly  to  individual  day  care
23    personnel, not to their employers.  Eligible individuals must
24    provide  documentation,  including but not limited to college
25    transcripts,  to  demonstrate  their  qualifications  for   a
26    particular wage supplement level.
27        If  appropriations  permit,  the  Department  may include
28    one-time signing bonuses to  help  providers  attract  staff,
29    provided   that   the  signing  bonuses  are  less  than  the
30    supplement staff would have received  if  they  had  remained
31    employed  with  another  day  care  center or family day care
32    home.
33        If appropriations  permit,  the  Department  may  include
34    one-time  longevity  bonuses  to  recognize  staff  who  have
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 1    remained with a single employer.
 2        (d)  The   Department  shall  evaluate  the  Great  START
 3    program,  gather  data   on   turnover   rates,   educational
 4    attainment, and other relevant issues, and submit a report to
 5    the  General  Assembly on the Great START program by December
 6    31, 2002.

 7        Section 99.  Effective date.  This Act takes effect  upon
 8    becoming law.

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