Subsidized Child Care Programs: Illinois can expand and improve subsidized child care programs to make quality child care more affordable for low and moderate-income families. This includes increasing funding for programs like the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and revising income eligibility criteria to ensure that more families qualify for assistance. By reducing the financial burden on parents, these programs can make childcare more accessible and support working parents.
Investment in Early Childhood Education: Expanding investments in early childhood education can help improve the quality and availability of childcare services. Illinois can increase funding for public preschool programs and collaborate with local providers to offer high-quality early education and care. This not only benefits children's development but also provides parents with more affordable options for childcare.
Support for Childcare Providers: To address the shortage of childcare providers and improve the quality of care, Illinois can offer incentives and support for individuals interested in becoming childcare providers. This may include grants or low-interest loans for opening new childcare facilities, training and professional development opportunities for caregivers, and increased reimbursement rates for providers who meet certain quality standards. By strengthening the childcare workforce and expanding the number of available providers, the state can enhance accessibility to quality care.