“With the assistance of Illinois Action for Children... my family became more self sufficient.” — Darnice

Finding Child Care

If you need help locating Child Care we are available to assist you in finding the care that best meets your family's needs. The following Child Care options are available to you:

  • Licensed Child Care Center
  • License-Exempt Child Care Center
  • Licensed Family Child Care Home
  • License-Exempt Family Child Care Home
  • In-home Care
  • Head Start
  • Early Head Start
  • Preschool for All

Getting started:

  1. Click here to search for child care programs in and around Cook County twenty-four hours a day, or contact Illinois Action for Children by calling 312.823.1100 (press option 3).  You may also email us at referrals[at]  Emails will be answered as soon as possible and no later than one business day after they are received.
  2. Once connected to a Child Care Consultant, be prepared to answer a series of questions used to assist in identifying your family's child care needs. Make sure you have at least 15 minutes for the call. (All information is kept confidential.)
  3. Once your needs have been identified and matched to potential providers, you will receive a packet of information that includes a customized listing of the identified child care options. (Please note that these are referrals and not recommendations.)
  4. We highly recommend that you visit several programs before you make your final decision.
  5. The following links will assist you in making an informed decision regarding child care for your children. (Please note that these are referrals and not recommendations.)

Child Care Checklists

Quality Indicators

  • Educational activities based on the age of the child
  • Low ratio of children to staff
  • Children are supervised at all times
  • Nutritious meals and snacks are served
  • Caregivers and children wash their hands before and after meals and toileting
  • Parent involvement is encouraged
  • A curriculum is set to focus on the child's language, social, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs
  • Toys are sanitized daily
  • Caregivers received CPR and First Aid Training
  • Parents are asked to participate in group outings
  • Parents are greeted and welcomed in the classroom
  • Accredited programs have met the quality standards set by national organizations
  • Often, smaller size group programs provide more one on one attention
  • Provider's references are available upon request
  • Open communication between the parent and provider is encouraged
  • Caregivers have worked in current child care setting for at least a year

Please note the following policies that help to govern our services.

Complaint Policy (Complaints regarding our services)

  • Illinois Action for Children requires honesty, fairness, openness, professionalism and accountability from employees and volunteers in the performance of their responsibilities and job duties. We are committed to providing the highest level of customer service to all consumers; therefore, the appropriate management staff will promptly and thoroughly research and address every complaint regarding service or staff behavior.

Complaint Policy (Complaints about Child Care Providers)

  • If you have a non-life-threatening complaint regarding a provider you may contact our office and speak with a Consultant regarding your concern. We will provide you with information to assist you in addressing your concerns. You may be directed to contact the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services if your complaint rises to the level of abuse and/or neglect of a child or licensing violations.
  • If your complaint is life-threatening please contact the appropriate local officials.
  • Please note that all information provided is kept confidential.

Confidentiality Policy

  • Employees of Illinois Action for Children may have access to personal, privileged and/or confidential information. This information may concern other employees, the Organization's operations or other organizations with which we do business. Employees are obligated to ensure that this information remains confidential and is not disclosed. This is true regardless of whether or not an employee is actively employed, on leave, or employment with our organization ends for any reason.
  • Illinois Action for Children employees may have access to personal and confidential information about a client's condition, family, or financial status. This information should be handled with respect, and should not be discussed or disclosed outside of a private, legitimate, work-related conversation including only those with the need to know or those directly involved with a client.
  • Additionally, Illinois Action for Children is responsible for safeguarding the use of the personal and confidential information. Any violation of confidentiality seriously damages Illinois Action for Children's reputation and effectiveness.
  • Disclosure of confidential information is considered a very serious violation of organization policy and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
  • This policy is conveyed through phone consultations, consumer educational materials, and on the organization's website.

Disclaimer Policy

  • Referral Consultants will maintain integrity when providing referrals to families.
  • Consultants will only refer families to legal forms of child care.
  • Consultants shall distinctively explain that these are referrals and not recommendations.

Fee Policy

  • Parents requesting the In-Home book (only) will be charged a fee of $10.00.
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