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

Teen Parent Project

We recognize the additional hardship teen parents may face as they seek to find balance between teen life itself, parenthood, and school - as such, we offer special assistance to teens in an effort to ensure that child care does not become a barrier for them to remain in school. This service is offered FREE to teen parents 19 years old or younger living in Cook County.

Contact us by calling 312.823.1100 (press option 7). You will be connected with a well-equipped, professionally trained Child Care Consultant who will:

  • Speak with you regarding your child care needs
  • Discuss quality child care and options
  • Search for child care openings in the neighborhood of your choice
  • Identify options available to help you pay for child care
  • Provide a packet of information that includes customized child care options (Please note these are referrals and not recommendations.)
  • Keep in touch with you until you find a child care arrangement that works for you


Click here to download and use our new and improved Baby Steps booklet that provides helpful hints for teen parents and parents-to-be.


The following information can also help you make informed decisions about child care for your children.

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 provided
  • Providers 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
  • Providers 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 provides more one-on-one attention
  • Provider references are available upon request
  • Open communication between the parent and provider is encouraged
  • Provider has worked in current child care setting for at least a year

Paying for Child Care

The Illinois Child Care Assistance Program makes it possible for families who qualify to receive financial assistance in paying for child care. Parents must be engaged in a qualifying activity such as work and/or school to be eligible. Parents must also meet income and family size guidelines that have been set according to 185% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Please visit the Paying for Child Care page to learn more about this service.

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