Research Reports

Supporting Child Care Programs and Workforce

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Child Care for Children with Disabilities

How well is our child care system supporting children with disabilities? Our report series tries to answer this question by presenting the experiences of Chicago-area families and child care providers surveyed in Summer 2023. The findings point to ways we can strengthen our child care system so all children can access quality care regardless of their abilities.

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Featured Report

Child Care Provider Experiences During COVID-19 (2023)

Illinois Action for Children and our partners interviewed and surveyed hundreds of parents/guardians and child care providers in Cook County and throughout Illinois during the COVID-19 pandemic. These reports capture providers’ experiences navigating the pandemic and managing their child care programs.

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Featured Report

Child Care Equity Study – Impact of Subsidy Policy Changes (2022)

Recent policy changes in the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) are intended to improve the quality and stability of care for families. We use an equity lens to explore the impacts of two policies: expanding parent eligibility from 6 to 12 months and new training requirements for license-exempt home providers. This report was in partnership with the University of Chicago and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Research on Subsidized Family, Friend and Neighbor Providers: Implications for Investing in Quality (2019)

Thousands of children in Cook County receive Child Care Assistance and receive child care from a family member, friend or neighbor. New rules require many of these providers to complete health and safety training and meet monitoring requirements. This report explores characteristics of subsidized family, friend and neighbor care in Cook County and the implications for designing a successful training and monitoring program.

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Choices in the Real World: The use of family, friend and neighbor child care by single Chicago mothers working nontraditional schedules (2013)

This report captures how fifty single mothers provide for their young children’s care while they are working nontraditional schedules and how their choices impact their and their children’s well-being.

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Illinois Action for Children’s Trainings on Nutritional and Physical Activity Standards in Child Care Settings and How Providers Perceive and Practice the New Standards (2012)

This report captures child care providers’ reflection on the role they can play in helping children form good exercise and eating habits.

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Why Have Illinois Child Care Centers Closed? (2007; Published in 2011)

The report investigates the reasons for 610 child care center closings in Illinois between 1999 and 2003.

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