Child Care Assistance Program Policy Updates – Good News!

July 10, 2019

As of July 1, 2019 the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) made policy changes that will help families start and continue to receive financial help for quality child care programs! CCAP is a child care subsidy program for income-eligible families with children under the age of 13. Currently, Illinois has the 8th-most expensive infant and toddler care in the nation. (Illinois Risk & Reach Report, 2019) The updates include:

  • Decreased Family Co-Payments:
    Parent co-pays will decrease to no more than 9 percent of a family’s gross income, down 2.38 percent from previous years. That means for a family of 3 with a monthly income of $3,023-$3,200 the monthly co-pay would decrease to $208

  • Increased Income Eligibility:
    Effective October 1, 2019, initial income eligibility begins at 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and will have an exit ramp at 225 percent of FPL at the time of redetermination. That means an initial monthly income amount of $3,289 or less for a family of three to qualify.

  • Increased Investment in the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program:
    The Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program investment was doubled to increase the number of highly qualified child care practitioners. Gateways is a statewide professional development system that includes training, education, and ongoing supports for child care and early education professionals in Illinois.

  • Increased Eligibility for the Great START Wage Supplement Program:
    The Great START maximum wage for participation will increase from $15 per hour to $18 per hour (or $37,440 per year). Great START is a wage supplement program under Gateways to Opportunity professional development programs that rewards eligible child care and early education practitioners for receiving higher education and for remaining at their current place of employment.

To read the full document in English click here, and in Spanish click here. Thank you to IDHS, our advocates and our partners for making these significant changes to help support children and families in Illinois!