UPDATE: IAFC Operations During COVID-19
Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) continues to monitor and evaluate the rapidly-evolving situation with COVID-19 in Chicago and throughout Illinois. IAFCs number one priority is the health and safety of our staff and the children, families, and child care providers in our communities. We will continue to share information and follow guidance from local, state, and federal authorities throughout the coming days and weeks.
In response to this public health emergency and in the interest of protecting the health and safety of everyone, Illinois Action for Children has enacted the following measures.
- Effective beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all Illinois Action for Children offices will be closed and all in-person activities have been canceled. Given the degree of the in-person nature of much of our work, Illinois Action for Children has made the difficult decision to close all our offices and we have ceased all outreach and other in-person activities. Our staff members are working with their clients to adjust to virtual meetings and phone conversations. Illinois Action for Children is closely monitoring news and information from national and local agencies about COVID-19 and we will share information and provide regular updates on our services.
- Effective beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, IAFCs directly-operated Early Learning sites in Chicago’s South Suburbs were closed for center-based care and all home visiting services have been suspended. We are reaching out to enrolled families regarding food distribution for the remainder of this week and are currently working to partner with food distribution sites to provide meals for children the week of March 23. We will have more information on this as it becomes available.
Illinois Action for Children is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and is not a government agency or office. IAFC administers the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) in Cook County in accordance of a contract with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). Illinois Action for Children processes and administers CCAP on behalf IDHS. All policies, rules, and/or guidelines of the program are set by IDHS.
Illinois Action for Children does not:
- Employ any teachers nor fund or pay any child care programs (beyond IAFCs four directly operated Early Learning Centers in Chicago Heights, Ford Heights, Harvey-South Holland, and Dolton, IL and partner sites located in south suburban Cook County where we employ approximately 100 teachers).
- Make any decisions regarding when payments are made to providers.
- Fund or pay providers.
- Decide when/if/how any child care closure policy related to COVID-19 is enacted.
These rules are set by the state of Illinois and IDHS, and they will determine what, if any changes, will occur to CCAP policy. We are in continuous contact with IDHS and are committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for children, their families, and child care providers. We will share information as it becomes available.
For an FAQ from IDHS and DCFS for child care providers, click here. For guidance from IDHS and DCFS to child care providers and early learning programs, click here. As you will read in the FAQ, IDHS has said that the State of Illinois will continue to pay child care providers if they have to close or serve below normal capacity. More communication will be forthcoming from IDHS on this in the coming days.
Our top priority is the health and safety of everyone who depends on Illinois Action for Children—our staff, and the children, families, providers we all serve. We will have additional updates on all social media platforms and https://www.actforchildren.org/covid-19-information-resources/ as they become available.
Please follow the CDC recommendations for keeping yourself and your family safe during these challenging times.