Gov. Quinn Will Approve Child-Care Legislation

By: Lauren Kravets, Faran Fronczak
By: Lauren Kravets, Faran Fronczak

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois child care agencies that faced an uncertain financial future got a reprieve from lawmakers.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law Friday a measure that shifts state funding to carry the child care fund through the end of the budget year in June.

The Democrat acted just hours after the Senate sent him legislation to shuffled $73.6 million from other parts of the budget.

The Department of Human Services program that subsidizes community or in-home child care for parents who work, go to school or job training was out of money. That might have meant some of the providers would have to close.

Legislators also used the bill to move $151 million into paying down a Medicaid health care program bill backlog.


The bill is SB2450


UPDATE 5/18/2012: After weeks of uncertainty, local child care providers will get paid after all.

There was no opposition in the senate today as lawmakers approved a nearly 74 million dollar bill to help pay daycares. Just two weeks ago they were told they wouldn't get paid for three months because the state ran out of money.

That would've forced some of them to close. However, after shuffling money around the daycares will now get paid, but other agencies won't. This means the stack of unpaid bills to places like schools and nursing homes will grow.

While child care providers are happy they'll get paid now, they're still concerned about cuts that are outlined in the budget for next fiscal year. It includes 85 million dollars in cuts to child care funding.

Governor Quinn is expected to sign this bill immediately. It also includes moving more than 150 million dollars to paying down a bill for a Medicaid program.

UPDATE 5/17/2012: Local child care providers are still waiting on the state to pay them millions of promised dollars and they could finally see that money within the next week.

The Illinois Senate is expected to discuss the supplemental bill tomorrow. and possibly approve it.

The house already passed the measure yesterday. The emergency funding would pay out 74 million dollars to day cares that rely on the Child Care Assistance Program, a subsidy for parents.

UPDATE: 5/9/2012: Some of you told us in the Pulse that you wanted to hear more about the daycare dilemma. You may recall some local daycares could be closing in a month if they don’t receive money that's been promised to them by the state.

It's been a week since local child care providers were notified by the state, that they won't receive funding for three months, for the child care assistance program.

Many daycares rely on that funding to keep the facilities running. This morning, about 25 directors from Stateline providers gathered to decide their next steps.

Some have already stopped enrolling children and several say if they don't get funding. They could be forced to close their doors in 30 days. That also puts a major burden on parents. Their only hope lies in the hands of legislators to find funding somewhere.

Senator Dave Syverson said, "The daycare community and some other legislators are trying to get this thing resolved sooner then later and our goal would be to get something done next week so it's off the table before we start dealing with the budget issue."

Executive Director of Circles of Learning Diane Stout said, "We also talked about daycare parents calling legislators and talking about why they need the daycare assistance subsidy so they can be able to work because most of us passionately believe taxpayers would rather see people work then be home on public aid and that's what the subsidy program is all about."

About a hundred child care providers and parents will rally in Springfield next week to call on legislators for emergency funding.

There's been talk of having parents pay the full price of day care, but low-income parents have told us they don’t think they can afford the cost.

More than 55-hundred Rockford area kids benefit from the Child Care Assistance Program.

These aren't the only cuts child care providers are dealing with. They've been told by the state that they'll receive less funding in the next fiscal year. That means comes July first they'll have to increase parent co-pays.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Many local child care providers are still in shock after learning they won't be getting paid for at least three months and that's expected to have a trickle down effect on parents. 23 News spoke to one mother who doesn't know what she'll do.

More than 100 kids attend Blackhawk Learning Connection in Rockford and all but five of them get help paying for the day care through the 'Child Care Assistance Program'. State funding has run out for the program. That means child care centers won't get paid until July and parents could be forced to pay full price. That's something that has Corrin Grado worried.

She said, "It scares me because it's like can I afford it? I don't think I can. And if I can't afford a daycare, work, is to pay the bills, rent, gas, electric."

The cuts are also taking a toll on daycares. Leaders at Blackhawk Learning Connection say they can’t go three months without pay and if they don't get funding they could be forced to shut down.

Executive Director Kathy Powell has been with the center since it opened 42 years ago and she's never seen it this bad.

She said, "We've had problems with funding in the past but never had it where they said they ran out of money."

Powell will meet with the Board of Directors next week to decide their next steps. Until then Grado can't stop worrying about how the cuts will affect her family.

She said, "I start thinking of all these things even though it's the future but it's something I'm thinking about now."

Right now, the program brings parent co-pays down to $1/month through $200/month.

The cost can be upwards of $1,000 a month for a child under the age of 2 without the program’s assistance. Blackhawk is now sending out letter to parents to inform them of the cuts.

Currently, there is an emergency bill in the works but its not expected to make it to the legislature until May 18.

YWCA leaders say the bill is misleading because it's not an independent bill. It's expected to pass with the 2013 budget -- and as always -- it's unclear when that will happen.

ILLINOIS (WIFR) -- Thousands of Stateline kids benefit from the Child Care Assistance Program that helps parents pay for daycare. Now the Illinois Department of Human Services says there isn't enough money to pay for the rest of the fiscal year.

Toys, books, and food are just some of the things Annette Yount pays out of pocket to run her at home daycare. "It's about $1300 a month that I will be having to wait for my payment," she says.

Yount sits for 3 children who are paid for by the Child Care Assistance Program. She just found out she won't get her April, May and June payments till July, since the state has run out of cash. "Usually our June payment is late because of the fiscal year, but this is the earliest it's ever started that they said they won't get us paid till the new fiscal year. My creditors aren't going to say, 'We don't care that you're not paying your bills just because the state's not paying there's,'" she says.

Even though Yount will have to struggle to get by, she says daycare centers will get hit even harder. She says, "We'll probably just take the hit till we do get paid. We're probably not going to drop those families and just continue to work for free. Daycare centers, I don't know. They've got a lot more state funded kids... I don't know if they'll be able to stay open."

Yount says those who rely on state funding for child care could be forced to quit their jobs. She says, "It will make you think twice to take state-paid kids. You're going to want the private-paid kids first. Because at least then you know you're going to get paid."

Spokespeople for the Childcare Assistance Programs say they've requested additional funds from the General Assembly, but to date it hasn't received any additional dollars. An emergency bill is making its way through the legislature, but a decision isn't expected until May 18th at the earliest.

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  • by County Worker Location: Rockford on May 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM
    Truth is, regardless of how many times you complain about these services, they are still always going to exist. No matter how frusatrating it is, WIC, LINK, MEDICARE, AND Child Care Solutions will always be there to help as many as possible whether or not you agree with the programs. It is simply the state of Illinois. If you diagree with these services and you feel like you must take a stand, you can either try and protest against these services that will lead you nowhere, move to another state, or simply ignore it. If you do not want to see your "hard earned tax money" go to these servies, then move to another country because the United States will always provide single mothers or families who are less fornuate with these services. You can get mad and angry.. tell mothers they should not have kids, whatever.. but in the end it is just your opinion. At the end of the day.. Nobody Cares!
  • by Chris Location: 61008 on May 21, 2012 at 06:37 AM
    You know Dave, you sound like you have all the answers!! Let me say, I happen to be a Child Care Provider, that is my income,it is how I happen to pay the bills to help support my family. I pay taxes just like you and the families I watch the children for!! you are making it sound like these parents are just sucking up the free money they get for child care, hey dumb ass they HAVE jobs, THEY pay TAXES and they pay the provider a CO PAY!! Would you rather have them get help paying for care of their children,Which the taxes they pay help fund this, OR QUIT their jobs sit on there ass and collect Public Aid??? So Now Dave you make take a bow for your ignorance. And the next time you decide to comment on something, please do some research on it and be informed on the topic, before you open your mouth!!!!
    • reply
      by Dave on May 22, 2012 at 05:09 AM in reply to Chris
      So you are saying people that work do not take advantage of the system? You are saying that because you have a job its ok? I wish I could have customers where the government paid their bill to me. It is not any persons problem that you set up a business that is used by parasites from the system. Its your problem that your business is reliant on parasites. I bet as with the other 80% of the daycares in Rockford you do not even conform if they did a walk through. I hope they shut it down and you are forced to close your doors and go start a real business that does not rely of government assistance to keep the doors open. I will take a bow. I am clearly the only person that see's this for what it is. Parasites and parasite daycare owners. Hope you lose it all! Your as big a parasite as anyone on welfare.
  • by Mel Location: Rockford on May 18, 2012 at 07:22 PM
    Dave you are awsome. I mean you are truely insperational. Everyone give Dave a big hand for being so perfect because that's obviously what he needs to be able to sleep at night. Everyone clap so he can feel good about himself. Take a bow Dave. You must really have no life. You obviously have a lot of time on your hands to be able to post so often.
    • reply
      by Dave on May 19, 2012 at 05:34 AM in reply to Mel
      Life would be better if I did not have to pay for others children or listen to the poor daycare owners that decised to open a business and build it based off of parasite money from the government. Thank you though Mel I slept great last night!
  • by there ya go on May 17, 2012 at 07:34 PM
    Well it looks like these people got their wish. They are going to use other funds to pay for the daycare costs. They said they were taking it out of the education fund. So now schools can suffer even more just as long as some kids get daycare assistance. More power to ya. You know when my children were young I stayed home partly because daycare costs were high. I ran up my credit cards and I am still paying them off till this day. I think I may file bankrupcty on all of it now. After all I paid my taxes so now the taxpayer funded government can pay this off for me to make me debt free. Then I could probably afford to go to college to get a better degree. Maybe taxpayer funded school. Then I can better myself and step on everyone else for a change. Afterall I cant help the way the economy is. Its not my fault.
    • reply
      by Douglas on May 18, 2012 at 04:31 AM in reply to there ya go
      You didn't know that the state was right on track in paying the schools what is owed to them. Schools districts were told this a couple of weeks ago at a meeting the state is right track to pay ALL the money it is suppose too............ wait for it, except the last 2 PAYMENTS. This was planned before the child care came up. I guess they were afraid of the demostration that was planned in Springfield by a group we met at the rest stop near Springfield.
      • reply
        by there ya go on May 18, 2012 at 07:44 PM in reply to Douglas
        Doug, well now I guess the will not be paying the last THREE payments. LOL What happened to all tha tax money from the lotto that was won. I thought it was only suppose to be used for the schools in IL? Or was that another false political move. Il sucks well acually the politicians do. Scammers
  • by Amber on May 15, 2012 at 07:25 AM
    I use the state subsidy program to help me with my daycare fees. I go to work everyday and some. I may have made a bad decision to have kids when I truely couldn't afford them but they are in no way a bad decision. I pay taxes, lots of them and work very hard. So that means I am a free loader? I don't think so. All I can do is shake my head at this "Dave" person. Very sad.
  • by april on May 14, 2012 at 01:15 AM
    dave, I am grown and not going to be going word for word with you. I have 5 children why because I take care of them,not the state.For two all my children are by one man who also works full time to help support his family. I did not make poor choices my children are well taken care of and childcare is one expense I use to help me so I can make sure they are taken care of.There is not a problem for your info for any women to get state funded help if they are doing what they need to do to take care of these children,times are hard and the economy is a bad.You should not be so judgmental because it makes you look really ignorant.
  • by Dave Location: Rockford on May 12, 2012 at 10:43 AM
    Truth hurts doesn't it Melissa? usually the one crying foul the loudest is the one abusing the system. So that would be you. I pity the beat dowm the fool that ever slapped me would get. I'm not a little twirp that can't handle myself. I would also state that I am more man that any of the men that left all of you hanging with children while they disappeared. I took care of my children without handouts and help all the way through college. That is the true definition of a man. One that took care of his children. I speak to people in the manner they deserve to be spoken to. So you free loader off of my tax dollars that is how I speak to you.
    • reply
      by Dave on May 19, 2012 at 05:40 AM in reply to Dave
      Just keep writing and ingnorance will be all over the place.
  • by Amanda Location: Rockford on May 8, 2012 at 09:35 PM
    It amazes me that the state continues to make the cost of running a child care facility unaffordable by the working class family- one or two parent. Also, that they're goal is to make pre-K mandatory...yet they can't make it affordable or help with the cost. They haven't adjusted the rates to meet the economic times in ages. They are always late in paying their bills and now they say they'll be a few MONTHS behind. I have been a childcare provider for 18 years and this isn't the first or the last time this will happen. They'll find the money. If they don't they'll end up paying a lot more to support families when the parent isn't able to work. We DO need a reform and it would save millions- if you don't NEED the childcare don't use it. The state pays whether or not you drop your child off, they pay for the spot. Far too many parents use the service while they go shopping,clean the house,or take a nap. Many also don't even bring their child(ren) because a family member is keeping them. And I'm sorry, but if you live at home with your parents- they can either watch your kids or you should be able to afford the childcare. PERIOD. They ruin it for the thousands of families that DO NEED it. I could go on and on with this one. It is a viscious cycle.
    • reply
      by Amber on May 15, 2012 at 07:29 AM in reply to Amanda
      I benefit from the daycare assistance. And i TOTALLY AGREE with you. There are ppl like me that truely need it and there are ppl that just abuse it. So then ppl like me will not be working and those ppl that just use it bcz they can will be just fine.
  • by where the cut need to be Location: Rockford on May 8, 2012 at 08:55 PM
    The state need to ask why are we giving link to parents for meals they are not providing, Daycare provide meals while in care so less parents have to pay for. If kids attend school they get meals there as well but yet we are giving parents link to feed these kids and they are not 5 days a week so if they cut link then we could pay for daycare assistance. So we need to revamp the system and check to see if people are being truthful and I agree with community service if they want help from tax payers but do not want to work. If they need feed to their family how about we help them plant a garden and cut food stamps if you get WIC less food stamps and soon it would be better to work then live on assistance.
  • by abc Location: Rockford on May 8, 2012 at 10:25 AM
    First off Dave When gas, daycare, and every other expense goes up but your job is not giving raises how is one suppose to get by. Its crazy how they are giving free cell phones, cable, housing and food stamps to people that dont work or even try working. But yet the ones that are working they want to pay 190 a week in child care the cost of child care is crazy. Why wont they make the people not working do community service or something. I have a pretty good job and its just crazy my child care payment is more then my rent. I don't have cable, or a car payment. I pay for things that I need but my income still cannot pay 190 a week and child care plus rent and utilities. I think its crazy this is what they take away. These people are going to have to quit their jobs and then be forced to get free housing and link.
    • reply
      by Dave on May 9, 2012 at 04:59 AM in reply to abc
      Your statement is the typical. Well if they are getting free money, phones ect... why shouldn't I. Thats they problem we have an entire generation of people that want hand outs. They no longer are willing to do without. They don;t avoid problems and situations. They create a mess of theiur life and expect everyone else to pay for it. Nobody told a single one of you that obviously have very little money to go out and have children and compound your problem. To the ladies on here that have 5 and 6 kids you should have closed the legs and looked for a brighter future first. You are the ones that made the choice to walk to the mailbox once a month and suck off the system. That would also point out the parenting problems your parents had because they did not give you proper guidance. You life situation proves that. Again tell me why this is anyone problem other than the person squirting out children they cannot care for.
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