An estimated 2,000 working families of 4,000 children across the state have been turned down since the eligibility changes were made, said Maria Whelan, president and CEO of Chicago-based Illinois Action for Children.
Page 2 of 3 - The changes, which don't apply to families with children already in the program, will deny acceptance to 90 percent of the people who tend to apply, Whelan
For example, the program accepts people up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level.
The new guidelines make acceptance harder, reserving new admissions only for families at 50 percent of poverty level or below, or no more than $10,045 a year for a family of three.
That means a single mother with two children earning $10 an hour would be ineligible for the program if she
works more than 20 hours a week.
said the changes threaten the infrastructure of the entire Child Care Assistance Program.
Because families often move in and out of eligibility as their economic situations change, they often face requalifying for the program, she
Child care centers won't be able to fill their slots and will close within a few months if Rauner's new eligibility rules aren't changed, Whelan
said working families "are being kicked to the curb."
"These families are doing what we want them to do," Whelan
"They are working.
They are taking care of their kids.
Many of them are working multiple part-time jobs.
I find it stunning that we have policies and programs that are being put in place that absolutely land on the most vulnerable families and really and truly put children in danger."
Page 3 of 3 - Some child care providers, worried about not being reimbursed amid the state budget impasse, are demanding upfront payment from parents, Whelan