Effective Date: 04/23/04
Revised:  06/20/08, 9/10/10, 3/15/13, 4/29/13
Reference: 89 Ill. Adm. Code, Chapter IV, §50.230
Cross Reference: 01.02.01 - Income Guidelines; 01.03.02 - Employment; 01.03.05 - Teen Parents; 02.04.01 - Grace Periods


Policy Statement:

Parents and other relatives eligible to receive child care services include:

  • Recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) under Article IV of the Public Aid Code participating in work and training activities as specified in their personal plans for employment and self-sufficiency who have been approved for child care benefits by the Department and who meet the monthly income ceilings;
  • Teen parents while they attend school to obtain a high school degree or its equivalent;
  • Families who do not receive TANF and need child care services in order to attend school or training (up to and including the acquisition of the first Associate Degree and/or the first Bachelor Degree) whose monthly income does not exceed the monthly income ceilings in subsection (b)(2) of this Section. Child care services approved under this part must be reasonably related to the education or training activity, including class hours and research, study, laboratory, library and transportation time and educationally required work activities such as student teaching, an internship, a clinical, a practicum or an apprenticeship. If a parent is claimed as a dependent by another person for federal income tax purposes, that parent is only eligible if his or her income when added to the income of the other person does not exceed the monthly income ceiling in subsection (b)(2) of this Section for that family size. All education programs under this part must be administered by an educational institution accredited under requirements of State law including, but not limited to, the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, and Nail Technology Act of 1985 [225 ILCS 410], the Real Estate Act of 2000 [225 ILCS 454], the Public Community College Act [110 ILCS 805], the University of Illinois Act [110 ILCS 305], the Chicago State University Law [110 ILCS 660], the Eastern Illinois University Law [110 ILCS 665], the Governors State University Law [110 ILCS 670], the Illinois State University Law [110 ILCS 675], the Northeastern Illinois University Law [110 ILCS 680], the Northern Illinois University Law [110 ILCS 685], the Western Illinois University Law [110 ILCS 690], or the Department of Professional Regulation.

A.  Below Post-Secondary Education Eligibility and Participation Requirements

This category of education includes literacy and other adult basic education, English as a Second Language, and GED preparation programs. There is no work requirement for the first 24 non-consecutive months the client participates. From the 25th month on, the client must work at least 20 hours per week. 

Child care provided to a teen parent to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent, does not count against this 24-month limit.

Individuals enrolled in below post-secondary education must maintain a "C" average if this measurement is used by the institution to determine satisfactory progress.  The individual will be allowed one semester below a "C" average to bring the grades up to a "C" average.  When grades are not used, progress will be determined by the written policy of the institution to establish a comparable grade level upon completion of the academic term.  The determination of satisfactory progress must be reported upon completion of the academic term or twice a year if the program is continuous for 12 months.

B.  Vocational Education Eligibility and Participation Requirements

This category of education prepares the individual for a specific job, and includes all programs that prepare the client for a specific type of work. The program may be offered by a public community college, public or private university, or private business/technical school. The program usually results in the receipt of a Certificate of Achievement or Completion and/or prepares the client for a specific job or to obtain a license required by some occupations. There is no work requirement for the first 24 non-consecutive months the client participates. From the 25th month on, the client must work at least 20 hours per week.

Individuals enrolled in vocational education must maintain a "C" average if this measurement is used by the institution to determine satisfactory progress.  The individual will be allowed one semester below a "C" average to bring the grades up to a "C" average.  When grades are not used, progress will be determined by the written policy of the institution to establish a comparable grade level upon completion of the academic term.  The determination of satisfactory progress must be reported upon completion of the academic term or twice a year if the program is continuous for 12 months.

C.  Post-secondary Education

This category of education includes all undergraduate college level courses that result in an Associate or Bachelor Degree. Families eligible to receive child care services while they attend an education or training program under this Section must:

  1. be enrolled in a program accredited under requirements of State law as stated in subsection (b)(3) of this Section.
  2. not already have an Associate or Bachelor Degree, if requesting child care to earn an Associate Degree. Child care will not be approved for attainment of a second Associate Degree.
  3. not already have a Bachelor Degree, if requesting child care to earn a Bachelor Degree. Child care will not be approved for attainment of a second Bachelor Degree.
  4. not be in an advanced degree program (beyond a Bachelor Degree). Child care will not be approved for education beyond the attainment of a Bachelor Degree.


There is no work requirement for the first 48 non-consecutive months the client participates. From the 49th month on, the client must work at least 20 hours per week. Clients who do not work and who need child care to attend college must maintain a 2.5 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), if this measurement is used by the institution to determine satisfactory progress.  Clients who work 20 hours or more per week in paid employment while they attend college must maintain a 2.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).  In the absence of a GPA, satisfactory progress will be determined by the written policy of the institution.  The determination of satisfactory progress, including test/retest results or GPA, must be reported upon completion of the academic term or twice a year, if the program is continuous for 12 months.  If the client's GPA falls below 2.5 or 2.0, for those students who work, or at any time the client does not maintain satisfactory progress, the client may continue to go to school for another semester. If the GPA is below 2.5 or 2.0 two semesters in a row, the client will be ineligible for child care until his or her GPA is at or above 2.5 or 2.0.

D.  Child care services received under education/training will be subject to the following limitations:

A parent enrolled in web-based courses or correspondence learning from an accredited university or college is only eligible for child care assistance if all of the following are met:

  1. The class if offered only at a regularly scheduled time (i.e. 11:00 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday) or the parent must leave the home to have access to a computer. Web-based classes that the parent may take at any time do not fit this criteria.
  2. The child or children for whom care is requested must be under the age of six except during the summer or school breaks. Care shall not be authorized during the hours the child is in school, or is home schooled or is in a two-parent family when the other parent is available to care for the child.

E.  Study Time

Child care services may be granted for up to one hour of study time per week for each hour of course credit. When possible, study periods should be arranged around regularly scheduled classes in order to provide a consistent and uninterrupted routine for the child(ren) in care.

Study time shall not be granted to add additional days of care.

Procedures:

I.  TANF Education and Training Programs

TANF clients work with their TANF case worker to develop a Responsibility and Service Plan (RSP or RASP).  The RSP identifies activities that are required for the client to maintain their TANF cash assistance.  Activities that qualify as Education and Training programs include but are not limited to: Work First, Job Search, GED or ESL classes, substance abuse and mental health rehabilitation, or vocational and postsecondary education. These activities are identified through the Automated Client Information Database (ACID) Screen 6, which is maintained by the IDHS Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) offices.
Any work, attendance or GPA requirement will be monitored by the TANF caseworker or contracted provider agency.

CCAP Eligibility Workers are to verify the required activities through the IPACS ACID screen 6 each time eligibility is determined. 

Upon receipt of an application or Redetermination from a TANF client who needs child care services to participate in an employability program, staff shall take the following steps:

  1. Review the application/redetermination to ensure it's complete.
  2. Review the RSP activity and hours codes found on ACID Screen 6.  Review the process for checking RSP information in the IPACS Training Handbook, Chart 6.
  3. If the client is employed, collect the two most recent and consecutive pay stubs.  (Always collect income documentation whenever an applicant is employed.)
  4. If the client is eligible and the need for care has been established, approve the case for the length of the program or grading period but no longer than six (6) months.

Refer to the RSP Process Memo located in the Child Care Memorandum section near the top of the Table of Contents page of this Program manual for more details on recent revisions and clarifications on the use of Acid Screen 6.

II.  Teen Parents

Procedures for teen parents are found in 01.03.05 - Teen Parents.

III.  Non-TANF Education and Training programs

A parent who does not receive TANF who needs child care services to attend school or training and whose monthly income does not exceed the income guidelines is eligible to receive child care benefits while participating in the following education and training activities:

  1. Below Post-Secondary Education - literacy and other adult basic education, English as a Second Language (ESL), and GED.
  2. Vocational Education - A program that results in a Certificate of Achievement or Completion and/or prepares the client for a specific job or to obtain a license required by some occupations.  Does not include programs that result in a degree.
  3. Post-Secondary Education - All undergraduate college level programs that result in an Associate degree or Bachelor degree.

A client who already holds a license, certificate, or degree is not eligible for child care assistance to receive a second license, certificate, or degree.  A client that has a vocational certificate can be approved for either an Associate or a Bachelor degree (regardless of the field of study).  Similarly, clients who have an Associate degree may be approved to obtain a Bachelor degree.  However, clients may not be approved to obtain a second (or additional) vocational certificate, Associate or Bachelor degree.

  1. Below Post Secondary Education
    1. A participant must:
      1. not already possess a license, certificate, or degree.
      2. document his/her participation in below post-secondary education by submitting a class schedule or letter of enrollment from the program sponsoring the training.
      3. submit two most recent and consecutive pay stubs, if employed.  Employment is not required for the first 24 non-consecutive months.
      4. maintain a "C" average each grading periodIndividuals, both new applicants and current participants/clients, will be allowed one semester below a "C" average to bring the grades up to a "C" average.  If grades are not used, progress will be determined by the written policy of the institution to establish a comparable grade level upon completion of the academic term.  The determination of satisfactory progress must be reported upon completion of the academic term or twice a year if the program is continuous for 12 months.
      5. work 20 hours or more per week beginning in the 25th month of participation in below post secondary education.
    2. CCR&R staff and site administered providers must:
      1. verify the program is accredited under requirements of State law.
      2. verify the participant earned at least a "C" average (or comparable grade level) for the most current semester/grading period.  Individuals, both new applicants and current participants/clients, will be allowed one semester below a "C" average to bring the grades up to a "C" average.  If grades are not used, process will be determined by the written policy of the institution to establish a comparable grade level upon completion of the academic term.  The determination of satisfactory progress must be reported upon completion of the academic term or twice a year if the program is continuous for 12 months or more
      3. keep track of the 24 non-consecutive months of participation without a work requirement.
      4. collect 2 most recent and consecutive pay stubs, if the parent is employed.  Parents in the 25th month of below post-secondary education are required to work 20 hours or more.
      5. verify the parent is not claimed as a dependent by another person for federal income tax purposes.  If so, collect income documentation from that person and include it in the income calculation, and,
      6. verify the parent does not already possess a license, certificate, or degree by reviewing the School/Training/TANF-required Activity Information of the Child Care Application (Form 3455).
      7. If the client is eligible and the need for care has been established, approve the case for the length of the program or grading period but no longer than six (6) months.  If the 25th month of participation falls within the redetermination, approve the case up to the 25th month for review and verification of employment.
  2. Vocational Education
    1. A participant must:
      1. not already possess a license, certificate or degree. 
      2. document his/her participation in vocational education by submitting a class schedule or letter of enrollment from the program.
      3. submit two most recent and consecutive pay stubs, if employed.  Employment is not required for the first 24 non-consecutive months.
      4. earn at least a "C" average for the most current semester/grading periodIndividuals, both new applicants and current participants/clients, will be allowed one semester below a "C" average to bring the grades up to a "C" average.  If grades are not used, progress will be determined by the written policy of the institution to establish a comparable grade level upon completion of the academic term.  The determination of satisfactory progress must be reported upon completion of the academic term or twice a year if the program is continuous for 12 months.
      5. work 20 hours or more per week beginning in the 25th month of participation.
    2. CCR&R staff and site administered providers must:
      1. verify the program is accredited under requirements of State law.
      2. verify the participant earned at least a "C" average (or comparable grade level) for the most current semester/grading period.  Individuals, both new applicants and current participants/clients, will be allowed one semester below a "C" average to bring the grades up to a "C" average. 
      3. keep track of the 24 non-consecutive months of participation without a work requirement.
      4. collect 2 most recent and consecutive pay stubs, if the client is employed.  Clients in the 25th month of vocational education are required to work.
      5. verify the parent is not claimed as a dependent by another person for federal income tax purposes.  If so, collect income documentation from that person and include it in the income calculation, and,
      6. verify the parent does not already possess a license, certificate, or degree by reviewing the School/Training/TANF-required Activity Information of the Child Care Application (Form 3455).
      7. If the client is eligible and the need for care has been established, approve the case for the length of the program or grading period but no longer than six (6) months.  If the 25th month of participation falls within the redetermination, approve the case up to the 25th month for review and verification of employment.
  3. Post-secondary Education
    1. A participant must:
      1. not already have an Associate or Bachelor degree if requesting child care to earn an Associate Degree. Child care will not be approved for attainment of a second (or additional) Associate Degree.
      2. not already have a Bachelor Degree, if requesting child care to earn a Bachelor Degree. Child care will not be approved for attainment of a second (or additional) Bachelor Degree.
      3. not be in an advanced degree program (beyond a Bachelor Degree).
      4. document his/her participation by submitting a class schedule or letter of enrollment from the program sponsoring the training.
      5. earn a GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale during the most recent grading period for those participants who are not employed or for those who choose to work and work less than 20 hours per week.Individuals, both new applicants and current participants/clients, will be allowed one semester below a 2.5 average to bring the grades up to a 2.5 average. 
      6. earn a GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale during the most recent grading period if working 20 hours or more per week.Individuals, both new applicants and current participants/clients, will be allowed one semester below a 2.0 average to bring the grades up to a 2.0 average. 
      7. work 20 hours or more per week beginning in the 49th month of participation.
    2.  CCR&R staff and site administered providers must:
      1. verify the program is accredited under the requirements of state law.
      2. verify the parent is not claimed as a dependent by another person for federal income tax purposes.  If so, collect income documentation from that person and include it in the income calculation.
      3. verify the applicant/participant does not already possess a license, certificate, or degree by reviewing the School/Training/TANF-required Activity Information of the Child Care Application (Form 3455).
      4. verify the applicant/participant has earned the required GPA or satisfactory progress for the most recent grading period as determined by the written policy of the institution.  The GPA requirements are for each grading period, not cumulative. Rounding is not acceptable.  Individuals, both new applicants and current participants/clients, will be allowed one semester below the required grade point average to bring the grades up to the required average. 
        a.  collect grades from previous semester, and
        b.  collect documentation of enrollment for current semester.
      5. collect 2 most recent and consecutive pay stubs, if the parent is employed.  Parents in the 49th month of post-secondary education are required to work.
      6. keep track of the 48 months without a work requirement.
      7. If the client is eligible and the need for care has been established, approve the case for the length of the program or grading period but no longer than six (6) months.  If the 49th month of participation falls within the redetermination, approve the case up to the 49th month for review and verification.

IV.  Web based courses

A parent attending an on-line course from home may be eligible if:

  • The class is offered only at a regularly scheduled time. (i.e. 11:00 am every Monday and Wednesday) or;
  • the parent must leave the home to have access to a computer.

Web based classes that the parent may take at any time do not fit this criteria.

The child or children for whom care is requested must be under the age of six, (except during the summer or school breaks). Care shall not be authorized during the hours the child is in school, or is home schooled or in a two-parent family when the other parent is available to care for the child.

CCR&R and Site staff shall;

  1. Confirm class is only offered at regularly scheduled time by collecting the class schedule.  If necessary, contact the educational facility.  Document the name and phone number of the person who was contacted.  Do not approve care for a web-based course that the parent may take at any time, or;
  2. Request a note signed by the parent that they do not have internet access at home and must go elsewhere to participate in the course.
  3. Confirm the child(ren) for whom care is requested is under the age of 6.
  4. If the client is eligible and the need for care has been established, approve the case for the length of the program or grading period but no longer than six (6) months.

V.  Study Time

Up to one hour of study time per week for each hour of course credit or time in the classroom may be allowed. When possible, study periods should be arranged around regularly scheduled classes in order to provide a consistent and uninterrupted routine for the child(ren) in care.

Study time is allowed for all types of non-TANF education and training listed above.

Study time shall not be granted to add additional days of care unless there is an activity such as a study group or tutoring approved by the school or instructor.  Request written documentation from the school/instructor if study time is requested for a day that classes are not approved.