CCAP Policy Updates - August 2019

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

8/14/2019

CCAP Policy Updates - August 2019 (Spanish) (pdf)

CCAP Policy Updates - August 2019 (pdf)

CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM POLICY UPDATES August 1, 2019

Dear Child Care Providers, Parents, and Stakeholders:

The Illinois Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) is happy to announce the launch of its new Facebook page @IllinoisCCAP! On the Illinois CCAP Facebook page, we will share resources, services, program updates, CCAP success stories, and so much more. This fiscal year we are planning to implement strategic policies to improve access to CCAP, ensure equity, promote stability for children and families, and increase quality in child care programs - we want you to be the first to know about our strategic efforts! Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and share our page with friends, colleagues, and family.

Did you know that CCAP families receive 12-month approvals?

To promote continuity of care and provide stability to families, in October of 2018 IDHS established minimum 12-month eligibility and redetermination periods for families who meet standard CCAP eligibility requirements.

  • At the time eligibility is established, children must be younger than 13 years of age, families must meet the income eligibility guidelines and be working, attending job training, or engaging in an educational program.
  • A child who turns 13 during the eligibility period, will remain eligible for CCAP services until the eligibility period ends.
  • Experiencing a temporary (90 days or fewer) job loss or a temporary (90 days or fewer) change in participation in a training or educational activity within the 12-month eligibility period will not be used as a reason to terminate a family's eligibility. If a family's income exceeds 85% of the State Median Income (SMI) or the family experiences a non-temporary (more than 90 days) change in an eligible activity, the case may be terminated.
  • Families have the option to voluntarily report changes during the 12-month eligibility period, however, IDHS will only act on changes that will reduce a family's co-payment or increase the family's subsidy/eligible days. Changes in parent or provider contact information (address, phone number, etc.) should also be reported.

Did you know that co-payments were decreased?

Families eligible to receive a subsidy are required to share the cost of child care; known as a co-pay. The co-payment is based on family size and the family's gross annual income. Effective July 1, 2019 client co-pays were decreased to no more than 9% of a family's gross income, down 2.38% from previous years. For current cases, the co-payments will be decreased at the time of redetermination. The new co-payments will allow more families to participate in the CCAP while affording children the opportunity to be placed in high-quality childcare programs. IDHS strongly discourages providers from charging CCAP families additional fees, as the co-payment structure more accurately reflects what a family can afford to pay. If a provider charges fees beyond the established co-payment, families reserve the right to select a different provider. Families can contact their local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency if they need help finding a new provider.

Do you know someone who qualifies for Protective Services Child Care?

In some cases, IDHS will provide limited approvals for the Child Care Assistance Program without a client meeting all standard program eligibility requirements, this is referred to as Protective Services Child Care (PSCC). Clients approved under PSCC may also be assessed a reduced or waived family co-payment. Currently, IDHS will provide CCAP Protective Service Child Care to families who are transitioning from DCFS Intact Family Services and to families who indicate they are experiencing homelessness on an Application, Redetermination, or Change of Information Form.

Categories for Protective Services Child Care (PSCC)

DCFS Intact Families

  • Families that have ended participation with the DCFS Intact Families Program may apply for PSCC within the 6-months immediately following their involvement in that program.
  • The "Intact Family Services Case - IDCFS/ IDHS Child Care Services Referral Form" (CFS2000-A) must be submitted to the CCR&R and signed by the DCFS Intact Caseworker in order to qualify as a PSCC case.
  • PSCC will be provided regardless of whether the child's parents or other caretaker relatives are working or participating in employment, education or training programs.
  • PSCC families exiting the Intact Families Program will be provide a six (6) month eligibility period.
  • During the PSCC six (6) month eligibility period, families will be assessed a $1.00 monthly copayment during the 6 months of care.
  • IDHS asks providers to accept the State Maximum Daily Rate. However, child care providers may charge families the difference between the State daily rate and the rate the provider charges private-pay families.

Families Experiencing Homelessness

  • IDHS will provide PSCC to families experiencing homelessness and utilizing service such as homeless shelters, transitional housing or other programs/services aimed at those experiencing homelessness as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act.
  • Families experiencing homelessness will be granted a 90-day CCAP approval period, even if the child's parents or other caretaker relatives are not working or participating in employment, education, or training.
  • The Family Co-payment shall be assessed at $1.00 per month during the 90-day approval period.
  • Families experiencing homelessness will also be granted a 90-day grace period to submit a child's medical records (immunizations included) to the selected provider.
  • Families may be granted two (2) 90-day PSCC approval periods within a 12-month timeframe.
  • If the parent/other relative of a family that is experiencing homelessness is involved in an eligible employment, education or training activity, a 12-month approval may be issued with a $1.00 monthly copayment for the first 3-months.

Did you know that providers can receive tuition help?

The Gateways Scholarship Program will pay a portion of tuition for eligible professionals working in early care and education or school-age programs who want to earn college credit, Credentials, or degrees. Eligible applicants may be enrolled in an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree program or taking classes toward a certificate, endorsement, or Credential. For more information or to apply visit www.ilgateways.com.

The Great START maximum wage for participation has increased from $15 per hour to $18 per hour or $37,440 per year. Individuals who work in a licensed day care center, day care home, or group day care home may apply. To apply for the Great START Wage Supplement Program, visit www.ilgateways.com.