Effective Date: 04/23/04
Revised:  06/20/08, 9/10/10, 3/15/13, 4/29/13, 6/14/13, xx/xx/2015, 2/27/19
Reference: 89 Ill. Adm. Code, Chapter IV, §50.230, §50.250
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/or training-related activities as specified in their RSP (see 89 Ill. Adm. Code 112.74) as approved by the Department's TANF case worker.
  • 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 bachelor's degree) whose monthly income does not exceed the monthly income ceilings in subsection (b)(2). Clients can be approved for education/training activities that will lead to multiple certificates within a designated career path (from Certified Nursing Assistant to Licensed Practical Nurse, for example) or associate's degrees, but only the first bachelor's degree. Clients may also be approved for additional vocational certificate programs if they are beginning a new career path in a new field or if classes are required to remain certified in their current employment. 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. Teen parents enrolled full-time in elementary or high school or GED classes will be eligible for full-time, full-year child care, including summers, when using a licensed child care provider, up to and including a three-month period after graduation, in order to secure employment or to prepare for higher education. 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) 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, Hair Braiding, 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 Financial and Professional Regulation. Social service agencies that provide recognized English as a Second Language (ESL) and other adult education courses and programs are not required to hold or maintain any separate type of accreditation, as long as the program they offer is supported by an accredited institution.

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.

Clients/applicants who have already earned a vocational certificate are still eligible for below post-secondary education activities if they have not already earned a high school diploma or GED certificate.

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. 

Families eligible to receive child care services while they attend an education or training program under this Section must not already possess a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree. 

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 CCAP eligibility period 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

Programs in this category of education 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. Families eligible to receive child care services while they attend an education or training program under this Section must not already possess a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree. Clients/applicants may be approved for multiple vocational certificate programs if they are within a designated career path (from Certified Nursing Assistant to Licensed Practical Nurse, for example) or are beginning a new career path in a new field, or if classes are required to remain certified in their current employment. 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 CCAP eligibility period 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 during each Redetermination process.

C.  Post-secondary Education

This category of education includes all undergraduate college level courses that could result in an associate's or bachelor's 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).
  2. not already have a bachelor's degree, if requesting child care to earn an associate degree. Child care will not be approved for attainment of a second associate's degree.
  3. not be in or completed an advanced degree program (beyond a bachelor's degree). Child care will not be approved for education beyond the attainment of a bachelor's 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 (GPA) (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 during each Redetermination processThe individual will be allowed one CCAP eligibility period below a "C" average to bring the grades up to a "C" average. 

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. 
  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 classroom hour or 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 granted to add an extra day of care must be approved first by the Department's Bureau of Child Care and Development Policy Unit.

F.  Additional Service to Secure or Maintain Child Care

The Department will provide payments to maintain a child care arrangement during temporary breaks (no more than 90 days) in the approved activity.  To qualify, the parent must be approved for child care assistance. Payments shall not be approved if the child does not attend 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 is 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 twelve (12) 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 is applying for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) 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 (ABE), 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's degree or bachelor's degree.
  4. Clients can be approved for education/training activities that will lead to multiple certificates or associate's degrees, but only the first bachelor's degree. Clients who have already completed any education/training program up to their first bachelor's degree may be approved for additional educational activities that may lead to a High School diploma, a GED certificate, a vocational certificate or an associate's degree, regardless of any other certificate or degree the client has already obtained up to a bachelor's degree. For example, a client who already holds a vocational certificate can be approved to obtain additional vocational certificates or their GED certificate. Similarly, a client that already holds an associate's degree can be approved for classes that lead to a vocational or GED certificate, a bachelor's degree or a second associate's degree. There is no limit to the number of certificates or associate's degrees that a client can be approved for the CCAP, as long as all eligibility requirements have been met. Once a client obtains a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree, no other educational activity can be approved.
  1. Below Post Secondary Education
    1. A participant must:
      1. not already possess an advanced degree (master's or doctorate).
      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 CCAP Eligibility period.  Individuals, both new applicants and current participants/clients, will be allowed one CCAP eligibility period 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 during each Redetermination process.
      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) at the end of each CCAP eligibility period.  Individuals, both new applicants and current participants/clients, will be allowed one CCAP eligibility period 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 during each Redetermination process in order to approve educational activities for the next CCAP eligibility period.
      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 an advanced degree (master's or doctorate), 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 twelve (12) months.  At the first redetermination after the 25th month of participation the client must provide verification of employment to be approved for education and training activities
  2. Vocational Education
    1. A participant must:
      1. not already possess an advanced degree (master's or doctorate)
      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 over the last CCAP eligibility period.  Individuals, both new applicants and current participants/clients, will be allowed one CCAP eligibility period 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 during each Redetermination period in order to approve educational activity for the next CCAP eligibility period.
      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) over the last CCAP eligibility period
      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 an advanced degree (master's or doctorate) 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 twelve (12) months.  At the first redetermination after the 25th month of participation the client must provide verification of employment to be approved for education and training activities.
  3. Post-secondary Education
    1. A participant must:
      1. not already have a bachelor's degree if requesting child care to earn an associate's degree. Child care will not be approved for attainment of a second (or additional) associate's degree.
      2. not already have a bachelor's degree, if requesting child care to earn a bachelor's degree. Child care will not be approved for attainment of a second (or additional) bachelor's degree.
      3. not be in an advanced degree program (beyond a bachelor's 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 CCAP eligibility 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 CCAP eligibility period if working 20 hours or more per week.  Individuals, both new applicants and current participants/clients, will be allowed one CCAP eligibility period 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 bachelor's, master's or doctorate 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 CCAP eligibility period as determined by the written policy of the institution.  The GPA requirements are for each CCAP eligibility 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 twelve (12) months.  At the first redetermination after the 25th month of participation the client must provide verification of employment to be approved for education and training activities.


Note Concerning Grade Point Averages - A new applicant may be approved for CCAP if they are not meeting the required grades for the type of education/training in which they are participating. These applicants, the same as existing clients who are being re determined, have one CCAP eligibility period to bring their grades up to the GPA requirement. If after one eligibility period the most recent grades are still below the GPA requirement, the case should not be approved for a new eligibility period.

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.

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 twelve (12) months.

V.  Study Time

Up to one hour of study time per week for each classroom hour or 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 to add an extra day of care must be approved first by the Department's Bureau of Subsidy Management Policy Unit.  The Department will consider if there is an activity such as a study group or tutoring approved by the school or instructor.  Written documentation will be requested from the school/instructor if study time is requested for a day that classes are not approved