08.05.01 - Child Care Collaboration, Definition & Provider Qualifications

Effective Date: 09/01/03
Revised:  7/1/11; 8/4/11

Reference: 89 Ill. Adm. Code, Chapter IV, §50.610; §50.630

Policy Statement:

  1. Definition and Overview
    1. A Child Care Collaboration is defined as any braiding of Illinois child care subsidy funds or programs with other early childhood funds or programs to create higher quality full day, full year services for eligible families with young children. The purposes of the Department's Child Care Collaboration Program are:
      1. to facilitate collaboration between Illinois child care and other early childhood programs; and
      2. to increase the quality and quantity of early care and education for families in Illinois, who are working and/or participating in an approved training/education program, though collaboration.
    2. Child care collaborative arrangements approved by the Department under this Section will benefit participating early childhood programs, children, and families by providing a higher quality of care. Head Start, Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) pre-kindergarten, and child care providers eligible under this Section must be able to demonstrate this increased quality of care.
    3. All Illinois early childhood programs using child care subsidy funds in collaboration with other funding, for example, Head Start or ISBE pre-kindergarten, must comply with this Section.
    4. The Department will approve child care collaborative arrangements under this Section provided:
      1. the provider can demonstrate how the collaboration improves the quality of care;
      2. children are served in one location for their full day of care;
      3. parent co-payments are collected and documented according to existing Child Care Rules (see Section 50.310 and 50.320);
      4. the provider can demonstrate how the collaboration is coordinated with the broader local early childhood community and is based on community need;
      5. the provider is qualified and eligible to receive child care reimbursement (see Sections 50.240 and 50.410) and is a profit or non-profit early childhood center or licensed family child care home; and
      6. the provider is using a child care contract or a child care certificate.
    5. If the conditions of eligibility in subsection (IV.) of this Section are met and the collaboration is approved by the Department, eligibility will be determined in accordance with all current Child Care Rules (see Sections 50.230 and 50.235), as specified by 89 Ill. Adm. Code 50, with the following three exceptions:
      1. approved Child Care Collaboration Programs will determine child and/or family eligibility annually;
      2. approved Child Care Collaboration Programs will use a 90-day job loss grace period.  Families are limited to one 90-day job search in any 12-month period.Families may split up their 90-day grace period into three (3) 30-day grace periods but are limited to a maximum of 90-days grace period in a 12 month period. and
      3. children and/or families in approved Child Care Collaboration Programs will maintain indefinite eligibility for child care when the child's or family's participation in the collaboration is part of their current TANF Responsibility and Services Plan.
  2. Provider Qualifications
    1. To be approved by the Department as a Child Care Collaboration Program, providers must demonstrate all four (4) of the following quality items to the Department.
      1. Programming Enhancements. Providers must detail exactly how the collaboration improves or will improve the quality of early care and education including, but not limited to: group size; improvements to staff qualifications, salary, and/or retention; enhanced curriculum, educational experiences, and outcomes for children; and comprehensive services, such as family support and health.
      2. Extended Service/Continuity of Care. Providers must detail how the collaboration has extended service and how children have stability and continuity of care in location and staffing.
      3. Parent Share/Self-Sufficiency. Providers must demonstrate that parent co-payments are being collected and documented, according to Department rule.
      4. Community Collaboration. Providers must demonstrate how the collaboration is coordinated with the larger local early childhood community and how the collaboration is based on community need, including, but not limited to, how the slots are needed in the area, what other services are available, and how the collaboration coordinates or will coordinate positively with other providers. This is especially critical in cases where one agency is collaborating with both types of funding.
    2. The Department and/or its agents and/or staff will determine eligibility for participation in the Child Care Collaboration Program by reviewing and approving, if appropriate, all requests from providers.