CCAP Policy Updates - July 2019

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

CCAP Policy Updates - July 2019 (pdf)


Dear Child Care Providers, Parents & Stakeholders,

The Illinois Child Care Assistance Program makes it possible for families who qualify to receive financial help with child care cost so that they may work, attend training, or continue their education. Effective July 1, 2019, the following policy changes have been made to increase enrollment within the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and to support the development of highly qualified staff.

Decreased Family Co-Payments

Effective July 1, 2019 client co-pays will decrease 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. The table below outlines the gross monthly income allowed per family size to qualify for child care assistance.


Effective July 1, 2019, the income eligibility guidelines for the CCAP have been re-indexed and are as outlined in Table 1: Income Guidelines. These guidelines represent an initial income eligibility at 185% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and an exit ramp at 200% of FPL at the time of redetermination.

Families participating in CCAP have the power to choose from various child care options:

  • Child Care Centers
  • Family Child Care
  • In-Home (Relative/Non-Relative) Child Care

Please Note: Effective October 1, 2019, IDHS will increase the income eligibility guidelines for CCAP to 200% of the federal poverty level and create an exit ramp at 225% of the federal poverty level. As implementation plans continue to be finalized, we will share more detail.

TABLE 1: Income Guideline

Effective July 1, 2019



185% FPL Initial

Monthly Income

200% FPL at


2 2,607 2,819
3 3,289 3,555
4 3,970 4,292
5 4,652 5,029
6 5,333 5,765
7 6,015 6,502
8 6,696 7,239
9 7,377 7,975
10 8,059 8,712

Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program

Effective July 1, 2019, IDHS has doubled investment in the Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program to increase the number of highly qualified child care practitioners. 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. The courses taken need to be in early childhood education (ECE) or child development (CD). Eligible applicants may be enrolled in an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree program or taking classes toward a certificate, endorsement, or Credential. Eligible applicants must care for children in an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) licensed program or Illinois State Board of Education funded Preschool for All program. For more information or to apply visit

Great START Wage Supplement Program

Effective July 1st the Great START maximum wage for participation will increase 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.

  • Great START rewards child care practitioners by supplementing their income based on educational attainment above DCFS licensing standards.
  • Great START wage supplements are paid directly to staff members (individuals) on a six-month schedule.
  • Great START wage supplements range from $150 to $1,950, depending on an individual's current education level and child care position.

To apply for the Great START Wage Supplement Program, visit