Child Care Policy Update November 2019 (pdf)
Child Care Policy Update November 2019 (Spanish) (pdf)
CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM POLICY UPDATES November 1, 2019
Dear Child Care Providers, Parents, and Stakeholders:
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) received nearly 3,000 completed CCAP Listening Session surveys from parents and providers across the state of Illinois! Our team is now busy analyzing your critical feedback to identify the program's strengths, challenges, and opportunities for improvement. This data will be used to help inform policy decisions at IDHS and will also be shared with your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) to facilitate improvement at the community level. For those of you who found the time to attend a listening session in-person, we offer our sincerest gratitude.
Increases in CCAP Enrollment
Thanks to our collective effort, enrollment in the Child Care Assistance Program is on the rise! The certificate program is now serving more than 135,000 children statewide, that's an increase of more than 20,000 children compared to last year at this time. Please continue to spread the word about CCAP! If you haven't already, follow us on Facebook: @IllinoisCCAP.
Chicago Teacher Strike
The Child Care Assistance Program realizes that many providers may have cared for school-aged children full-time during the Chicago Teacher Strike. In accordance with CCAP Policy 06.03.01, Section IIIB2, CCAP providers are allowed to receive full-time CCAP payment for school-age children during the strike. When the billing certificate is returned to the CCR&R for payment processing the provider must indicate full time attendance, the date(s) of the service, and reason for full time attendance (i.e. Chicago Teacher Strike). Please refer to the policy for the details: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=10862.
Utility Assistance Program
Do you know a family who may need assistance with a gas or electric bill? As of November 1, 2019, CEDA's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has opened its priority application period for households with children age 5 and under AND households with one or more disconnected utilities or those with a disconnection notice. A LIHEAP benefit is a one-time payment made directly to the utility company on behalf of the household. For more information text "CEDA" to 313131, call 800- 571-2332, or visit CEDA online at http://www.cedaorg.net/www2/Energy.html.
What is Early Intervention?
Did you know that children between the ages of Birth-3 years of age with an identifiable developmental delay qualify for FREE Early Intervention evaluations? Early Intervention is a statewide program that provides supports and services for families to help children under age 3 meet developmental milestones. While most developmental differences are nothing to be worry about, in some children, the differences can signal a need for early intervention.
A developmental screening can offer a quick snapshot of a child's development. Parents should ask a health care provider or child care provider whether a child's growth and development are on target for his or her age. For a list of milestones that are typical for young children, visit the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse website at https://eiclearinghouse.org/milestones.
Child Care Providers looking for information on Early Intervention and Developmental Screening Tools, look no further! Take the online Introduction to Developmental Screening Tools course that introduces the process of developmental screening. This is a Registry-approved training and ExceleRate-approved! Click the link below to enroll in this training! https://courses.inccrra.org/course/search.php?search=screening.
To be eligible, a child...
- Must be under 36 months of age,
- Have a physician's diagnosis of a physical or mental condition that causes a developmental delay,
- Have an identifiable developmental delay of 30% or more in one or more areas of development,
- Be at risk for substantial developmental delay because of certain risk factors
Who should refer a child?
- Hospitals, including perinatal and post-natal care facilities;
- Child care programs and early learning programs, including Early Head Start programs;
- Local educational agencies and schools;
- Public health facilities;
- Other social services agencies;
- Other clinics and health care providers;
- Public agencies and staff in the child welfare system, including child protective service and foster care;
- Homeless family shelters; and
- Domestic violence shelters and agencies
What does Early Intervention cost?
- Free evaluations determine eligibility for EI supports and services. Planning and coordinating services for an eligible child and family are always free.
- EI supports and services are paid by a variety of funding sources including the EI program, the family's private or public (such as Medicaid or All Kids) insurance. Some families may be charged a fee based on their family's size and income. The EI program does not require proof of immigration status.
For more information or to refer your child to the Illinois Early Intervention Program, call your local CFC office. Call 1-800-843-6154, 1-866-324-5553 TTY/Nextalk, 711 TTY Relay or visit https://eiclearinghouse.org/referral to get an EI referral toolkit.
As always, we thank you for your time and partnership. If you are interested in receiving periodic policy email updates, please join our email list: https://lp.constantcontact.com/su/noUTOmW/CCAPupdates.