Illinois Annual Child Care Report FY2011

Illinois Child Care Report FY 2011 (pdf)


To provide low income families with access to affordable, quality child care options that allow them to pursue  self-sufficiency and contribute to the healthy development of children and to enhance the quality, affordability, and supply of child care available to families.


Families will have multiple options for affordable quality child care and early education. All children starting at birth will be offered opportunities to grow, learn and be cared for in safe, nurturing, culturally and developmentally appropriate settings.

Bureau of Child Care and Development

As required by State 20 ILCS 505/5.15, the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) annually submits a report to the Governor and to the Illinois General Assembly on the status of the Bureau's child care programs. These programs include the Child Care Assistance Program and the Quality Improvement Programs. The 2011 Illinois Child Care Report includes information for Fiscal Year 2011 (July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2011). The data in this report are from: a) the DHS Child Care Tracking System database for the Child Care Assistance Program; and b) the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies' aggregate databases of local Child Care Resource and Referral parent customers, child care providers and professional development. DHS thanks the thousands of center-based agency staff, family child care providers and Child Care Resource and Referral staff for their support in the care and education of Illinois children.

Fiscal Year 2011 Child Care Funding Sources

Source Amount Percent
Title XX $1,222,000 00.13%
State GRF $587,453,690 63.18%
TANF $132,741,955 14.28%
CCDF $208,365,309 22.41%
TOTAL $929,780,954 100.00%

Federal Priorities

The DHS Bureau of Child Care and Development sets policy and develops programs consistent with the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) OfMce of Child Care's philosophy and with the Bureau's mission. ACF's overall goal is "healthy, happy and successful children." Its philosophy includes a focus on the continuum of high quality care for children birth to age 13 and partnerships across child care, education, Head Start, and health for a broader delivery system that expands family choices.

ACF's child care subsidy policy priorities to support quality services, which the DHS Child Care Bureau has adopted, are:

  • Child Focused
  • Family Friendly
  • Fair to Providers
  • Accountable

Child Care Assistance Program

"The assistance we have received has allowed us to have a little more extra money to other necessary things like groceries and utilities." - Parent, North Central Illinois

"The support I received from CCAP and the CCR&R helped me complete my education and start a great career. It also provided my son the early education he needed to get a head start in school." - Parent, Northeastern Illinois

The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) has two primary goals:

  1. To support qualifying low income families by providing child care subsidies. This allows parents to maintain employment or further their education, thereby decreasing dependence on public assistance.
  2. To allow families access to multiple options for affordable, quality child care, early education, and after school programs that offer children the opportunity to grow, learn, and be cared for in safe, nurturing settings that are culturally and developmentally appropriate.

Fiscal Year 2011 CCAP Enrollment

There were 158,251 families enrolled which was a monthly average of 91,400.

There were 282,206 children enrolled, which was a monthly average of 173,100.

Annual Income Guidelines by Family Size

Annual Income and Time Period Family Size = 2 Family Size = 3 Family Size = 4 Family Size = 5 Family Size = 6 Family Size = 7 Family Size = 8
Annual Income FY06 & FY07 $24,612 $30,396 $36,192 $41,976 $47,772 $48,852 $49,944
Annual Income FY08, Sept. 1 $25,332 $31,776 $38,208 $44,652 $51,084 $57,528 $63,960
Annual Income FY08, April 1 $28,008 $35,208 $42,408 $49,608 $56,808 $64,008 $71,208
Annual Income FY10, Oct. 1 $29,148 $36,624 $44,150 $51,588 $59,064 $66,540 $74,028
Annual Income FY11, April 1 $26,964 $33,876 $40,850 $47,712 $54,636 $61,560 $68,472

Number of CCAP Families by Percentage of Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

Percentage Number
10% 4,523
20% 802
30% 3,364
40% 1,804
50% 2,721
60% 3,905
70% 4,856
80% 5,989
90% 6,503
100% 6,803
110% 6,606
120% 6,571
130% 5,919
140% 5,313
150% 4,875
160% 4,188
170% 3,639
180% 3,451
190% 2,767
200% 2,871

Number of Providers Receiving CCAP Payments in FY2011

Licensed Providers Number
Centers 2,520
Family Child Care Homes 7,874
Group Child Care Homes 438
TOTAL 10,832
License-Exempt Providers Number
Centers 802
Family Child Care Homes
  • Non-Relative in Provider's Home
  • Relative in Provider's Home
  • Non-Relative in Child's Home
  • Relative in Child's Home
TOTAL 67,208

Number of Families by Monthly Co-Payment Amount for March 2011

Monthly Co-Payment Number of Families
$0 1,111
$1-$25 41,351
$26-$50 14,357
$51-$100 24,499
$101-$200 8,585
Greater than $200 77

Profile of CCAP Participants in March 2011

"I struggle financially everyday. If it wasn't for the CCAP program, I wouldn't be able to work." - Parent, Southwestern Illinois


  • Average family size was 3.2
  • 47.9% of families receiving subsidies are at or below the poverty threshold
  • 94.1% of families are headed by a single parent
  • 86% of families received subsidies to maintain employment


  • 59.5% of children were served in licensed care
  • 24.3% of children were cared for by relatives
  • Children under 1 year of age were cared for an average of 36 hours per week
  • School-age children (ages 6 and older) constitute 39.8% of all children served


  • The average cost of care this month was $421 per child
  • Parents paid 5.7% of the cost and CCAP 94.3%
  • Average monthly expenditures for children under 1 year of age was $516
  • 71.1% of total expenditures were for children under 6 years of age

Number of Children Participating in CCAP in March 2011

March data is used because March gives the most typical picture of the Child Care Assistance Program. It is the one month of the school year with no major holidays and 21-23 regular business days.

Child's Age Number Enrolled in CCAP Percentage of Total
0-11 Months 8,767 5%
12-23 Months 16,365 10%
2 Years 18,821 11%
3 Years 20,376 12%
4 Years 19,185 12%
5 Years 16,210 10%
6-12 Years 64,508 39%
13 Years and Over 827 1%
TOTAL 165,059 100%

Quality Improvement Program

"Without the professional development funds we would not be able to provide the same opportunities for our staff. A whole new world opens up to them and the quality of care for the children improves as a result." - Child Care Center, Central Illinois

The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) requires at least four percent of federal funds be allocated for the improvement of child care quality. These funds are used to support the Bureau of Child Care and Development's Quality Improvement Programs, the goal of which is to increase the quality of child care available to all Illinois families. This goal is addressed with a multi-faceted approach that works to meet the individual needs of children, families, child care practitioners and communities. In Fiscal Year 2011, DHS contracted with 16 Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&R), the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) and four quality discretionary grantees to implement the quality services outlined below and on the following pages.

Services to Families:

  • Consumer education on legal and quality child care
  • Referral to child care settings according to the family preferences
  • Referral to CCAP, other DHS programs and community services
  • Toll free number, in English and Spanish, that connects parents and child care providers to local CCR&Rs

Services to Child Care Providers:

  • Free referrals to families
  • Technical assistance & consultation
  • Training opportunities & Professional Development Funds
  • Accreditation Funds
  • Equipment/Program Improvement grants
  • Resources, such as printed materials and lending libraries
  • Specialist/Consultant Teams
  • Quality Counts: Quality Rating System
  • Gateways to Opportunity Professional Development System:
    • Gateways Credentials
    • Professional Development Advisors o Gateways Registry
    • Gateways Scholarship Program
    • Great START Wage Supplement Program

Services to Communities:

  • Technical assistance, such as child care supply and demand information
  • Resource development/recruitment of new child care in areas of need
  • Advisement on community and employer options to supply child care
  • Compilation of local and aggregate statewide data, including parent referral, and provider demographics and training registry
  • CCR&R staff training and professional development
  • Statewide outreach marketing resources

Child Care Supply

"Thank you so much for the child care referrals. As a single parent, the issue of child care has been weighing heavily on my mind. With your assistance, I can rest easy now." - Parent, Central Illinois

The CCR&Rs support child care providers by referring families to their child care programs. Licensed centers, family child care homes and group homes are listed on the provider database. License-exempt centers and homes may choose to be included on the provider database. Every provider has the option to decline referral services. The Fiscal Year 2011 provider database information is shown in the table below:

Fiscal Year 2011 Statewide Child Care Database

Type of Care Number of Providers Number of Spaces
Licensed Family Homes 10,183 92,587
License-Exempt Homes 626 1,878
TOTAL FAMILY HOMES 10,809 94,465
Licensed Centers 3,150 234,250
License-Exempt Centers 2,381 157,509
TOTAL CENTERS 5,531 391,759

Child Care Demand

"If I can not find overnight child care by tomorrow, I will have to turn down this new job." - Parent, Cook County There are two dimensions of the "demand" for child care in any community.

  1. Number of children needing child care compared to the number of child care spaces available to meet the needs, and
  2. The unique requirements of families for their specific child care needs, such as child's age, type of care desired, parent schedule, location, special needs of the child, and cost.

Snapshot of Families Receiving Child Care Referrals

  • 24,915 families received child care referrals
  • 80% of families required child care due to employment
  • 950 families of children with special needs requested referrals
  • 12,280, or 49% of the total, requests were made for non-standard schedules (A standard schedule is full-time child care offered during traditional work hours.)

Schedules Requested for Children and Offered by Providers

Schedule Requested for Children Offered by Family Child Care Homes Offered by Child Care Centers Offered by Providers Total
Standard Hours* 30,533 9,686 2,862 12,548
Evening 5,380 4,389 113 4,502
Weekend 3,290 1,413 52 1,465
Overnight 1,527 3,147 44 3,191
Rotating 1,395 4,230 821 5,051
Temp/Emergency 393 5,230 811 6,041
Drop In 295 4,920 904 5,824

*A standard schedule is full-time care offered during traditional day time work hours.

Number of Children for Whom Child Care was Requested by Age and Type of Care

Requests by Age of Child Number of Requests Percentage
Infants & Toddlers 11,309 31%
Two Year Old Children 4,416 12%
Three-Four Year Old Children 11,033 31%
Five Year Olds/Kindergarteners 2,322 6%
School-Age Children 7,246 20%
TOTALS 36,326 100%
Child Care Center 39,481 59.4%
Family Child Care Home 26,797 40.32%
In-Home Care 185 0.28%
TOTAL 66,463 100%

Fiscal Year 2011 Quality Program Services

Illinois Quality Counts Quality Rating System

"With all of the improvement that I have made, I have gained a new confidence in my ability to provide the very best care for every child that comes to my program. I am the best I have ever been because of QRS." - Family Child Care Provider, North Central Illinois

The Illinois Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS) assists Illinois child care programs in providing quality care for children and their families. The Quality Counts QRS offers levels which providers can achieve depending on the type of care they provide. QRS certification recognizes a provider for meeting specific indicators of quality, such as learning environment, program administration, staff qualifications and training. Efforts to improve quality services are also recognized. QRS certification recognizes achievement above DCFS licensing standards. This voluntary system is available to license-exempt family child care providers, licensed family child care home providers, and licensed child care centers.

Training Tier Levels for License-Exempt Family Child Care Homes

Training Tier Level License-Exempt Family Child Care Homes Number of CCAP Children Enrolled by Training Tier Level
Training Tier 1 206 397
Training Tier 2 78 169
Training Tier 3 105 223
TOTAL 389 789

Number of non-CCAP children care for by these providers = 329

Total number of children care for by QRS certified license-exempt family child care homes = 1,118

Star Levels for Licensed Providers

Star Level Licensed Centers Number of CCAP Children Enrolled in Licensed Centers by Star Level Licensed Family Child Care Homes Number of CCAP Children Enrolled in Licensed Family Child Care Homes by Star Level
1 32 1,643 33 210
2 187 9,541 15 104
3 213 11,459 185 1,175
4 3 69 1 2
TOTAL 435 22,712 234 1,491

The total number of children cared for in QRS certified licensed centers was 41,178.

The number of non-CCAP children enrolled in QRS certified licensed centers was 18,466.

The total number of children cared for in QRS certified licensed family child care homes was 2,448.

The number of non-CCAP children enrolled in QRS certified licensed family child care homes was 957.

Quality Counts Child Care Grant Program

"We were able to put in an age appropriate toddler and two-year-old playground. This enabled us to have a safe place for this age group to play outdoors." - Child Care Center, Northeastern Illinois

The Quality Counts Child Care (QCCC) Grant program is designed to support child care center and family child care providers in the improvement of quality care for infants, toddlers, pre-school and school age children. Originally intended to support program improvements, the program now also assists providers in the achievement and maintenance of Illinois Quality Counts Quality Rating System (QRS) certification. The program is available to any child care provider on an Illinois Child Care Resource and Referral provider database. Grant funds can be used for materials, equipment, minor facility improvements and on-site training/consultation.

Beginning in FY 2011, the QCCC Grant program offered two options to child care providers:

  • Training Option: Provides training on program quality improvement in a cohort model, included guidance used a program assessment tool. Using assessment results, grant funding can be requested to purchase items.
  • Competitive Option: Licensed providers can apply for funds through a competitive grant process. The applicant must show documentation that a program improvement assessment tool or accreditation process has been completed and used to inform the grant application.

FY2011 QCCC Grant Purposes

Grant funds were used for the following components.

Component Competitive Option Number Awarded Competitive Option Funding Amount Training Option Number Awarded Training Option Funding Amount
Professional Resources 103 $117,317 46 $24,576
Program Improvement 55 $136,770 N/A N/A
Facility Improvement 219 $896,706 55 $84,141
Learning Environment 573 $2,255,666 301 $555,365
Parent Resources 25 $21,019 4 $656
Staff Training 14 $20,537 N/A N/A

FY2011 QCCC Grant Reasons

Providers indicated the following as reasons for requesting grant funds.

Reason Number Awarded
Maintain IDCFS Licensing Standards 250
Achieve a National Accreditation 94
Maintain a National Accreditation 122
Achieve a Quality Counts QRS Certification Level 201
Maintain a Quality Counts QRS Certification Level 172
Advance to the Next Quality Counts Certification Level 149

Professional Development for Child Care Practitioners

"I am more able to plan and create a caring environment that stimulates learning and development, provides security, and if children in my care have challenges I'm able to find a resolution to the situation." - Family Child Care Provider, Southern Illinois

IDHS provides a wide variety of professional development opportunities to child care practitioners. These services are available to child care providers listed on the statewide database, including both licensed and license-exempt providers. The following two pages give some data on these programs.

Illinois Trainers Network

The Illinois Trainers Network (ITN) provides training to individual providers on topics such inclusion, developmentally appropriate curriculum and program assessment. ITN trainers, in turn, coordinate with the CCR&Rs to deliver standardized curriculum training to child care practitioners statewide.

Training Component FY2010 FY2011
Number of ITN Training Curricula 18 14
Total Number of Times an ITN Curriculm Offered 422 413
Total Number of Training Sessions Held (some are multi-session trainings) 842 997
Number of Participants 11,996 14,185
Number of Training Hours Achieved 49,283 51,179

Other Professional Development Services


In addition to the standardized ITN curricula, CCR&Rs offer training to child care practitioners based on a variety of topics and in a variety of methods, including stand-alone workshops, workshop series, self-study materials and webinars. Favorite topics include guidance and discipline, child development, creative activities, health and safety, and nutrition.

Training Component FY2010 FY2011
Number of Training Sessions Held 2,721 2,429
Number of Training Participants 40,366 42,584
Number of Training Hours Achieved 101,554 103,539

Gateways to Opportunity Professional Development System

"Since the moment I discovered the Gateways Scholarship Program, I have been able to accomplish more than I ever thought possible. I have achieved my Associate's Degree and am planning to continue on to my Bachelor's Degree..." - Child Care Center Teacher, Western Illinios

The Gateways to Opportunity Professional Development System provides many supports for professionals working with children, youth and families. These supports include Credentials; the Gateways Scholarship Program; the Great START wage supplement program; and Professional Development Advisors. These programs support increased professional development and consistency of care which can improve quality of services for children and families.

Gateways to Opportunity Credentials

The Gateways Credentials validate an individual's educational attainment and professional experience. The first Illinois Director Credentials were awarded in Fiscal Year 2000, since then Gateways Credentials have been developed and awarded on a continual basis. School Age/Youth Development Credential Level 1 was first awarded in Fiscal Year 11.

Credential First Awarded In FY2010 FY2011 Total Awarded
ECE Credential - Level 1 FY2006 162 338 991
ECE Credential - Levels 2-5 FY2008 25 71 182
Infant-Toddler Credentials FY2009 21 51 131
Illinois Director Credentials FY2000 44 67 445
SAYD Credential FY2011 N/A 30 30
TOTALS N/A 252 557 1,779

Gateways Scholarship Program

The Gateways Scholarship Program is available to individuals employed by licensed child care centers and family child care homes.

Gateways Scholarship Component FY2010 FY2011
Family Child Care Providers 216 217
Child Care Center Staff 491 556
Credits Taken 7,459 5,714
Degrees Completed 30 39

Great START (Strategy to Attract and Retain Teachers)

Great START is a wage supplement program available to the lowest wage earners employed by licensed child care centers and family child care homes; and recognizes those who have achieved an educational level higher than is required by IDCFS Licensing and must remain employed by the same program.

Great  START Component FY2010 FY2011
New Recipients 965 875
Renewing Recipients 3,940 4,224
TOTALS 4,905 5,099


Much of the data contained in the Quality Improvement Program section are from parent, customer and child care provider databases compiled by local CCR&Rs. Therefore data presented does not include all families and child care requiring child care services in Illinois. Most families do not receive child care assistance and many families find child care services through friends, family, advertisements and other means. Additionally, although licensed child care centers and family child care homes in the State are included in the provider database, many license-exempt programs, especially family homes, are not. Because of these factors, it is important to note that this report is only one means of examining the larger child care supply and demand picture in Illinois.

DHS Thanks:

Child Care Providers & Local Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies for quotes.

For more detailed information about any of these programs contained in this report, visit:,, and/or

The publication is created to comply with State Statute 20 ILCS 505/5.15.