Illinois Annual Child Care Report FY2012

Illinois Annual Child Care Report- FY2012 (pdf)

Vision for Child Care and Early Education in Illinois

Illinois 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.


As required by State 20 ILCS 505/5.15, the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) submits an annual report to the Governor and Illinois General Assembly about the status of its child care programs. These programs are administered by the DHS Bureau of Child Care and Development and include the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and the Quality Improvement Programs. The 2012 Illinois Child Care Report includes information for the Fiscal Year 2012 (July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012). The data in this report are from: a) the DHS Child Care Tracking System database for the Child Care Assistance Program; b) the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies' aggregate database of the local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) parent customers, child care providers, and professional development; and, the new Gateways to Opportunity Registry. DHS thanks the thousands of center-based agency staff, family child care providers and CCR&R staff for their support in the care and education of Illinois children.

Title XX $1,200,000 0.13
State GRF $598,879,746 62.79
TANF $145,454,258 15.25
CCDF $208,210,718 21.83
Total $953,744,722 100.00


The DHS Bureau of Child Care and Development sets policy and develops programs consistent with the federal Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office 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 from birth to age 13 and partnerships across child care, education, Head Start, and health for a broader delivery system that expands family choices.

This report is designed to show how Illinois is addressing the federal theme of, "Pathways and Partnerships for Child Care Excellence," which includes the following components.

  • Pathways to Stronger Policies and Accountability with a child care subsidy system that:
    • supports child development
    • removes access barriers for families
    • improves processes with providers
  • Pathways to Excellence for Child Care Programs by:
    • ensuring the health and safety of children in child care
    • building Quality Rating and Improvement Systems
  • Pathways to Excellence for Child Care Professionals by:
    • building strong professional development and supportive workforce initiatives

"Thanks to CCAP, my infant is able to attend day care with a three star QRS (Quality Rating System) home provider! It is a wonderful feeling to go to work and know that she is in good hands!" - CCAP Parent, North Central Illinois


DHS works with local Illinois communities to provide low-income working families with access to affordable, quality child care. The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) has two primary goals:

  • 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.
  • 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 2012 CCAP Enrollment

CCAP served a total of 265,693 children from 152,690 families between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. The monthly average for FY 2012 was 171,000 children from 86,650 families.


Profile of Children Participating in CCAP in March 2012 (March data is used because March gives the most typical picture of the CCAP. It is the one month of the school year with no major holidays and 21-23 regular business days.)

  • 61.3% of children were served in licensed care
  • 25.0% of children were cared for by relatives
  • Children under 1 year of age were in child care an average of 147 hours per month
  • School-age children (ages 6 and older) constitute 39.7% of all children served
  • Black or African American children accounted for 52.9% of all children served
Number of Children by Age Participating in CCAP in March 2012
Child's Age Number Enrolled in CCAP % of Total
0 - 11 months 7,700 5%
12 - 23 months 14,494 10%
2 years 17,565 11%
3 years 18,493 12%
4 years 18,715 12%
5 years 15,633 10%
6 - 12 years 59,934 39%
13 years and older 749 Less than 1%
Total 153,283 100

"If it wasn't for the Child Care Assistance Program, I wouldn't be able to work!" - CCAP Parent, Southwestern Illinois


Profile of families participating in the CCAP in March 2012

  • 86.8% of families received subsidies because of employment
  • 46.7% of families had monthly incomes ranging from $1,490 to $2,421
  • 99.2% of families had co-payments, at an average of 5.2% of their family income
  • 7.6% of families listed TANF as a source of income
  • The average number of children served per family was 1.7
  • 94.8% of families were headed by a single parent
  • 67% of families are families of 3 or fewer
CCR&R Services to All Illinois Families, not just those participating in CCAP
  • 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
Annual Income Guidelines by Family Size
Fiscal Year/ Month Family Size 1 Family Size 2 Family Size 3 Family Size 4 Family Size 5 Family Size 6 Family Size 7
FY08, Sept. 1 25,332 31,776 38,208 44,652 51,084 57,528 63,960
FY08, Apr. 1 28,008 35,208 42,408 49,608 56,808 64,008 71,208
FY10, Oct. 1 29,148 36,624 44,150 51,588 59,064 66,540 74,028
FY11, Apr. 1 26,964 33,876 40,850 47,712 54,636 61,560 68,472
FY12, Jul. 1 27,216 34,284 41,352 48,420 55,488 62,556 69,624
Number of CCAP Families by Monthly Co-Payment Amount
Co-Payment Amount Number of Families
$0 660
$1-25 24,429
$26-50 17,630
$51-100 22,443
$101-200 17,344
Greater than $200 3,062

"The Child Care Assistance Program helped me be able to go to school and work. I was able to go to school, spend time with my kids at night and work on the weekends. It was a great stepping stone to fulltime employment." - CCAP Parent, Central Illinois


Profile of Child Care Providers Participating in CCAP in March 2012
  • 66.2% of families selected licensed providers
  • 51.8% of providers located in Cook County
  • 69.7% of license-exempt home providers were related to the children in care
  • 14.0% of care provided in the child's home (in-home care)
CCR&R Services for Child Care Providers Participating in CCAP
  • Administration of parent applications
  • Processing of Monthly Child Care Certificates
  • Technical assistance to parents and providers regarding CCAP
Number of Providers Receiving CCAP Payments in FY2012
Licensed Providers (Total 10,427)
  • Centers - 2,668
  • Family Child Care Homes - 7,296
  • Group Child Care Homes - 463
License-Exempt Providers (Total 55,923)
  • Centers - 735
  • Family Child Care Homes: Non-Relative in Provider's Home - 10,602
  • Family Child Care Homes: Relative in Provider's Home - 23,042
  • Family Child Care Homes: Non-Relative in Child's Home - 7,470
  • Family Child Care Homes: Relative in Child's Home - 14,074

Child Care Supply

The CCR&Rs support child care providers by referring families to their child care programs. The referral services are available free of charge to licensed centers, family child care homes and group child care homes 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 2012 provider database information is shown in the table below:

Fiscal Year 2012 Statewide Child Care Database

Home Providers and Spaces by Type of Care, FY2012
Type of Care Number of Providers Number of Spaces
Licensed Family Child Care Homes 9,857 90,690
License-Exempt Family Child Care Homes 591 1,710
TOTAL 10,448 92,400
Center Providesr and Spaces by Type of Care, FY2012
Type of Care Number of Providers Number of Spaces
Licensed Child Care Centers 3,189 238,935
License-Exempt Child Care Centers 2,425 162,154
TOTAL 5,614 401,089

"By using the child care program, the parent was able to find quality care that she could afford and feel comfortable leaving her child." - CCR&R Referral Staff, Southern Illinois

Child Care Demand

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 Parents Receiving Child Care Referrals in FY2012
  • 19,397 families received child care referrals
  • 84% of families required child care due to employment
  • 800 families of children with special needs requested referrals
  • 10,268, or 30% of the total, requests were made for non-standard schedules (A standard schedule is full-time child care offered during traditional day time 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 Total Offered by Providers
Standard Hours 23,590 9,340 2,924 12,264
Evening 4,569 4,444 132 4,576
Weekend 2,828 1,443 53 1,496
Overnight 1,197 3,205 52 3,257
Rotating 1,157 4,077 859 4,936
Temp/Emergency 274 4,990 844 5,834
Drop-In 243 4,671 902 5,573
Number of Children for Whom Child Care was Requested by Age of Child
Requests by Age of Child Number of Requests Percentage
Infants & Toddlers 8,636 30.39%
Two Year Old Children 3,307 11.64%
Three-Four Year Old Children 8,611 30.30%
Five Year Olds/Kindergarteners 1,970 6.93%
School Age Children 5,893 20.74%
TOTAL 28,417 100.00%
Number of Children for Whom Child Care was Requested by Type of Care
Requests by Type of Care Number of Requests Percentage
Child Care Center 32,744 52.35%
Family Child Care Home 29,673 47.44%
In-Home Care 137 0.22%
TOTAL 62,554 100.00%


Much of the data contained previously are from parent, customer and child care provider databases compiled by the local CCR&Rs. Therefore, data presented does not include all families and children requiring child care service 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, many license-exempt child care programs are not listed on the provider database. 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.

About QRS: "… you look at things in a deeper way and discover areas for improvement. It also helps staff feel more professional and that what they are doing matters." - Child Care Center Director, Central Illinois


The federal 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 DHS Bureau of Child Care and Development's Quality Improvement Programs, the overall 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 providers and communities. In Fiscal Year 2012, DHS contracted with 16 CCR&R agencies, the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) and four quality discretionary grantees to implement the quality services described on the following pages.

Pathways to Excellence for Child Care Programs

Building Quality Rating and Improvement Systems

The Illinois Quality Counts Rating System (QRS) assists Illinois child care programs in providing quality care for children and their families. The Quality Counts QRS sets standards 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. This voluntary system is available to license-exempt family child care providers, licensed family child care homes, and licensed child care centers.

Training Tier Levels for License-Exempt Family Child Care Homes in FY 2012
Level License-exempt Family Child Care Homes Number of CCAP Children Enrolled
Training Tier 1 221 419
Training Tier 2 101 195
Training Tier 3 138 298
TOTAL 460 912
  • Number of non-CCAP Children cared for by these providers is 381.
  • TOTAL number of children cared for by QRS certified license-exempt family child care homes is 1,293.
Level Licensed Centers Number of CCAP Children Enrolled
Star Level 1 43 1,869
Star Level 2 212 10,266
Star Level 3 246 13,210
Star Level 4 6 386
TOTAL 507 25,731
  • Number of non-CCAP Children cared for by QRS-certified Child Care Centers is 22,405.
  • Number of non-CCAP Children cared for by QRS-certified licensed family child care homes is 959.
  • Total Number of Children cared for in QRS-certified Licensed Child Care Centers is 48,136.
  • Total number of children cared for by QRS certified licensed family child care homes is 2,709.

"The Quality Counts Grant helps us every year to provide high quality child care, become successful professionals, and most importantly, provide a safe and stimulating environment." - Family Child Care Provider, Chicago Suburbs

Quality Counts Child Care Grant Program

The Quality Counts Child Care (QCCC) Grant program is designed to support child care center and family child care home 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 achieving and maintaining of Illinois Quality Counts QRS certification (see page 13). The program is available to any child care provider on an Illinois CCR&R provider database. Grant funds can be used for materials, equipment, minor facility improvements and on-site training and consultation.

Fiscal Year 2012 was the second year the QCCC Grant program offered two options to child care providers:

  • Training Option: Provides training on program quality improvements in a cohort model, including guidance using a program assessment tool. Using assessment results, grant funding can be requested to purchase items needed.
  • 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.
FY2012 QCCC Grant Uses - Grant funds were used for the following program components:
Use Competitive Option # Awarded Competitive Option Funding Training Option # Awarded Training Option Funding
Professional Resources 72 $78,709 18 $10,519
Program Improvement 36 $70,912
Facility Improvement 161 $532,285 37 $17,694
Learning Environment 506 $1,713,104 334 $491,183
Parent Resources 12 $6,539 1 $327
Staff Training 14 $22,149 N/A N/A
FY2012 QCCC Grant Reasons - Providers indicated the following as reasons for requesting grant funds.
Reason # Awarded
Maintain IDCFS Licensing Standards 312
Achieve a national accreditation 83
Maintain a national accreditation 131
Achieve a Quality Counts QRS Certification Level 205
Maintain a Quality Counts QRS Certification Level 202
Advance to the next Quality Counts QRS Certification Level 159

"I am amazed with the trainings that the CCR&R has offered. I come away with new ideas that spark an excitement to implement them right away in my classroom." - Child Care Center Staff, Northwestern Illinois

Pathways to Excellence for Child Care Providers

Building Strong Professional Development and Supportive Workforce Initiatives

Responsive, well-qualified practitioners are one of the most important factors in child care settings. Children of working parents spend many hours each day with their child care provider. DHS provides a wide variety of professional development opportunities to child care providers. These services are available to child care providers listed on the statewide database, including both licensed and license-exempt providers. The following pages give some data on these programs.

Illinois Trainers Network

The Illinois Trainers Network (ITN) provides training to individual child care providers on topics such as 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.

Curricula Detail FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012
Number of ITN Curricula offered 18 14 12
Total number of times ITN curricula were offered 422 413 398
Total number of training sessions held (some of the ITN curricula are multi-session trainings) 842 997 1,282
Number of Participants 11,996 14,185 18,278
Number of training hours achieved 49,283 51,179 69,068
CCR&R Offered Training

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. Frequently requested topics include guidance and discipline, child developme nt, creative activities, health and safety, and nutrition.

Training Details FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012
Number of training sessions 2,721 2,429 2,489
Number of training participants 40,366 42,584 43,738
Number of training hours achieved 101,554 103,539 111,111

"Receiving my ECE Level 1 Credential means that I take my job seriously. It also shows parents that I am always learning new things to educate myself on new ways to teach and care for their children." - Provider, North Central Illinois


The Gateways to Opportunity Professional Development System provides supports for professionals working with children, youth and families. These supports include Credentials; the Gateways Scholarship Program; the Great START wage supplement programs; Professional Development Advisors; and, the Gateways to Opportunity Registry. These programs support increased professional development and consistency of care, which can improve the 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 continuous basis. The School Age/ Youth Development Level 1 Credential was first awarded in Fiscal Year 2011.

Credential First awarded in FY 10 FY11 FY12 Total awarded
ECE Credential Level 1 FY 2006 162 338 446 1,435
ECE Credential Levels 2-5 FY 2008 25 71 132 314
Infant Toddler Credential FY 2009 21 51 83 214
Illinois Director Credential FY 2000 44 67 88 533
SAYD Credential Level 1 FY 2011 NA 30 0 30
TOTAL 252 557 749 2,526

*The curriculum for the SAYD Credential Level 1 (FY12 = 0) was revised and a Train the Trainer session was held during FY 2012.

Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program

The Gateways Scholarship Program (CCDF-fund) is available to individuals employed by licensed child care centers and family child care homes. FY 2012 data also includes scholarships funded by the DHS/ARRA grant. The scholarships enable practitioners to earn degrees, certificates or credentials in early care and education and school-age child care.

Type of Provider Awarded FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012
Family Child Care Providers 216 217 214
Child Care Center Staff 491 491 652
Credits Taken 7,459 5,714 6,567
Degrees Completed 30 39 47
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; it recognizes those who have achieved an educational level higher than is required by IDCFS Licensing and recipients must remain employed by the same program. Drop in FY12 participant numbers was due to funding reduction. Great START has a waiting list.

FY 2010 FY2011 FY2012
New Recipients 965 875 0
Renewing Recipients 3,940 4,224 3,954
TOTAL 4,905 5,099 3,954
Gateways to Opportunity Registry

The Gateways to Opportunity Registry is a resource and a tool to drive the quality and accountability of the professional development available to early learning, school-age, and youth practitioners. Anyone working with or "on behalf of" children, youth and families in Illinois can become a member of the Gateways Registry. The Gateways Registry is administered by INCCRRA. During Fiscal Year 2012, the Registry membership increased by 7,887, bringing the total membership on June 30, 2012 to 17,900 members.

DHS Thanks

Local Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies for quotations used throughout the report.

For more detailed information about any of the programs contained in this report, visit: (IDHS State Website) (INCCRRA Website) (Illinois Gateways Website)

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

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4184 (N-02-13) Illinois Child Care Report - FY 2012 Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois. 225 copies P.O.# 13-0374 $2.80 per copy