Illinois Annual Child Care Report FY2013

State of Illinois

Department of Human Services

Illinois Child Care Report FY2013

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 Statute 20 ILCS 505/5.15, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) 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 IDHS Bureau of Child Care and Development and include the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and the Quality Improvement Programs. The 2013 Illinois Child Care Report includes information for the Fiscal Year 2013 (July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013). The data in this report are from: a) the Child Care Tracking System (CCTS) 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 Gateways to Opportunity Registry. IDHS 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.

FY2013 Child Care Funding Sources

FY2013 Child Care Funding Sources

Funding Source Amount Percentage
Title XX $1,200,000 Less than 1%
State GRF $611,060,735 64.2%
TANF $134,482,223 14.1%
CCDF $204,509,524 21.5%
TOTAL $951,252,482 100.00%

Federal Priorities

The IDHS 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 vision. 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 system that:
    • supports child development
    • removes access barriers for families
    • improves processes for 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

QUOTE:  "I am very happy to have a program that helps me get my kids quality care." Parent


The IDHS 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 2013 CCAP Enrollment

CCAP served a total of 259,493 children from 149,699 families between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. The monthly average for FY2013 was 163,250 children and 87,700 families.


Profile of Children Participating in CCAP in March 2013*

  • 63.6% of children were served in licensed care
  • 24.2% of children were cared for by relatives
  • Children under one year of age were in child care an average of 142 hours per month
  • School-age children (ages six and older) represent 39.4% of all children served

Number of Children by Age Participating in CCAP in March 2013*

Number of Children by Age Participating in CCAP in March 2013*

Child's Age Number Enrolled in CCAP  % of Total
0 - 11 months 12,151 7.4
12 - 23 months 12,767 7.8
2 years 18,541 11.4
3 - 4 years 37,768 23.1
5 years 16,898 10.4
6 - 12 years 64,274 39.4
13 years and over 815 0.5
TOTAL 163,214

*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.

QUOTE:  "Affordable child care is so hard to find. How can a single [parent] work and pay for child care expenses? Without the child care assistance I could never have worked."   Single Father


Profile of families participating in the CCAP in March 2013

  • 94.8% of families were headed by a single parent
  • 8.4% of families listed TANF as a source of income
  • The average number of children served per family was 1.7
  • 89,130 families were working and/or pursuing training/education
  • 99.4% of families had co-payments, at an average 4.6% of the family's income

CCR&R Services to All Illinois Families, not just those participating in CCAP

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

Annual Income Guidelines by Family Size

FY2008-2013 Annual Income Guidelines by Family Size

Family of 2 Family of 3 Family of 4 Family of 5 Family of 6 Family of 7 Family of 8
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, July 1 $27,216 $34,284 $41,352 $48,420 $55,488 $62,556 $69,624
FY13, July 1 $28,704 $36,132 $43,472 $51,012 $58,452 $65,880 $73,320

Number of CCAP Families by Monthly Co-Payment Amount

Number of CCAP Families by Monthly Co-Pay Amounts

Co-Pay Amounts Number of Families
$0 516
$1 to $25 19,479
$26 to $50 15,227
$51 to $100 20,837
$101 to $200 20,445
Greater than $200 9,319

QUOTE:  "Because of [the Quality Counts Grants], we can serve families of all socioeconomic levels, so their children can enter kindergarten ready to learn."Child Care Center Director


Profile of Child Care Providers Participating in CCAP in March 2013

  • 8121, or 24.5%, of the providers are licensed by DCFS
  • 69.7% of the license-exempt family child care providers are caring for relatives
  • 69% of providers on the Illinois CCR&R provider database will accept CCAP children

CCR&R Services for Child Care Providers Participating in CCAP

  • Administration of parent applications
  • Processing of Monthly Child Care Certificates
  • Technical Assistance to providers regarding CCAP

Number of Providers Receiving CCAP Payments in FY2013

Licensed Providers Number
Centers 2,622
Family Child Care Homes 6,889
Group Child Care Homes 456
TOTAL 9,967
Licensed-Exempt Providers Number
Centers 748
Family Child Care Homes:
Non-relative in provider's home 9,336
Relative in provider's home 21,972
Non-relative in child's home 6,597
Relative in child's home 14,459
TOTAL 53,112

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 2013 provider database information is shown in the table below:

Fiscal Year 2013 Statewide Child Care Database

Type of Family Child Care Homes Number of Providers Number of Spaces
Licensed  9,480 88,225
License-Exempt  508 1,483
TOTAL 9,988 89,708
Type of Child Care Center Number of Providers Number of Spaces
Licensed 3,173 243,106
License-Exempt 2,521 165,507
TOTAL 5,694 408,613

Quote:  "I found the [referral] service extremely helpful and thorough." Parent

Child Care Demand

There are two dimensions of the "demand" for child care in any community.

  1. The 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 the child's age, type of care desired, parent's work/school schedule, location, special needs of the child, and cost.

Snapshot of Families Receiving Child Care Referrals in FY2013

  • 29,452 families received child care referrals by phone services or online
  • 85% of families who requested referral by phone required child care due to employment
  • 12,159 families used the online referral system

Schedules Requested for Children and Offered by Providers

Type of Schedule Requested for Children Offered by Family Child Care Homes Offered by Child Care Centers Offered by Providers Total
Standard Hours* 20,964 8,862 2,872 11,734
Evening 3,906 4,384 132 4,516
Weekend 2,793 1,437 53 1,490
Overnight 1,176 3,165 56 3,221
Rotating 1,142 3,806 839 4,645
Temp/Emergency 401 4,709 821 5,530
Drop In 346 4,385 870 5,255

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

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

Number of Children for Whom Child Care was Request by Age

Age of Child Number of Requests Percentage
Infants & Toddlers 7,393 29.46%
Two Year Old Children 2,969 11.83%
Three - Four Year Old Children 6,843 27.27%
Five Year Olds/Kindergarteners 2,196 8.75%
School Age Children 5,697 22.69%
TOTAL 25,098 100%

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

Type of Care Number of Requests Percentage
Child Care Center 29,826 61.82%
Family Child Care Home 18,300 37.93%
In Home Care 118 .024%
TOTAL 48,244 99.99%

Data Context for Pages 9 and 11

Much of the data contained on pages 9 and 11 are from the 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, mane 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.

Quote:  "Participating in QRS has enabled our program and staff to recognize our achievements and bolster our commitment to professionalism and continued improvement." Child Care Center


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 IDHS 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 2013, IDHS 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 Quality 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 2013

Training Tier Level Number of License-Exempt Family Child Care Homes Number of CCAP Children Enrolled
Training Tier 1 237 450
Training Tier 2 114 222
Training Tier 3 165 367
TOTAL 516 1,039*

* Number of non-CCAP Children cared for by these providers is 402.  Total number of children cared for by QRS certified license-exempt family child care homes is 1,441.

Star Levels for Licensed Providers in FY2013

Star Levels 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
Star Level 1 53 2,310 18 148
Star Level 2 201 9,373 37 229
Star Level 3 298 15,857 225 1,713
Star Level 4 6 382 7 36
TOTAL 558 27,922* 287 2,126**

* Number of non-CCAP Children cared for by QRS certified Licensed Child Care Centers is 23,848.  Total number of children cared for by QRS certified licensed Child Care Centers is 51,770.

** Number of non-CCAP Children cared for by QRS certified licensed Family Child Care Homes is 1,042.  Total number of children cared for by QRS certified licensed Family Child Care Homes is 3,168.

Quote:  "[It is] very important to educate ourselves and help us be better with the children and their families." Family Child Care Provider

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.

In Fiscal Year 2013, providers were again asked to select a grant option when applying for the QCCC Grant:

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

FY2013 QCCC Grant Uses

Grant funds were used for the following program components:

Competitive Option Training Option
# Awarded Funding # Awarded Funding
Professional Resources 79 $121,267 10 $4,624
Program Improvement 23 $56,719 NA NA
Facility Improvement 152 $502,799 26 $33,039
Learning Environment 591 $1,925,790 317 $491,993
Parent Resources 8 $8,707 1 $629
Staff Training 6 $11,318 NA NA

FY2013 QCCC Grant Reasons

Providers indicated the following as reasons for requesting grant funds:

# Awarded
Maintain IDCFS Licensing Standards 356
Achieve a national accreditation 85
Maintain a national accreditation 125
Achieve a Quality Counts QRS Certification Level 223
Maintain a Quality Counts QRS Certification Level 203
Advance a Quality Counts QRS Certification Level 160

Quote:"From the very first meeting, my Professional Development Advisor (PDA) provided information to he me accomplish my goals." Child Care Teacher

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. IDHS 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 licensed and license-exempt practitioners. The following pages give some data on these programs.

Illinois Trainers Network

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

FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013
Number of ITN Curricula offered 14 12 15
Total # of times ITN curricula were offered 413 398 425
Total # of training sessions held* 997 1,282 1,391
Number of Participants 14,185 18,278 19,906
Number of training hours achieved 51,179 69,068 73,554

*Some of the ITN curricula are multi-session trainings

CCR&R Offered Training

In addition to the standardized ITN curricula, CCR&Rs offer training to child care practitioners on a variety of topics and in a variety of methods, including stand-alone workshops, workshops series, self-study materials, and webinars. Frequently requested topics include developmentally appropriate activities, health and safety, child assessment, and guidance and discipline.

FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013
Number of training sessions held 2,429 2,489 2,410
Number of training participants 42,584 43,738 40,236
Number of training hours achieved 103,539 111,111 101,975

Gateways to Opportunity Professional Development System

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 program; Professional Development Advisors; and the Gateways to Opportunity Registry.

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.

FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013
New Recipients 875 0* 258
Renewing Recipients 4,224 3,954 4,020
Total 5,099 3,954 4,278

*FY12 due to reduction in funding a waiting list was implemented for the program.

Quote:  "Since I discovered the Gateways Scholarship Program, I have been able to accomplish more than I ever thought possible." Child Care Center Teacher

Gateways to Opportunity Credentials

The Gateways Credentials validate an individual's educational attainment and professional experience. The Credentials are recognized by the State of Illinois in the DCFS Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers and the IDHS Great START Program. A variety of credentials are available for practitioners working with, or on behalf of, children, youth and families.

The first Illinois Director Credentials were awarded in Fiscal Year 2000, since then, additional Gateways Credentials have been developed and awarded on a continuous basis.

Credential First Awarded in FY 11 FY 12 FY 13 Total Awarded*
ECE Credential - Level 1 FY 2006 338 446 387 1,822
ECE Credential - Level 2-5 FY 2008 71 132 111 425
Infant Toddler Credential FY 2009 51 83 97 311
Illinois Director Credential FY 2000 67 88 46 578
SAYD Credential - Level 1 FY 2011 30 0** 14 44
Total 557 749 655 3,180

*Includes credentials awarded prior to FY 2011

**The curriculum for the SAYD Credential Level 1 was revised and the Train the Trainer session was held during FY 2012

Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program

The Gateways Scholarship Program (CCDF-funded) is available to individuals employed by licensed child care centers and family child care homes. FY 2013 data also included scholarships funded by the IDHS/ARRA grant. The scholarships enable practitioners to earn degrees, certificates or credentials in early care and education and school-age child care.

FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013
Family Child Care Practitioners 217 214 200
Child Care Center Staff 556 652 734
Credits Taken 5,714 6,567 6,904
Degrees Completed 39 47 35

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 2013, the Registry membership increased by 26,903, bringing the total membership on June 30, 2013 to 44,803 members. This growth was facilitated by a new child care licensing standard requiring registry membership for all licensed family child care home providers and the staff of all licensed child care centers. The chart below gives some information about the current jobs of the child care workforce.


  • Valid employment data for 32,164 current Registry members
  • 6% work in Indirect Service, such as child care resource and referral, higher education, etc.
  • 94% work in Direct Service
    • - 81% in Licensed Centers
    • - 17% in Licensed Family/Group Child Care Homes
    • - 2% in License Exempt settings

IDHS 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:

This 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-02-14) Illinois Child Care Report - FY 2013 Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois. 300 copies

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