Funding OK’d for day care centers
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org May 18, 2012 9:34PM
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:26PM
The state has restored funds for a program that helps low-income, working parents pay for day care.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the emergency funding measure Friday after the Senate voted 46-0 in favor of it. The House approved the funding earlier in the week.
Advocates of the program said some parents would have to quit work because they could not afford day care without the assistance. And some day care providers said they would close without the children in their programs.
“Members of the Senate understand the importance of day care for working parents,” said state Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Joliet.
This is the second straight year that funding for the Child Care Assistance program has been stalled because the state moved money to other programs to meet funding levels mandated by the federal government.
The Child Care Assistance program faces more funding problems next year if proposed cuts go through, said Amy Emerson, assistant director at Joliet-based Child Care Resource and Referral. The agency manages the program in Will County, where about 6,600 children receive assistance, and three other counties.
Emerson said the program would lose $85 million in the governor’s proposed budget.
She credited the restoration of funding this week to the efforts of day-care providers and parents who raised the issue with legislators.
“I think it’s due to all the calls to elected officials about the importance of the program,” Emerson said.