05242018CM0474RSPRINGFIELD – A working family of three who earns up to $41,560 per year would be eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) under a proposal by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) that passed the Senate Human Services Committee Tuesday afternoon.

“Working families are finding it harder and harder to afford the ever-increasing cost of child care,” Hutchinson said. “For many families, it makes more financial sense for one parent to stay at home rather than work at all. And for single parents, the cost is often overwhelming.”

Hutchinson’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 1679, would raise the income threshold for qualifying for CCAP from 185 percent of the federal poverty level to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, for a family of three, 185 percent of the federal poverty level represents $38,443 per year. Under Hutchinson’s plan, families of three could earn up to $41,560 and still qualify for the program.

CCAP provides financial assistance to low-income families so they can afford to enroll their children into the child care program. While the program was once nationally recognized, Gov. Rauner made drastic cuts to the program in 2015, reducing eligibility for 90 percent of CCAP participants. While the governor’s cuts were later reversed, the high-profile cuts to the program have led to decreased enrollment by working families.

“Every child requires someplace safe to be so their parents can be full and active participants in our economy,” Hutchinson said.

Senate Bill 1679 was heard in the Senate Human Services Committee on Tuesday afternoon and will now move to the Senate floor for further debate.

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