Opinion
Education Funding Letter to the Editor

Illinois’ Cuts in Child-Care Aid Are ‘Devastating for the Working Poor’

November 10, 2015 1 min read

To the Editor:

When the Illinois Department of Human Services changed the state’s Child Care Assistance Program income guidelines in July to compensate for the state’s budget woes, it—and Gov. Bruce Rauner—undermined a program established to ensure that low-income parents achieve self-sufficiency by going to work and providing for their families.

Previously, a family of three could earn a little more than $37,000 annually and receive a child-care subsidy. Under the new limits, that income level is reduced to $10,056—approximately 50 percent below the federal poverty line—for new applicants to the program. An estimated 90 percent of households previously eligible for the subsidy no longer qualify under the new guidelines, according to reports citing the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

The Rauner administration’s decision to change the income guidelines was ill-advised and shortsighted. The ramifications will be devastating for the working poor: Many parents will be forced to quit their jobs without affordable day care, and thousands of children will lose access to vital school-readiness skills and knowledge.

All of this comes in spite of evidence suggesting that the program is working. The state’s child-care assistance isn’t a handout; it’s a critical resource that empowers working parents, helps break the cycle of poverty, and supplies the state with a stronger workforce. Studies also show that securing affordable, quality child care will produce future dividends that far outweigh the upfront costs. Funding the child-care-assistance program is investing in a better life for working families and their children—and all Illinoisans.

Even in a cash-strapped state, this is an investment we can’t afford not to make.

Celena Roldan-Moreno

Executive Director

Erie Neighborhood House

Chicago, Ill.

A version of this article appeared in the November 11, 2015 edition of Education Week as Illinois’ Cuts in Child-Care Aid Are ‘Devastating for the Working Poor’

Events

Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Interdisciplinary STEAM Specialist
Smyrna, Georgia
St. Benedict's Episcopal School
Arizona School Data Analyst - (AZVA)
Arizona, United States
K12 Inc.
Software Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association

Read Next

Education Funding Opinion What's It Take for Philanthropy to Help Rural Schools?
Place-based philanthropy has enormous potential to revitalize rural communities. The trick is, it’s tough to get this sort of approach right.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Education Funding Summer School, Extended Learning a Priority in $129 Billion COVID-19 Relief Bill
The reconciliation bill from House Democrats is an early attempt at what's shaping up to be a new federal aid package for education.
5 min read
A staff member holds the door open for kids on the first day of school at Goodwin Frazier Elementary School in New Braunfels, Texas on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.
A staff member holds the door open for kids on the first day of school at Goodwin Frazier Elementary School in New Braunfels, Texas on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.
Mikala Compton/Herald-Zeitung via AP
Education Funding Details of Biden's Education Relief Pitch Prioritize Smaller Classes, Avoiding Layoffs
The administration's breakdown of COVID-19 needs also includes $50 billion for social distancing and $29 billion for learning recovery.
5 min read
Image of the White House seal
Bet Noire/Getty
Education Funding Lawmakers Push $75 Billion for Learning Recovery Among Trio of COVID-19 Bills
The legislation, which also covers school infrastructure and education jobs, could become the vehicle for Biden's K-12 relief plan.
6 min read
Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., speaks during a news conference in Washington on June 24, 2020.
Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., speaks during a news conference in Washington on June 24, 2020.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP