Letter: Child Care assistance cuts are dangerous
October 7, 2016

Dear Editor:

Governor Rauner’s unilateral action to slash eligibility for the State’s Child Care Assistance Program, and eliminate services for 90% of families otherwise eligible, put hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal assistance at risk, created confusion among working families and providers, and threatened the economic potential of working families and the state as a whole.

The lack of a State budget continues to impact a number of services and programs that Illinois residents rely on and that reach the most vulnerable families. Autism services and Home Visiting, two programs that are pillars of the early childhood system and have great impact on the health and development of children, remain unfunded. Parents that are full-time students are no longer eligible for child care and are not receiving critical financial aid through MAP grants. These families well-being and economic potential are being harmed by the budget impasse.

The Governor’s actions have hurt struggling working families and created unnecessary government bureaucracy and strains on local providers. The drastic changes, reversals, and uncertainty in the Child Care Assistance Program, and pain resulting from the budget impasse, could have been avoided had the Governor been willing to work with the General Assembly and advocates to avoid dangerous cuts to programs that struggling, working families depend on.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Madigan
Speaker, IL House of Representatives And leaders of 19
non-governmental service organizations