Paying for Child Care

You May Qualify for Assistance to Help Pay for Child Care

The Illinois Department of Human Services' (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provides low-income, working families with access to affordable, quality child care that allows them to continue working and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child. CCAP can help families pay for care in center-based or home settings. Families are required to cost-share on a sliding scale based on family size and income. Parents must meet the State of Illinois’ income and family size guidelines.

Prioritized Essential Worker CCAP Application

The State of Illinois will help all prioritized essential workers pay for child care through April 30th. Prioritized Essential Workers include those working in Health Care, Human Services, essential Government services (e.g. Corrections, law enforcement, fire department), and essential Infrastructure.

Please review the instructions on pages 4-7 of the application. If you think you qualify, complete the application and include a copy of your most recent pay stub or a letter from your employer verifying you are a prioritized essential worker. Download the application, complete it, and send your completed application to:


General CCAP Application Information

If you are an essential worker who needs help paying for child care, please e-mail and we will work to connect you with assistance as soon as possible.

If you are currently a CCAP client and would like to request a parent form, please submit a request here.

STEP 1: Determine if You Qualify

The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps parents that are in school or working pay for child care. Eligibility is based on gross income and family size. Use the Eligibility Calculator to see if you qualify.

STEP 2: Find a Child Care Provider
Use the COVID-19 Emergency Provider Search to look for child care programs in and around Cook County, 24 hours a day, or contact us: 

If you would like for a Parent Consultant to contact you directly to assist with your child care search, please click here.

STEP 3: Complete the CCAP Application
Please read all instructions carefully. To help us serve you better, please make sure forms are filled out completely and legibly. Attach all necessary documentation (i.e. check stubs, school schedule) and keep a copy of all forms for your records.

Child Care Application (17 pages)
Solicitud Para Cuidado De Niños O Guardería

In order to expedite processing of your application it is important that you read all documents in detail. It is also important that you submit a complete application that includes the required supporting documentation.* Please allow 10 business days from the day of receipt for your application to be reviewed.

If you need assistance in completing the application or other documents, email

Request forms electronically: Click the appropriate link below. Follow the instructions to select your form and then press “submit.”

*Please note that state authorized databases will be used to clarify information submitted to our offices. These databases include, but are not limited to, TANF, Child Support Enforcement, Wage Verification, birth records, Social Security Administration, employment security, Department of Labor, and Chicago Public Schools.

Mom holding baby on couch