Updates and Information Regarding Child Care Provider Services for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) During COVID-19
As a precautionary public safety measure, all Illinois Action for Children’s offices are closed to the public until further notice. We are working closely with IDHS, INCCRRA, the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, and the Illinois Child Care Resource & Referral network to make accommodations in the ways we provide CCAP services. Please see below for important information regarding accessing CCAP services.
Illinois Action for Children understands the numerous hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working with the city, state, and a host of local agencies to provide you with information, resources, and guidance for child care and other resources as we navigate this public health crisis.
Updated Restore Illinois Child Care Guidance (6.24.20)
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) have issued updated Restore Illinois Child Care Guidance for child care homes and centers to be able to safely reopen.
Additionally, DCFS has filed emergency rule making, effective 6.24.20, for a maximum of 150 days. Additions to the rules include:
- Centers may choose to staff classrooms with a qualified early childhood assistant for up to 3 hours of their program day and should document such in the program's Enhanced Staffing Plan.
- Staff qualified to work as Early Childhood Teachers in an Emergency Day Care (EDC) and who served in the role from March-May 2020 can continue to work as an Early Childhood Teacher through 7.31.20, at the same program which has since reverted to their normal child care license.
- Click here to read this full emergency rule making document
IDHS Policy Updates effective July 1,2020
IDHS will implement the following policy changes effective 7/1/2020:
- The 30% rate add-on for children of priority essential workers and essential workers will end on 6/30/2020.
- The COVID-19 attendance exemption for child care providers will end on 6/30/2020.
- $1.00 family co-payments will end on 6/30/2020. Families are responsible for paying their original co-payment amount effective 7/1/2020.
- IDHS will end auto-extensions of eligibility effective June 30th. Families whose eligibility ends July 1st or later must submit a redetermination to continue their child care eligibility.
Child Care Begins Phased Reopening In Illinois
As announced by Governor Pritzker last Friday, all regions of the state of Illinois are set to move into Phase 3 of reopening as of Friday, May 29. This phased reopening includes new guidelines
that all home and center-based child care programs must adhere to in order to reopen. According to the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD):
“To date, Illinois has not seen significant transmission of COVID-19 in child care settings…public health experts emphasize, however, that there is much we still do not know about this new virus, how it spreads, and what effects it has on children. Therefore, Illinois is implementing a cautious approach that appropriately balances the need to greatly expand child care with the need for prudent restrictions that lessen the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Recognizing children’s need for quality early learning experiences, providers will be expected to resume compliance with all licensing standards related to curriculum, learning environment, and staff qualifications.”
To read the full set of guidelines from the Governor, click here
Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of the City of Chicago, has released a set of companion guidelines that will govern the reopening of child care specifically in Chicago. Those guidelines can be read here
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Call Center is Open!
Our CCAP Call Center is now open from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Get in touch by calling us at 312.823.1100
If you need a quick update on your case or payment, you can still text us at 312.736.7390.
Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Billing Certificates for May and June
In order to be paid for May and June CCAP services you will need to complete an attendance exemption form and return it with your May and June certificates. If your program has received federal funds, you will be asked to certify that you are not billing the state (CCAP) for the same expenses that are covered by federal relief funds. The certification statement will be on the exemption form. Please read the full memo from the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) for detailed instructions.
Read the English Memo
| Spanish Memo
- Centers and Licensed Home Providers
- License-Exempt Home Providers
We are accepting CCAP paperwork, and are prioritizing certificate entry, attendance exemption processing, and child care assistance for essential workers.
NOTES (Updated April 29):
- IDHS states that copays for families will be lowered to $1 per family for the months of April and May, 2020. Providers do not need to absorb the difference in family co-pays. IDHS will pay for the billed amount minus $1 for the copay.
- IDHS mailed certificates to child care providers on April 24 and they expect that providers should receive their certificates by May 1.
- Redeterminations with eligibility ending March 31 and April 30 will be extended for six months.
- We are in the process of sending April certificates to providers for all cases that have had eligibility extended.
If you did not receive your certificate, you can request a certificate here. Parent signatures will NOT be required during "shelter in place" orders.
Drop Box Information:
Drop boxes are a convenient and secure way for parents and providers to submit their paperwork (applications, forms, etc.) Drop boxes are out at all IAFC Walk-In locations.
Central / West Side - 1340 S Damen Ave., 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60608 [NOTE: Paperwork can also be mailed in to this address only.]
24 hours | 7 days a week
South Side / Chatham - 1111 E 87th St., Chicago, IL 60619
24 hours | 7 days a week
North Side / Uptown - 4753 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
7 a.m. – 10 p.m. | Monday – Saturday
South Suburbs / Homewood - 17926 S Halsted St., Homewood, IL 60430
24 hours | 7 days a week
Fax Line Information:
- Our fax line (312.823.1200) is open.
NEW! Text Messaging Service to Answer CCAP Questions
Illinois Action for Children has launched a temporary text messaging service to answer your Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) questions during IAFCs office closure. Text us at 312.736.7390. Priority will be given to Emergency Providers and Essential Workers. We will do our best to answer all of your questions. The IAFC text messaging service will be answering CCAP questions from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.
- We will prioritize processing certificates and attendance exemption notices
- Our next processing priority is determining CCAP eligibility for essential workers
- All other CCAP processing will follow
All home-based providers who have an Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) IVR password can call payments in to: 800.787.9316. If you call your payments into the IVR line, you do not need to submit your certificate to Illinois Action for Children.