Help for Illinois Families: Relief for Households Across the State

The Pritzker Administration, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), has launched a new initiative to help Illinois families access and afford home energy assistance and other essential services during COVID-19. Building on the State’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program, the State’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 21) budget authorizes an expansion of the LIHEAP and CSBG programs for eligible Illinoisans seeking emergency assistance to cover costs of utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities. 

Effective immediately, the Help Illinois Families initiative is implementing an online pre-application form to make it easier and faster for individuals and families to start the application process remotely and to determine eligibility for LIHEAP and/or CSBG services. Increased eligibility thresholds for FY21 aims to assist additional households needing support due to challenges exacerbated by COVID-19. 

This initiative remains available for all qualifying low-income households, regardless of how they may be affected COVID-19. Eligible families may qualify for hundreds of dollars of support; all applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis. Click here for the LIHEAP Fact Sheet. 

New NAEYC Survey: Sacrificing to Stay Open, Child Care Providers Face a Bleak Future Without Relief

The essential child care sector has sacrificed and struggled to serve children and families since the start of the COVID pandemic. NAEYC’s newest survey, completed between November 13–29, 2020, by more than 6,000 respondents working in child care centers and family child care homes shows that the crisis facing child care is as consistent and devastating today as it was in March and in July. With 56% of child care centers saying they are losing money every day that they remain open, programs are confronting an unsustainable reality, even as they are taking desperate measures - putting supplies on credit cards, drawing down personal savings, and laying off staff - to remain viable for the children and families they serve. Yet despite the steps they are taking to save themselves, the math on their bottom line does not work, and federal relief is needed to stabilize and support this essential sector.

Click here to read the Brief.

Click here for the state data from the November NAEYC Survey.

For All Illinoisans

GOECD is Hiring for Four Positions

The Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) is hiring for four positions to support their mission and vision and work to operationalize an equity lens with the goal of eliminating racial inequities throughout the early childhood system.

Please send Cover Letter and Resume to: Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development c/o

Please click on the job titles below to access the position descriptions:

Deputy Director

The Deputy Director works with the GOECD Executive Director to develop and implement early childhood policy across multiple State agencies. The Deputy Director will also coordinate and manage the implementation of the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) in collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

Senior Data Analyst

The Senior Data Analyst executes, supports, and manages data projects at the regional, state, and local levels for the Preschool Development Birth through Five (PDG B-5) grant.

Workforce Policy Coordinator

The Workforce Policy Coordinator manages workforce development policy and projects related to early childhood professionals.

Health Policy Coordinator

The Health Policy Coordinator manages early childhood health policy and programming.

PN3 Coalition Opportunity
The Illinois Prenatal to Three (PN3) Policy Agenda is a comprehensive, ambitious agenda to close the opportunity gap for our earliest learners. The PN3 Coalition is the state's collective effort to enact this Agenda.

The Illinois GOECD is excited to share information about Illinois’ PN3 Agenda, Coalition, and an opportunity to participate in this critical effort to support Illinois’ expecting families, babies, and toddlers. 

All who are interested should complete the PN3 Coalition Interest Form. The Coalition will hold a meeting for all who have expressed interest after the holidays to inform, engage, and seek input as they move forward. 

If you have any questions, please contact the IL PN3 Team.

Reducing Child Abuse and Neglect Through Evidence-Based Home Visiting

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids—founded in 1996—is a membership organization comprised of more than 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, other law enforcement executives, and violence survivors comprise the membership of Fight Crime. Fight Crime members have seen the benefits that evidence-based home visiting programs can provide. A summary of the report highlights that these programs provide, “'parent coaching' from a trained professional, starting as early as pregnancy and extending into the first few years of a child’s life—years during which the human brain goes through its most rapid development and is most vulnerable to the negative repercussions of adverse experiences. Through periodic home visits, parents are equipped with the tools and skills they need to stimulate and nurture their child’s development and avoid harmful parenting practices." Click here to read the full report.

Invitation to Complete the Housing Development Blueprint Survey

The Housing Blueprint is a statewide planning endeavor that will develop a vision for the future of housing in Illinois, and lay out a plan for achieving it. The Blueprint is coordinated by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA); however, it is a product of the collective participation and collaboration of a wide and diverse group of agencies, organizations, and residents from across the state. The Blueprint strives to engage and raise the voices of all Illinoisans, including those of families with young children, to understand the realities, needs, and hopes for housing within communities both now and in the future. 

All individuals are invited to take part in the Blueprint’s process. Click here to take the survey.

Illinois’ Response to COVID-19

The State of Illinois is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in a number of ways. This page will be updated as new programs and policies are modified and/or introduced. We also invite you to stay up-to-date with child care and early education policy information with our monthly e-newsletter, eAdvocate. Sign up!


Get Your Stimulus Check!

Most Illinoisans are eligible for Economic Impact Payments from the federal government. Even if you have no income you are eligible, but you might have to take action to receive your check.

You could receive up to $1,200 ($2,400 for a married couple) and $500 for each eligible dependent. This site will help take you through each step so you can get your payment as quickly as possible.

Emergency SNAP Allotments

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is issuing emergency SNAP (LINK) supplements to more than 450,000 SNAP households to help buy food during the pandemic crisis. Fact sheets available in English and Spanish.


COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. Learn more.


Latest Illinois Executive Orders Related to COVID-19

  • Executive Order Number 15

SUSPENDS PROVISIONS IN THE ILLINOIS SCHOOL CODE — Suspends requirements on the administration of assessments, school terms, and the calculation of daily pupil attendance. Allows ISBE to implement rules regarding remote learning. Permits the use of early childhood block grant funding to provide child care for children of employees performing essential work. Any bids received by a school district for construction purposes may be communicated and accepted electronically.

Executive Order 2020-15 (HTML)   (English)   (Arabic)   (Polish)   (Chinese)   (Spanish)   (Hindi)

  • Executive Order Number 12

SUSPENDS HEALTHCARE WORKER'S BACKGROUND CHECKS Individuals who are certified as a nurse assistant, but are currently inactive on the Health Care Worker Registry, may be hired under certain provisions, such as the inactive status being no more than five years and limiting conditional employment to three months pending the result of a more extensive background check.

Executive Order 2020-12 (HTML)   (English)  

  • Executive Order Number 11

ESSENTIAL HUMAN SERVICES OPERATIONS — Individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain any Human Services Operations, such as adoption agencies, long-term care facilities, residential settings for individuals with disabilities and day care centers for children of essential employees. Illinois school districts do not need approval by the school board for an e-learning curriculum.

Executive Order 2020-11 (HTML)   (English)   (Arabic)   (Polish)   (Chinese)   (Spanish)   (Hindi)

  • Executive Order Number 10

STAY AT HOME — All individuals must stay at home, with exceptions for essential activities, essential government functions, and essential businesses and operations. All non-essential business and operations must cease, aside from Minimum Basic Operations. Business can continue with employees working from home. Local government units across the state must halt all evictions, and gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.

Executive Order 2020-10 (HTML)   (English)   (Arabic)   (Polish)   (Chinese)   (Spanish)   (Hindi)

 View all Executive Orders related to COVID-19