More families now eligible for Child Care Assistance Program

ILLINOIS (WAND) – Illinois leaders have increased the eligibility limit for the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) in a change that took effect Tuesday.

The state previously set a cap for who can receive CCAP child care assistance at a family income of 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). That limit has grown to 200 percent, and families who previously qualified at 200 percent FPL or lower can stay eligible if their income grows up to 225 percent FPL.

This means a family of three that annually earned $42,660 ($3,555/month) when they initially applied can still be part of the program if income reaches $48,000 ($4,000/month). In addition, families who have their income increase above 225 percent FPL (between $48,000, but under $63,840) can be part of a three month “graduated phase-out” in which they still get 90 days of subsidized child care.

An eligibility calculator is available on the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) website here.

“Early childhood care provides a foundation for our children and families to succeed and expanding access to quality care is a core priority for my administration,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “I’ve been committed to improving early childhood education and care for decades and am so proud to increase our investment in this program to ensure more families can afford the quality care our children deserve.”

In August 2019, Illinois had 131,766 children enrolled in CCAP. That’s the highest total in three fiscal years and an increase of 14,801 children from January 2019.

“It’s so important that families know they have options for safe and affordable child care. Families who previously applied and were denied should revisit our website and check their eligibility again. Reliable child care is necessary for working families, students and young parents, and we want to make it easier for them,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou.

More information about the program is available here.