Illinois announces $300 million in new child care recovery grants πŸ’₯πŸ‘©πŸ‘©πŸ’₯

(WSIL) — Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Grace B. Hou announced that $300 million in new relief grants will be made available to child care providers across the state.

The state is also extending a previous grant program by providing nearly $50 million to previous grant recipients.

Already, $725 million in funding has reached more than 5,000 providers, with 85 percent of eligible child care centers and 40 percent of licensed family child care homes receiving direct relief.

β€œIllinois was heralded as a leader in supporting our child care ecosystem at the beginning of the pandemic, and we never stopped – today we’re surpassing $1 billion in grant funding for providers since the pandemic began,” said Governor JB Pritzker. β€œSupporting this sector is one of the best investments we can make as a state. We’re making good on our pledge to turn Illinois into the best state in the nation for families to raise young children.”

Applications for this newest round of funding are due in early January, with funding beginning to flow in February 2022 and through January 2023. This will support child care providers with approximately $25,000 per classroom per year, child care group homes with $15,000 per year, and child care homes with approximately $10,000 per year.

Additional funding will be made available for programs that demonstrate they reach underserved communities. These grants will support providers with predictable funding to cover increased wages and other operational costs.

To help recruit and retain staff, at least 50 percent of these funds must be invested in new personnel and workforce initiatives, with a focus on increasing compensation and benefits.

Application information about the newest round of grants and Restoration Grant extension will be available for providers through the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).

Illinois announces $300 million in new child care recovery grants

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