State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/17/2023, by Rep. La Shawn K. Ford


305 ILCS 5/9A-11  from Ch. 23, par. 9A-11

    Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. In provisions concerning the child care assistance program administered by the Department of Human Services, removes language authorizing the Department to raise parent co-payments. Provides instead that beginning July 1, 2023, a family eligible for child care services whose income is at or below 140% of the most recent United States Department of Health and Human Services Federal Poverty Guidelines for the applicable family size shall pay a $1 monthly fee as a co-payment for child care services. Provides that beginning July 1, 2024, the income threshold a family must meet to qualify for the $1 monthly co-payment shall increase to 185% of the most recent United States Department of Health and Human Services Federal Poverty Guidelines for each family size. Effective July 1, 2023.

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1    AN ACT concerning public aid.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Illinois Public Aid Code is amended by
5changing Section 9A-11 as follows:
6    (305 ILCS 5/9A-11)  (from Ch. 23, par. 9A-11)
7    Sec. 9A-11. Child care.
8    (a) The General Assembly recognizes that families with
9children need child care in order to work. Child care is
10expensive and families with low incomes, including those who
11are transitioning from welfare to work, often struggle to pay
12the costs of day care. The General Assembly understands the
13importance of helping low-income working families become and
14remain self-sufficient. The General Assembly also believes
15that it is the responsibility of families to share in the costs
16of child care. It is also the preference of the General
17Assembly that all working poor families should be treated
18equally, regardless of their welfare status.
19    (b) To the extent resources permit, the Illinois
20Department shall provide child care services to parents or
21other relatives as defined by rule who are working or
22participating in employment or Department approved education
23or training programs. At a minimum, the Illinois Department



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1shall cover the following categories of families:
2        (1) recipients of TANF under Article IV participating
3    in work and training activities as specified in the
4    personal plan for employment and self-sufficiency;
5        (2) families transitioning from TANF to work;
6        (3) families at risk of becoming recipients of TANF;
7        (4) families with special needs as defined by rule;
8        (5) working families with very low incomes as defined
9    by rule;
10        (6) families that are not recipients of TANF and that
11    need child care assistance to participate in education and
12    training activities;
13        (7) youth in care, as defined in Section 4d of the
14    Children and Family Services Act, who are parents,
15    regardless of income or whether they are working or
16    participating in Department-approved employment or
17    education or training programs. Any family that receives
18    child care assistance in accordance with this paragraph
19    shall receive one additional 12-month child care
20    eligibility period after the parenting youth in care's
21    case with the Department of Children and Family Services
22    is closed, regardless of income or whether the parenting
23    youth in care is working or participating in
24    Department-approved employment or education or training
25    programs;
26        (8) families receiving Extended Family Support Program



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1    services from the Department of Children and Family
2    Services, regardless of income or whether they are working
3    or participating in Department-approved employment or
4    education or training programs; and
5        (9) families with children under the age of 5 who have
6    an open intact family services case with the Department of
7    Children and Family Services. Any family that receives
8    child care assistance in accordance with this paragraph
9    shall remain eligible for child care assistance 6 months
10    after the child's intact family services case is closed,
11    regardless of whether the child's parents or other
12    relatives as defined by rule are working or participating
13    in Department approved employment or education or training
14    programs. The Department of Human Services, in
15    consultation with the Department of Children and Family
16    Services, shall adopt rules to protect the privacy of
17    families who are the subject of an open intact family
18    services case when such families enroll in child care
19    services. Additional rules shall be adopted to offer
20    children who have an open intact family services case the
21    opportunity to receive an Early Intervention screening and
22    other services that their families may be eligible for as
23    provided by the Department of Human Services.
24    Beginning October 1, 2023, and every October 1 thereafter,
25the Department of Children and Family Services shall report to
26the General Assembly on the number of children who received



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1child care via vouchers paid for by the Department of Children
2and Family Services during the preceding fiscal year. The
3report shall include the ages of children who received child
4care, the type of child care they received, and the number of
5months they received child care.
6    The Department shall specify by rule the conditions of
7eligibility, the application process, and the types, amounts,
8and duration of services. Eligibility for child care benefits
9and the amount of child care provided may vary based on family
10size, income, and other factors as specified by rule.
11    The Department shall update the Child Care Assistance
12Program Eligibility Calculator posted on its website to
13include a question on whether a family is applying for child
14care assistance for the first time or is applying for a
15redetermination of eligibility.
16    A family's eligibility for child care services shall be
17redetermined no sooner than 12 months following the initial
18determination or most recent redetermination. During the
1912-month periods, the family shall remain eligible for child
20care services regardless of (i) a change in family income,
21unless family income exceeds 85% of State median income, or
22(ii) a temporary change in the ongoing status of the parents or
23other relatives, as defined by rule, as working or attending a
24job training or educational program.
25    In determining income eligibility for child care benefits,
26the Department annually, at the beginning of each fiscal year,



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1shall establish, by rule, one income threshold for each family
2size, in relation to percentage of State median income for a
3family of that size, that makes families with incomes below
4the specified threshold eligible for assistance and families
5with incomes above the specified threshold ineligible for
6assistance. Through and including fiscal year 2007, the
7specified threshold must be no less than 50% of the
8then-current State median income for each family size.
9Beginning in fiscal year 2008, the specified threshold must be
10no less than 185% of the then-current federal poverty level
11for each family size. Notwithstanding any other provision of
12law or administrative rule to the contrary, beginning in
13fiscal year 2019, the specified threshold for working families
14with very low incomes as defined by rule must be no less than
15185% of the then-current federal poverty level for each family
16size. Notwithstanding any other provision of law or
17administrative rule to the contrary, beginning in State fiscal
18year 2022, the specified income threshold shall be no less
19than 200% of the then-current federal poverty level for each
20family size.
21    In determining eligibility for assistance, the Department
22shall not give preference to any category of recipients or
23give preference to individuals based on their receipt of
24benefits under this Code.
25    Nothing in this Section shall be construed as conferring
26entitlement status to eligible families.



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1    The Illinois Department is authorized to lower income
2eligibility ceilings, raise parent co-payments, create waiting
3lists, or take such other actions during a fiscal year as are
4necessary to ensure that child care benefits paid under this
5Article do not exceed the amounts appropriated for those child
6care benefits. These changes may be accomplished by emergency
7rule under Section 5-45 of the Illinois Administrative
8Procedure Act, except that the limitation on the number of
9emergency rules that may be adopted in a 24-month period shall
10not apply.
11    The Illinois Department may contract with other State
12agencies or child care organizations for the administration of
13child care services.
14    (c) Payment shall be made for child care that otherwise
15meets the requirements of this Section and applicable
16standards of State and local law and regulation, including any
17requirements the Illinois Department promulgates by rule in
18addition to the licensure requirements promulgated by the
19Department of Children and Family Services and Fire Prevention
20and Safety requirements promulgated by the Office of the State
21Fire Marshal, and is provided in any of the following:
22        (1) a child care center which is licensed or exempt
23    from licensure pursuant to Section 2.09 of the Child Care
24    Act of 1969;
25        (2) a licensed child care home or home exempt from
26    licensing;



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1        (3) a licensed group child care home;
2        (4) other types of child care, including child care
3    provided by relatives or persons living in the same home
4    as the child, as determined by the Illinois Department by
5    rule.
6    (c-5) Solely for the purposes of coverage under the
7Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, child and day care home
8providers, including licensed and license exempt,
9participating in the Department's child care assistance
10program shall be considered to be public employees and the
11State of Illinois shall be considered to be their employer as
12of January 1, 2006 (the effective date of Public Act 94-320),
13but not before. The State shall engage in collective
14bargaining with an exclusive representative of child and day
15care home providers participating in the child care assistance
16program concerning their terms and conditions of employment
17that are within the State's control. Nothing in this
18subsection shall be understood to limit the right of families
19receiving services defined in this Section to select child and
20day care home providers or supervise them within the limits of
21this Section. The State shall not be considered to be the
22employer of child and day care home providers for any purposes
23not specifically provided in Public Act 94-320, including, but
24not limited to, purposes of vicarious liability in tort and
25purposes of statutory retirement or health insurance benefits.
26Child and day care home providers shall not be covered by the



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1State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971.
2    In according child and day care home providers and their
3selected representative rights under the Illinois Public Labor
4Relations Act, the State intends that the State action
5exemption to application of federal and State antitrust laws
6be fully available to the extent that their activities are
7authorized by Public Act 94-320.
8    (d) The Illinois Department shall establish, by rule, a
9co-payment scale that provides for cost sharing by families
10that receive child care services, including parents whose only
11income is from assistance under this Code. The co-payment
12shall be based on family income and family size and may be
13based on other factors as appropriate. Beginning July 1, 2023,
14a family eligible for child care services whose income is at or
15below 140% of the most recent United States Department of
16Health and Human Services Federal Poverty Guidelines for the
17applicable family size shall pay a $1 monthly fee as a
18co-payment for child care services. Beginning July 1, 2024,
19the income threshold a family must meet to qualify for the $1
20monthly co-payment shall increase to 185% of the most recent
21United States Department of Health and Human Services Federal
22Poverty Guidelines for each family size. Co-payments may be
23waived for families whose incomes are at or below the federal
24poverty level.
25    (d-5) The Illinois Department, in consultation with its
26Child Care and Development Advisory Council, shall develop a



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1plan to revise the child care assistance program's co-payment
2scale. The plan shall be completed no later than February 1,
32008, and shall include:
4        (1) findings as to the percentage of income that the
5    average American family spends on child care and the
6    relative amounts that low-income families and the average
7    American family spend on other necessities of life;
8        (2) recommendations for revising the child care
9    co-payment scale to assure that families receiving child
10    care services from the Department are paying no more than
11    they can reasonably afford;
12        (3) recommendations for revising the child care
13    co-payment scale to provide at-risk children with complete
14    access to Preschool for All and Head Start; and
15        (4) recommendations for changes in child care program
16    policies that affect the affordability of child care.
17    (e) (Blank).
18    (f) The Illinois Department shall, by rule, set rates to
19be paid for the various types of child care. Child care may be
20provided through one of the following methods:
21        (1) arranging the child care through eligible
22    providers by use of purchase of service contracts or
23    vouchers;
24        (2) arranging with other agencies and community
25    volunteer groups for non-reimbursed child care;
26        (3) (blank); or



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1        (4) adopting such other arrangements as the Department
2    determines appropriate.
3    (f-1) Within 30 days after June 4, 2018 (the effective
4date of Public Act 100-587), the Department of Human Services
5shall establish rates for child care providers that are no
6less than the rates in effect on January 1, 2018 increased by
8    (f-5) (Blank).
9    (g) Families eligible for assistance under this Section
10shall be given the following options:
11        (1) receiving a child care certificate issued by the
12    Department or a subcontractor of the Department that may
13    be used by the parents as payment for child care and
14    development services only; or
15        (2) if space is available, enrolling the child with a
16    child care provider that has a purchase of service
17    contract with the Department or a subcontractor of the
18    Department for the provision of child care and development
19    services. The Department may identify particular priority
20    populations for whom they may request special
21    consideration by a provider with purchase of service
22    contracts, provided that the providers shall be permitted
23    to maintain a balance of clients in terms of household
24    incomes and families and children with special needs, as
25    defined by rule.
26(Source: P.A. 101-81, eff. 7-12-19; 101-657, eff. 3-23-21;



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1102-491, eff. 8-20-21; 102-813, eff. 5-13-22; 102-926, eff.
3    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,