State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/7/2024, by Rep. Nabeela Syed


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

    Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. Expands the categories of families and individuals eligible for child care assistance to include: early childhood assistants or aides, qualified assistants, early childhood teachers, and school-age workers who work at least 20 hours per week and meet income eligibility and other requirements. Provides that notwithstanding any other provision of law or administrative rule to the contrary, beginning in State fiscal year 2025, the specified income threshold for families with a household member who is an early childhood assistant or aide, qualified assistant, early childhood teacher, or school-age worker shall be no less than 300% of the then-current federal poverty level for each family size. Effective July 1, 2024.

LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b





HB4936LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

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 all families with
9children need child care in order to work. Child care is
10expensive and families with limited access to economic
11resources, including those who are transitioning from welfare
12to work, often struggle to pay the costs of day care. Further,
13for many child care professionals paying for child care can be
14the difference between staying in the field or leaving the
15field to take care of their own children. The General Assembly
16recognizes that recruiting and retaining a high-quality child
17care workforce is a significant factor in sustaining a
18racially and ethnically diverse early childhood system and
19reducing racial disparities in health and education outcomes.
20The General Assembly understands the importance of helping
21working families with limited access to economic resources
22become and remain self-sufficient. The General Assembly also
23believes that it is the responsibility of families to share in



HB4936- 2 -LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

1the costs of child care. It is also the preference of the
2General Assembly that all working families with limited access
3to economic resources should be treated equally, regardless of
4their welfare status.
5    (b) To the extent resources permit, the Illinois
6Department shall provide child care services to parents or
7other relatives as defined by rule who are working or
8participating in employment or Department approved education
9or training programs or are otherwise employed as provided in
10this subsection. At a minimum, the Illinois Department shall
11cover the following categories of families and individuals:
12        (1) recipients of TANF under Article IV participating
13    in work and training activities as specified in the
14    personal plan for employment and self-sufficiency;
15        (2) families transitioning from TANF to work;
16        (3) families at risk of becoming recipients of TANF;
17        (4) families with special needs as defined by rule;
18        (5) working families with very low incomes as defined
19    by rule;
20        (6) families that are not recipients of TANF and that
21    need child care assistance to participate in education and
22    training activities;
23        (7) youth in care, as defined in Section 4d of the
24    Children and Family Services Act, who are parents,
25    regardless of income or whether they are working or
26    participating in Department-approved employment or



HB4936- 3 -LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

1    education or training programs. Any family that receives
2    child care assistance in accordance with this paragraph
3    shall receive one additional 12-month child care
4    eligibility period after the parenting youth in care's
5    case with the Department of Children and Family Services
6    is closed, regardless of income or whether the parenting
7    youth in care is working or participating in
8    Department-approved employment or education or training
9    programs;
10        (8) families receiving Extended Family Support Program
11    services from the Department of Children and Family
12    Services, regardless of income or whether they are working
13    or participating in Department-approved employment or
14    education or training programs; and
15        (9) families with children under the age of 5 who have
16    an open intact family services case with the Department of
17    Children and Family Services. Any family that receives
18    child care assistance in accordance with this paragraph
19    shall remain eligible for child care assistance 6 months
20    after the child's intact family services case is closed,
21    regardless of whether the child's parents or other
22    relatives as defined by rule are working or participating
23    in Department approved employment or education or training
24    programs. The Department of Human Services, in
25    consultation with the Department of Children and Family
26    Services, shall adopt rules to protect the privacy of



HB4936- 4 -LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

1    families who are the subject of an open intact family
2    services case when such families enroll in child care
3    services. Additional rules shall be adopted to offer
4    children who have an open intact family services case the
5    opportunity to receive an Early Intervention screening and
6    other services that their families may be eligible for as
7    provided by the Department of Human Services; .
8        (10) early childhood assistants or aides or qualified
9    assistants, as described in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 406.10,
10    407.150, and 408.50, who: (i) have verified employment at
11    a day care center, day care home, or group day care home,
12    as defined in Sections 2.09, 2.18, and 2.20 of the Child
13    Care Act of 1969, including a license-exempt center with a
14    current exemption verification from the Department of
15    Children and Family Services; (ii) are the parents or
16    guardians of the children in need of care; and (iii) meet
17    the income eligibility requirements for child care
18    benefits. Child care employees applying for benefits under
19    this paragraph must work at least 20 hours per week; and
20        (11) early childhood teachers and school-age workers,
21    as described in 89 Ill. Adm. Code 407.140, who: (i) have
22    verified employment at a day care center, day care home,
23    or group day care home, as defined in Sections 2.09, 2.18,
24    and 2.20 of the Child Care Act of 1969, including a
25    license-exempt center with a current exemption
26    verification from the Department of Children and Family



HB4936- 5 -LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

1    Services; (ii) are the parents or guardians of the
2    children in need of care; and (iii) meet the income
3    eligibility requirements for child care benefits. Child
4    care employees applying for benefits under this paragraph
5    must work at least 20 hours per week.
6    Beginning October 1, 2023, and every October 1 thereafter,
7the Department of Children and Family Services shall report to
8the General Assembly on the number of children who received
9child care via vouchers paid for by the Department of Children
10and Family Services during the preceding fiscal year. The
11report shall include the ages of children who received child
12care, the type of child care they received, and the number of
13months they received child care.
14    The Department shall specify by rule the conditions of
15eligibility, the application process, and the types, amounts,
16and duration of services. Eligibility for child care benefits
17and the amount of child care provided may vary based on family
18size, income, and other factors as specified by rule.
19    The Department shall update the Child Care Assistance
20Program Eligibility Calculator posted on its website to
21include a question on whether a family is applying for child
22care assistance for the first time or is applying for a
23redetermination of eligibility.
24    A family's eligibility for child care services shall be
25redetermined no sooner than 12 months following the initial
26determination or most recent redetermination. During the



HB4936- 6 -LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

112-month periods, the family shall remain eligible for child
2care services regardless of (i) a change in family income,
3unless family income exceeds 85% of State median income, or
4(ii) a temporary change in the ongoing status of the parents or
5other relatives, as defined by rule, as working or attending a
6job training or educational program.
7    In determining income eligibility for child care benefits,
8the Department annually, at the beginning of each fiscal year,
9shall establish, by rule, one income threshold for each family
10size, in relation to percentage of State median income for a
11family of that size, that makes families with incomes below
12the specified threshold eligible for assistance and families
13with incomes above the specified threshold ineligible for
14assistance. Through and including fiscal year 2007, the
15specified threshold must be no less than 50% of the
16then-current State median income for each family size.
17Beginning in fiscal year 2008, the specified threshold must be
18no less than 185% of the then-current federal poverty level
19for each family size. Notwithstanding any other provision of
20law or administrative rule to the contrary, beginning in
21fiscal year 2019, the specified threshold for working families
22with very low incomes as defined by rule must be no less than
23185% of the then-current federal poverty level for each family
24size. Notwithstanding any other provision of law or
25administrative rule to the contrary, beginning in State fiscal
26year 2022 through State fiscal year 2023, the specified income



HB4936- 7 -LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

1threshold shall be no less than 200% of the then-current
2federal poverty level for each family size. Beginning in State
3fiscal year 2024, the specified income threshold shall be no
4less than 225% of the then-current federal poverty level for
5each family size. Notwithstanding any other provision of law
6or administrative rule to the contrary, beginning in State
7fiscal year 2025, the specified income threshold for families
8with a household member who is an early childhood assistant or
9aide, qualified assistant, early childhood teacher, or
10school-age worker as described in paragraphs (10) and (11),
11shall be no less than 300% of the then-current federal poverty
12level for each family size.
13    In determining eligibility for assistance, the Department
14shall not give preference to any category of recipients or
15give preference to individuals based on their receipt of
16benefits under this Code.
17    Nothing in this Section shall be construed as conferring
18entitlement status to eligible families.
19    The Illinois Department is authorized to lower income
20eligibility ceilings, raise parent co-payments, create waiting
21lists, or take such other actions during a fiscal year as are
22necessary to ensure that child care benefits paid under this
23Article do not exceed the amounts appropriated for those child
24care benefits. These changes may be accomplished by emergency
25rule under Section 5-45 of the Illinois Administrative
26Procedure Act, except that the limitation on the number of



HB4936- 8 -LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

1emergency rules that may be adopted in a 24-month period shall
2not apply.
3    The Illinois Department may contract with other State
4agencies or child care organizations for the administration of
5child care services.
6    (c) Payment shall be made for child care that otherwise
7meets the requirements of this Section and applicable
8standards of State and local law and regulation, including any
9requirements the Illinois Department promulgates by rule in
10addition to the licensure requirements promulgated by the
11Department of Children and Family Services and Fire Prevention
12and Safety requirements promulgated by the Office of the State
13Fire Marshal, and is provided in any of the following:
14        (1) a child care center which is licensed or exempt
15    from licensure pursuant to Section 2.09 of the Child Care
16    Act of 1969;
17        (2) a licensed child care home or home exempt from
18    licensing;
19        (3) a licensed group child care home;
20        (4) other types of child care, including child care
21    provided by relatives or persons living in the same home
22    as the child, as determined by the Illinois Department by
23    rule.
24    (c-5) Solely for the purposes of coverage under the
25Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, child and day care home
26providers, including licensed and license exempt,



HB4936- 9 -LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

1participating in the Department's child care assistance
2program shall be considered to be public employees and the
3State of Illinois shall be considered to be their employer as
4of January 1, 2006 (the effective date of Public Act 94-320),
5but not before. The State shall engage in collective
6bargaining with an exclusive representative of child and day
7care home providers participating in the child care assistance
8program concerning their terms and conditions of employment
9that are within the State's control. Nothing in this
10subsection shall be understood to limit the right of families
11receiving services defined in this Section to select child and
12day care home providers or supervise them within the limits of
13this Section. The State shall not be considered to be the
14employer of child and day care home providers for any purposes
15not specifically provided in Public Act 94-320, including, but
16not limited to, purposes of vicarious liability in tort and
17purposes of statutory retirement or health insurance benefits.
18Child and day care home providers shall not be covered by the
19State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971.
20    In according child and day care home providers and their
21selected representative rights under the Illinois Public Labor
22Relations Act, the State intends that the State action
23exemption to application of federal and State antitrust laws
24be fully available to the extent that their activities are
25authorized by Public Act 94-320.
26    (d) The Illinois Department shall establish, by rule, a



HB4936- 10 -LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

1co-payment scale that provides for cost sharing by families
2that receive child care services, including parents whose only
3income is from assistance under this Code. The co-payment
4shall be based on family income and family size and may be
5based on other factors as appropriate. Co-payments may be
6waived for families whose incomes are at or below the federal
7poverty level.
8    (d-5) The Illinois Department, in consultation with its
9Child Care and Development Advisory Council, shall develop a
10plan to revise the child care assistance program's co-payment
11scale. The plan shall be completed no later than February 1,
122008, and shall include:
13        (1) findings as to the percentage of income that the
14    average American family spends on child care and the
15    relative amounts that low-income families and the average
16    American family spend on other necessities of life;
17        (2) recommendations for revising the child care
18    co-payment scale to assure that families receiving child
19    care services from the Department are paying no more than
20    they can reasonably afford;
21        (3) recommendations for revising the child care
22    co-payment scale to provide at-risk children with complete
23    access to Preschool for All and Head Start; and
24        (4) recommendations for changes in child care program
25    policies that affect the affordability of child care.
26    (e) (Blank).



HB4936- 11 -LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

1    (f) The Illinois Department shall, by rule, set rates to
2be paid for the various types of child care. Child care may be
3provided through one of the following methods:
4        (1) arranging the child care through eligible
5    providers by use of purchase of service contracts or
6    vouchers;
7        (2) arranging with other agencies and community
8    volunteer groups for non-reimbursed child care;
9        (3) (blank); or
10        (4) adopting such other arrangements as the Department
11    determines appropriate.
12    (f-1) Within 30 days after June 4, 2018 (the effective
13date of Public Act 100-587), the Department of Human Services
14shall establish rates for child care providers that are no
15less than the rates in effect on January 1, 2018 increased by
17    (f-5) (Blank).
18    (g) Families eligible for assistance under this Section
19shall be given the following options:
20        (1) receiving a child care certificate issued by the
21    Department or a subcontractor of the Department that may
22    be used by the parents as payment for child care and
23    development services only; or
24        (2) if space is available, enrolling the child with a
25    child care provider that has a purchase of service
26    contract with the Department or a subcontractor of the



HB4936- 12 -LRB103 38544 KTG 68680 b

1    Department for the provision of child care and development
2    services. The Department may identify particular priority
3    populations for whom they may request special
4    consideration by a provider with purchase of service
5    contracts, provided that the providers shall be permitted
6    to maintain a balance of clients in terms of household
7    incomes and families and children with special needs, as
8    defined by rule.
9(Source: P.A. 102-491, eff. 8-20-21; 102-813, eff. 5-13-22;
10102-926, eff. 5-27-22; 103-8, eff. 6-7-23.)
11    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,