Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB3578
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Full Text of SB3578  103rd General Assembly



State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/9/2024, by Sen. Mattie Hunter


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

    Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. In a provision listing the categories of families and individuals eligible for child care assistance, expands the list to include families whose children are enrolled in a Head Start program. Provides that any family that receives child care assistance under the amendatory Act shall be deemed to be participating in an education, training, or employment program approved by the Department of Human Services. Provides that any family that receives child care assistance under the amendatory Act shall remain eligible for child care assistance without interruption as long as the child is enrolled in a Head Start program.

LRB103 36745 KTG 66855 b





SB3578LRB103 36745 KTG 66855 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 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. The
13General Assembly understands the importance of helping working
14families with limited access to economic resources become and
15remain self-sufficient. The General Assembly also believes
16that it is the responsibility of families to share in the costs
17of child care. It is also the preference of the General
18Assembly that all working families with limited access to
19economic resources should be treated equally, regardless of
20their welfare status.
21    (b) To the extent resources permit, the Illinois
22Department shall provide child care services to parents or
23other relatives as defined by rule who are working or



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



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



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1    Start program. Any family that receives child care
2    assistance under this paragraph shall be deemed to be
3    participating in a Department-approved education,
4    training, or employment program. Any family that receives
5    child care assistance in accordance with this paragraph
6    shall remain eligible for child care assistance without
7    interruption as long as the child is enrolled in a Head
8    Start program. As used in this paragraph, "Head Start
9    program" means a federal program administered by the U.S.
10    Department of Health and Human Services that provides
11    comprehensive early childhood education, health,
12    nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income
13    children and families.
14    Beginning October 1, 2023, and every October 1 thereafter,
15the Department of Children and Family Services shall report to
16the General Assembly on the number of children who received
17child care via vouchers paid for by the Department of Children
18and Family Services during the preceding fiscal year. The
19report shall include the ages of children who received child
20care, the type of child care they received, and the number of
21months they received child care.
22    The Department shall specify by rule the conditions of
23eligibility, the application process, and the types, amounts,
24and duration of services. Eligibility for child care benefits
25and the amount of child care provided may vary based on family
26size, income, and other factors as specified by rule.



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1    The Department shall update the Child Care Assistance
2Program Eligibility Calculator posted on its website to
3include a question on whether a family is applying for child
4care assistance for the first time or is applying for a
5redetermination of eligibility.
6    A family's eligibility for child care services shall be
7redetermined no sooner than 12 months following the initial
8determination or most recent redetermination. During the
912-month periods, the family shall remain eligible for child
10care services regardless of (i) a change in family income,
11unless family income exceeds 85% of State median income, or
12(ii) a temporary change in the ongoing status of the parents or
13other relatives, as defined by rule, as working or attending a
14job training or educational program.
15    In determining income eligibility for child care benefits,
16the Department annually, at the beginning of each fiscal year,
17shall establish, by rule, one income threshold for each family
18size, in relation to percentage of State median income for a
19family of that size, that makes families with incomes below
20the specified threshold eligible for assistance and families
21with incomes above the specified threshold ineligible for
22assistance. Through and including fiscal year 2007, the
23specified threshold must be no less than 50% of the
24then-current State median income for each family size.
25Beginning in fiscal year 2008, the specified threshold must be
26no less than 185% of the then-current federal poverty level



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1for each family size. Notwithstanding any other provision of
2law or administrative rule to the contrary, beginning in
3fiscal year 2019, the specified threshold for working families
4with very low incomes as defined by rule must be no less than
5185% of the then-current federal poverty level for each family
6size. Notwithstanding any other provision of law or
7administrative rule to the contrary, beginning in State fiscal
8year 2022 through State fiscal year 2023, the specified income
9threshold shall be no less than 200% of the then-current
10federal poverty level for each family size. Beginning in State
11fiscal year 2024, the specified income threshold shall be no
12less than 225% of the then-current federal poverty level for
13each family size.
14    In determining eligibility for assistance, the Department
15shall not give preference to any category of recipients or
16give preference to individuals based on their receipt of
17benefits under this Code.
18    Nothing in this Section shall be construed as conferring
19entitlement status to eligible families.
20    The Illinois Department is authorized to lower income
21eligibility ceilings, raise parent co-payments, create waiting
22lists, or take such other actions during a fiscal year as are
23necessary to ensure that child care benefits paid under this
24Article do not exceed the amounts appropriated for those child
25care benefits. These changes may be accomplished by emergency
26rule under Section 5-45 of the Illinois Administrative



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



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



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1    (d) The Illinois Department shall establish, by rule, a
2co-payment scale that provides for cost sharing by families
3that receive child care services, including parents whose only
4income is from assistance under this Code. The co-payment
5shall be based on family income and family size and may be
6based on other factors as appropriate. Co-payments may be
7waived for families whose incomes are at or below the federal
8poverty level.
9    (d-5) The Illinois Department, in consultation with its
10Child Care and Development Advisory Council, shall develop a
11plan to revise the child care assistance program's co-payment
12scale. The plan shall be completed no later than February 1,
132008, and shall include:
14        (1) findings as to the percentage of income that the
15    average American family spends on child care and the
16    relative amounts that low-income families and the average
17    American family spend on other necessities of life;
18        (2) recommendations for revising the child care
19    co-payment scale to assure that families receiving child
20    care services from the Department are paying no more than
21    they can reasonably afford;
22        (3) recommendations for revising the child care
23    co-payment scale to provide at-risk children with complete
24    access to Preschool for All and Head Start; and
25        (4) recommendations for changes in child care program
26    policies that affect the affordability of child care.



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1    (e) (Blank).
2    (f) The Illinois Department shall, by rule, set rates to
3be paid for the various types of child care. Child care may be
4provided through one of the following methods:
5        (1) arranging the child care through eligible
6    providers by use of purchase of service contracts or
7    vouchers;
8        (2) arranging with other agencies and community
9    volunteer groups for non-reimbursed child care;
10        (3) (blank); or
11        (4) adopting such other arrangements as the Department
12    determines appropriate.
13    (f-1) Within 30 days after June 4, 2018 (the effective
14date of Public Act 100-587), the Department of Human Services
15shall establish rates for child care providers that are no
16less than the rates in effect on January 1, 2018 increased by
18    (f-5) (Blank).
19    (g) Families eligible for assistance under this Section
20shall be given the following options:
21        (1) receiving a child care certificate issued by the
22    Department or a subcontractor of the Department that may
23    be used by the parents as payment for child care and
24    development services only; or
25        (2) if space is available, enrolling the child with a
26    child care provider that has a purchase of service



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1    contract with the Department or a subcontractor of the
2    Department for the provision of child care and development
3    services. The Department may identify particular priority
4    populations for whom they may request special
5    consideration by a provider with purchase of service
6    contracts, provided that the providers shall be permitted
7    to maintain a balance of clients in terms of household
8    incomes and families and children with special needs, as
9    defined by rule.
10(Source: P.A. 102-491, eff. 8-20-21; 102-813, eff. 5-13-22;
11102-926, eff. 5-27-22; 103-8, eff. 6-7-23.)