Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CCAP Child Care Support Program in Illinois

This is a good paper briefly describing a particular welfare policy.  CCAP was costing the state over $600 billion in FY 2010. I don't know what typical costs per-hour or per-day for child care are in this state or in Chicago, but I know that nearly 100,000 households in the state benefit from CCAP assistance with child care expenses.

The Social Problem I would like to address in this paper is Child Care and the Policy I will be looking into is the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). DHS' Child Care Assistance Program provides low-income, working families with access to quality, affordable childcare that allows them to continue working and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child. Families are required to cost-share on a sliding scale based on family size, income, and number of children in care. In addition to helping low-income, working families, the Child Care Assistance Program also serves: Families who are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and participating in education and training in accordance with their responsibility and service plans (RSP); Teen parents seeking a high school degree or its equivalent; and/or families not receiving TANF, who are pursuing additional education to improve their job opportunities. (DHS)

Child Care is a big issue for most every family; especially those who can’t afford it or need help covering the high costs of childcare. It is hard enough for a married couple, both working full time jobs, to afford quality childcare, let alone those who are less fortunate. The Department of Human Services (DHS) is there to help serve the public in many ways, including childcare. The childcare services that are now offered are in jeopardy of being cut. The Illinois budget is so messed up right now that they are preparing to cut millions from the budget, mainly from the DHS. This would directly affect the programs that are there to help people with childcare. The programs and the money provided for them would have to be cut severely and therefore people will be in jeopardy of loosing their assistance from CCAP.

We are looking at a cut to human services of around $400 million; a cut to CCAP of around $100 million and that is a bad decision for everyone involved. Cutting that much money from this organization and this program specifically will take away a major portion of budgeted money to help the community with childcare costs, approximately one-third. If that happens it will affect the parents, the children, and the childcare workers and service providers. As of December 2010, there were approximately 188,000 children in the CCAP. At least 63,000 children would have to be cut from the program to save $100 million. They would also most likely be unable to continue accepting more children to the program, for a period of time. (Illinois)

“Families may apply for licensed care from a statewide network of approximately 175 contracted providers. Eligibility is determined on-site by the provider allowing families the freedom to choose from a variety of care settings to best meet the needs of both parents and children. In order to find out if you qualify for assistance from the Child Care Program, please check the Child Care Assistance Program Eligibility Calculator to get an estimated calculation. This is located on the Department of Human Services website. You will need to know the county you live in, the number of family members in your household, how many children will need care, and your annual income. Contact your local Child Care Referral & Resource agency if you would like to find quality child care or receive an application to apply for the Child Care Assistance Program.” (DHS) In my research on this topic I did not find much about people who are against this program. All the information I found about CCAP was positive and pro-CCAP.

Works Cited
"DHS: Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)." DHS: Illinois Department of Human Services. Web. 05 Apr. 2011. <http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=30355>.

"Illinois Child Care Assistance Program and Other Human Services in Grave Jeopardy : The Shriver Brief." The Shriver Brief: Poverty Law Commentary & Insights : Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law : Affordable Housing, Healthcare Reform. Web. 05 Apr. 2011. <http://www.theshriverbrief.org/2011/02/articles/child-care/illinois-child-care-assistance-program-and-other-human-services-in-grave-jeopardy/>.

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