As the State prepares to re-open, Rep. McDermed and other House Republican members have asked the Governor to alter his re-opening plan to accommodate more childcare centers. There are mounting concerns that Pritzker’s current plan will lead to will lead to massive shortages in daycare access and availability as people return to work.
The Governor has been asked repeatedly what the is state doing to make sure there will be enough accessible, affordable and available childcare for people to return to work in phase three of his plan, when day cares won’t reopen until phase four. His answer is to say that 2500 child care providers are open right now serving essential workers. But, according to the Daily Line:
“A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Family Services, which licenses childcare centers, said only 777 emergency daycare licenses have been granted, adding that 54 applications for licenses came in throughout the weekend.”
In a press release on Wednesday, May 12th, Illinois Directors and Owners of Childcare Centers said that the administrations current rules are putting childcare centers out of business and complained that his reopening plan is not a good approach for families trying to get back to work.
Rep. McDermed was recently quoted in The Daily Line saying that Pritzker’s plan leaves families “high and dry”. She also slammed the governor’s office for convening a working group that favors public-funded childcare providers at the expense of private childcare providers, which represent a large chunk of the industry in Illinois and serve hundreds of thousands of families. McDermed also pointed out that childcare providers are mostly women-owned businesses and said the governor’s claims of empathy for small businesses rang false as his plan “is driving childcare centers out of business.”
House GOP members are asking that the Governor allow more childcare centers to open and amend their capacity limits. They are also asking the Governor to include them and professionals from the private daycare industry in a new childcare task force Pritzker announced was taking shape earlier this week.
Rep. McDermed and her colleagues sent a letter to Governor Pritzker on Friday, May 15th. You can read it here.