$270 million in funding is now available from the state of Illinois to assist child care providers with reopening in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting today, licensed child care providers that meet the eligibility criteria may apply for Child Care Restoration Grants, reserved as part of the $636 Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program. The application will remain open until August 14, 2020 and is available online at: https://www.inccrra.org/.
The new childcare grants program leverages funds received from the CARES Act.
Since the onset of the crisis, the majority of child care programs have been closed, with the exception of providers who served children of essential workers. This new grant funding opportunity created jointly with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and administered by IDHS will offer relief to child care programs, with priority given for child care businesses serving disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs), representing those communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Providers eligible for the Child Care Restoration Grants (CCRG) Program must demonstrate the following:
- A current license from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to care for children,
- They are open and caring for children at the time of application,
- Based on licensed capacity, can demonstrate a ‘business interruption’ from their pre-COVID capacity, and
- Submit a complete application with all required documents.
Application and administration of the program will be led by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA), who will accept applications, provide technical assistance to providers, and oversee payment for successful applicants.