COVID-19 Updates

Project CHILD is receiving new information daily regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Check back here often for up-to-date policies, guidelines and new information regarding Illinois child care.

NEW 9/14/21 -Gov. Pritzker Announces Nation-Leading Childcare Investments to Support Parents and Providers in COVID-19 Recovery.  State to Provide 3 Months of Childcare Assistance for Unemployed Parents Seeking to Reenter the Workforce.  Gov. Announces up to $1,000 Bonuses for Eligible Childcare Workers, $300 Million in Relief Funding to be made available for Childcare Providers  See the full press release here.

8/31/21 – For Child Care Providers – Quality Improvement Funds applications and Individual Professional Development Applications are now available on the website under the Provider tab!

7/26/21 – Due to a technical issue, a small number of child care providers recently received a duplicate payment from the Illinois Department of Human Services Child Care Assistance Program. This payment may have been received after July 12, 2021. Please check your records to determine if you were affected. If you were affected, please review the details below:   IDHS MEMO

7/1/21 – IDHS recently sent out a memo with new information concerning the Child Care Assistance Program.  Please take a moment to review these changes. Links to all of the new rates are provided in the memo.


7/1/21 – IDHS has updated health and safety requirements. See those changes here.

Health and Safety Training Requirements LE Center Providers (English) 6.30.21

Health & Safety Training Requirements LE Non Relative Home Child Care Providers (English) 6.30.21

6/22/21 – Illinois Cares for Kids website is LIVE!  This is the one place parents, grandparents, and caretakers can access all things related to early childhood in Illinois.  You can find resources, programs, and assistance for your child based on their age.

Check it out here!!

and on Facebook.

4/28/21 – As new developments arise, they will be posted here. Check back here for updated information.

NEW – 1/8/21 Please join the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and our partners at the Governor’s Office and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for a Town Hall meeting with the early childhood workforce to discuss two important topics:
Vaccine distribution for the early childhood field, and
Funding included in the federal relief bill passed by Congress in December to support child care providers during COVID-19 in 2021.

Early Childhood Workforce Town Hall on Vaccine Distribution and Federal Relief Funding

Friday, January 15, 2021

Click the link to register below:

11:30 am – 12:30 pm English –
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm Spanish –

The Town Hall will be delivered as a webcast hosted by our partners at INCCRRA and is intended for the entire early learning provider community. Due to the large number of people anticipated to join, we will not answer live questions during the webcast. However, participants will have the opportunity to submit questions during the webcast via the chat as well as submit questions prior to the webcast to help inform the presentation.

Please submit your questions by Monday, January 11, 2021, to All questions gathered before and during the webcast will be cataloged and made available in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document also following the webcast. The PowerPoint slides and a recording of the presentation will be made available through multiple websites following the webcast.

This webcast does not qualify for Continuing Education credits (CEUs).

For more information, contact

To submit questions prior to the webcast, email

7/10/20 Child Care Restoration Grant Technical Assistance Webinar
July 20th & 21st

Register now to join this webinar if you plan to apply for a Child Care Restoration Grant. The webinar will discuss the Restoration Grants, and walk providers through how to apply online through the Gateways Registry Director Portal. It will provide information on what documents to collect, and what information to have ready before you apply.

UPDATE: The 10:00 am webinar on July 20th is full at 1000 registered. A recording of the webinar will be available on the webpage and on the Gateways Facebook page the following day.

To Register for the English Webinar –

To Register for the Spanish Webinar –

NEW 7/10/20  PPE Cleaning Supplies available

IDHS, INCCRRA and the CCR&R System are providing limited cleaning and PPE supplies to child care providers across Illinois. These supplies can be ordered at no cost; however, providers will need to pay shipping by credit/debit card. You must be a child care provider providing care in Illinois or getting ready to reopen in phase 3 or 4 of Restore Illinois. This is available to licensed centers, license-exempt centers, licensed home/group homes and license-exempt homes.

For Licensed providers, we will confirm you are a licensed provider by using the ExceleRate Search and matching your name and shipping address.

For License-exempt providers, you will need to provide your 15-digit Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Provider Number to place an order.

Maximum quantities have been set based on provider type. 

*If you received a cleaning kit in June, you cannot order until August.

NEW 6/10/20 The Governor and the Illinois General Assembly has directed at least $270 million of the state’s Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (CURE) Fund to support the economic health of child care providers as our economy reopens in the coming months. As part of CURE, the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) Program is specifically designed to support businesses who endure lost revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

We know our state’s recovery relies on the economic survival of our regulated child care system.
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services is charged to develop the grant program for licensed child care. The Child Care Restoration Grants will be administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).
The first step is to let us know if you intend to apply for a Child Care Restoration Grant.  Please complete the Intent to Apply SurveyThe information gathered here will help to inform the development of the grants program to be released in July 2020. The opportunity to respond to the survey will close on June 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm.

For more information, please visit  

5/22/20 Guidance for CCAP Billing Certificates issued May 15, 2020

Center & Licensed Home May and June Attendance Exemption Form

5/14/20 IDHS May and June Memo – Important information about CCAP billing certificates for May and June

5/1/20 Notice to Site Administered Child Care Programs re: Prioritized Essential Workers, 30% Add-on, Attendance Exemption

4/24/20 – CCAP Payment Procedures during COVID-19 from IDHS

These procedures are to be followed during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, or until instructed otherwise by IDHS, beginning with the service month of March 2020.

4/20/20 – Great News! Emergency Child Care Stipend checks are going in the mail today!

Checks being mailed on Monday 4/20 include all eligible approved stipend payments for weeks ending Friday, April 3rd and Friday, April 10th. If your application was not complete, there may be a delay in processing the stipend request. Contact your local CCR&R for more questions

Information about Emergency Child Care Stipends can be found here

4/17/20 – Updates from IDHS

Dear Child Care Providers:

Please read this message carefully – it contains important information and instructions about provider payment rates.

Child care centers and licensed homes operating as Emergency Child Care (ECC) providers and participating in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) are eligible to receive a 30% add-on to their approved daily rate for each child of an essential worker attending their care in the month of April 2020. To receive the enhanced rate, eligible providers must report information on the children of essential workers they are currently caring for by no later than April 28, 2020.  Late reporting may cause a delay in receiving payments at the enhanced rate.

Providers may complete this reporting by either:

  1. Submitting an application for an Emergency Child Care Stipend to If you have already submitted a stipend application, and all the children of essential workers attending your child care were listed on the application, you do not need to do anything else to receive the 30% add-on to your approved daily rate.                  OR
  2. Completing the Child Care Provider Essential Worker Report on the DHS website: Please be sure to read the instructions on the website carefully before submitting the Child Care Provider Essential Worker Report.

If you are unable to complete the reporting using one of the methods described above, please contact your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency for assistance.

If you have any questions about the 30% add-on policy, please contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) at

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the children and families of Illinois.

4/4/20 – During the declared COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the children of Prioritized Essential Workers are eligible to receive child care through the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Prioritized Essential Workers include those working in Health Care, Human Services, essential Government services (e.g. Corrections, law enforcement, fire department), and essential Infrastructure. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact your Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R). Click the link below for the application and further information.

Prioritized Essential Workers Child Care Application

NEW 4/3/20 – Webinar opportunity from the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development Monday April 6th, 10:00 a.m. Click here for complete details.

3/30/20  Emergency Child Care Stipend Program

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) through the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) System is offering funds to assist Emergency Child Care programs that opt to open and provide child care for the children of Essential Workers. We want to stress that these services should be provided only when Essential Workers have no other options available. The goal is to practice social distancing and for children to stay at home whenever possible.

The application and required weekly attendance forms can be accessed at the following link:

Emergency Child Care Stipend Program

W-9 Form

3/25/20 Attention Illinois hashtag#SmallBusiness owners: To better support you during this critical time, you can direct your business inquiries about U.S. Small Business Administration loans via: – (1-800-252-2923) – Email

3/25/20The Illinois Early Learning Helpline of the CCR&R System will be answering calls from 9:00am – 3:00pm helping essential workers find emergency child care.

Or you can search online at

3/24/20 Notice from the Governor’s Office concerning Child Care Providers and Emergency Operations

3/23/20 For those that missed the IDHS & GOECD – COVID-19 Child Care Business Practices and Resources webinar today. Link to slides and recording below.


Webinar recording (link to webex recording)

3/20/20 – In response to the unprecedented public health emergency that Illinois is facing as a result of the spread of COVID-19, Governor Pritzker has mandated the following closures for child care centers, child care homes, and early education programs across the state:
• Effective March 21, 2020 all child care centers licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), as well as legally license-exempt centers outside of schools.
• Effective March 21, 2020 all child care homes licensed by DCFS.
• Early education programs in public and private schools are required to remain closed while the K-12 schools are closed. This mandate covers any early childhood program for children ages birth through five located in public schools or in private schools.

For the complete document and links to emergency child care applications, click the two documents below.

3/20/20 Guidance for Child Care Centers, Child Care Homes, and Early Education Programs

3/20/20  COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions Following the Mandatory Closure of All Child Care Centers and Home

3/20/20 If you have questions about child care-related responses to COVID-19, email: GOV.OECD@illinois.govCOVID-19.

3/17/20 Temporary Attendance Exemption Policy for CCAP Programs
NEW 3/17/20 COVID-19 Attendance Exemption Form
3/17/20 Information and Support for Home-Based Child Care Providers
3/17/20 All trainings offered by Project CHILD from March 17th through April 30th have been cancelled. Online trainings are available at

3/15/20 Guidance for Child Care Centers and Early Education Programs

3/15/20 FAQ for Child Care Providers
3/15/20 COVID-19 Child Care State Agency Memo.

Project CHILD Response to COVID-19
Based on guidance from the Illinois Department of Human Services and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Illinois Department of Public Health, effective 03/16/20, Project CHILD will not receive walk-in/unscheduled visitors until further notice.
Project CHILD is committed to the health and safety of the community. In order to continue effectively serve families and child care providers, we ask that visitors make alternative arrangements to submit documents or make inquiries.

Please use one of the following alternative methods:
Telephone – 800-362-7257: Dial 1 for our forms request line. The office directory is listed below.
Fax – 618-244-5209: During the COVID-19 emergency, we will accept all documents, including child care certificates via fax. The only exception will be picture id’s, since they are illegible via fax.
E-mail – Use the general e-mail address, Again, during the COVID-19 emergency, we will accept all types of documents, including certificates via e-mail. Picture i.d.’s can be submitted via e-mail.

We appreciate that stress levels are high right now, and we will do our best to provide the best possible service to you, using these alternative methods. Thank you for your cooperation. We will provide updates via the Facebook page and website regularly.
For facts about the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the CDC website at

Project CHILD Directory

Child Care Assistance Program (cases are divided as follows)
Parents/clients whose last names begin with:
A-Crou Kathy Byars, ext. 117,
Crov-Harr Mary Stanfield, ext. 107,
Hars-Lem Alyssa VanZant, ext 113,
Len-Oli Kathy Carr, ext. 105,
Olj-Sm Lori Irvin, ext 102,
Sn-Z Cathi Jackson, ext. 115,
Coordinator Cary Hottes, ext 118,
Director Tranae Brockhouse, ext 103,
Quality Consultants/Infant Toddler Specialist
Paula Schnicker-Johnson, ext. 111,
Jamie Nichols, ext. 120,
Courtney Hatcher, ext. 112,
Health and Safety Monitor
Kaira James, ext 114,