Nearly seven months into a fiscal year with no state budget, today Governor Rauner gave his State of the State Address that was unfortunately short on solutions for the children and families of this state that so desperately need this madness to end.
The Governor said, “The key to…a higher quality of life for everyone in Illinois is to have a high-quality, fully-integrated education system from cradle to career, from early education…”
Illinois Action for Children agrees. To make this statement a reality for children and families, we call on the Governor to fully restore the Child Care Assistance Program to its June 30th, 2015 levels. While the CCAP was partially restored in November as a result of intense advocacy and the voice of parents from across the state, there remain more than 14,000 children still ineligible for child care in Illinois because of the Governor’s changes put into place on July 1st. Without child care, parents cannot go to work and children miss out on the most important first step of the early childhood education ladder.
The lack of a state budget continues to impact a number of other programs that Illinois residents rely on and that provide critical supports to our state’s most vulnerable families. Early Intervention and Home Visiting, two programs that are pillars of the early childhood system and have great impact on the health and development of our youngest children, remain unfunded. Parents who are full-time students are no longer eligible for child care and are not receiving critical financial aid through MAP grants. These families’ and our state’s economic well-being and economic potential are being harmed by the budget impasse.
We call on Governor Rauner and the General Assembly to set aside all political agendas and get to work TODAY on crafting, passing, and enacting a FY16 state budget that includes adequate revenue to fully fund our state’s priorities today and into the future.
President & CEO
Illinois Action for Children