Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has announced plan to expand child care in next phases of Restore Illinois. The state is ensuring efforts for safe reopening and families returning back to work. The Governor has announced Illinois’ plan for a gradual reopening of child care in Phases 3 and 4 of Restore Illinois.
We can’t have a conversation about going back to work without talking about child care – anything else leaves a large portion of the workforce, especially women who too often bear a disproportionate burden, without any way to move forward while caring for their kids,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Illinois must take a cautious approach that appropriately balances the need to greatly expand child care with the need to lessen the risk of spreading the coronavirus.”
Encouraging evidence shows that child care can be safely provided as the state has not seen significant transmission of COVID-19 in child care settings. However, public health experts are cautioning that there is still too much to learn about the virus regarding impact on children and how it spreads. For this reason, the state is taking a balanced approach.
The new group size limits, based on the public health experts’ advice, will be about 30% lower than their pre-pandemic levels for centers. For smaller licensed homes, most will operate at standard capacity. The new efforts will bring the state to three-quarters of the previous child care capacity in the state.
When Phase 3 starts, providers that have been successfully operating as emergency child care providers can move immediately to these new maximum capacities. Many of the licensed child care homes will also be able to reopen their licensed capacity. The state is encouraged the providers to reopen when their Region moves to Phase 3.