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Legislation Filed to Alleviate Child Care Worker Shortage

There is an acute shortage of childcare workers in many parts of Illinois, with many parents experiencing a tough challenge to find an available slot that is convenient to their workplace, commute, or living area. In cases where slots are available, the worker shortage is helping to further swell the cost of child daycare. Child care is especially expensive in regions of Illinois where the cost of housing is also spiking upward, creating additional challenges to those who want to buy homes and raises families. Many House Republicans are looking at measures to alleviate this child care worker shortage.

Representative Amy Elik is the sponsor of HB 1341, a bill to create the new Child Care Reimbursement Act. Many childcare workers face financial challenges because they have young children of their own. This Act, if passed into law, will create a new program to reimburse all childcare workers for any amounts they themselves have paid for childcare services provided to their own children aged 5 or younger at a daycare center. By knowing that their own children will be cared for, these workers will be able to re-enter the childcare workforce.

Representative Steve Reick is sponsoring HB 1240, legislation aimed at reducing the burden of credentialism in Illinois child care. This bill would enable current experienced childcare workers to be exempted from any new qualifications imposed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) upon Illinois childcare service providers by regulation. Regulators are always looking for ways to increase requirements, including requirements for education qualifications and certifications, on the job qualifications of the professions and crafts that they regulate. In some cases, these increased qualification requirements can add to existing worker shortages. These and other House Republican bills will be considered in the spring 2023 session of the 103rd General Assembly.


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