Decatur – With the State’s Child Care Assistance Program running out of funds to pay child care costs, State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) is introducing an accountability and oversight reform package to protect the future of the program.
Mitchell introduced his reform proposals at Kids-N-Fitness daycare in Decatur Tuesday.
“I’m pleased to be here at Kids-N-Fitness to announce my Child Care Assistance Program accountability and oversight reform proposals,” Mitchell said. “My legislation urges the Illinois Auditor General to audit this program and will help ensure that working people receive the child care assistance they need to support their families.”
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provides payments to child care providers for services provided to low income, working families. The FY15 State budget passed by legislative Democrats and signed by former Gov. Pat Quinn deliberately underfunded CCAP costs by approximately $300 million. CCAP is currently out of funds to pay child care providers for the remainder of FY15.
“I believe Governor Rauner will announce a plan to restore child care funding during his budget address tomorrow,” Mitchell said. “While I still need to see the specifics, I intend to support the Governor’s effort to protect CCAP. My message today isn’t just about more money but a better way to spend the limited taxpayer resources we have.”
Representative Mitchell’s CCAP reform package includes legislation to require regular audits of the program, establish asset value tests for participating families, require proof of legal residency in Illinois, and include the father’s identification when applying for the program.
“Recently, I was made aware that some of our local daycare centers have children listed as being part of the program who have never shown up at these daycare centers,” Mitchell said. “Nobody knows who or where these children are. By requiring regular audits of the State’s child care program, we will be able to cut down on fraud and misuse of our tax dollars and ensure that funds are going to those truly in need.”