COVID-19 Services & Updates
Community Child Care Connection (CCCC) continues to monitor and evaluate the COVID-19 situation throughout the State and our service delivery area. Our highest priority is the well-being of our staff and the children, families, and child care providers in the communities we serve. We will continue to monitor the situation, share information, and follow guidance from local, state, and federal authorities in the coming days and weeks. Please check our website frequently, and follow us on Facebook, to receive up-to-date information and updates on changes affecting our services.
IDHS Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
Although we have reduced our CCAP staff in the office each day to support the call for social distancing, CCCC is still accepting all CCAP-related paperwork and processing cases daily! Forms may be submitted by utilizing our blue drop-box just outside our lobby door or by mailing, faxing, or emailing your documents. Forms may also be requested by calling our Forms Hotline at 217.525.2805 (Option 2, Option 1), or by using our online forms request form.
Although we are not currently experiencing a backlog, and are typically processing mail within 1-2 business days of receipt, please allow up to 15 business days to receive correspondence via the USPS.
Due to reduced staffing during the COVID-19 crisis, you may need to leave a message while our Specialist is on another phone call. You're voicemail should be returned within one business day.
IDHS requires that certificates not be submitted prior to the last business day of the month. Although your Child Care Program may be closed during the Stay at Home order, certificates should NOT be submitted prior to the last day of the month.
If you are faxing or emailing your child care certificate, please be sure to fax/email both sides of the certificate!
All in-person trainings offered by CCCC have been cancelled through June 30,2020. You may visit the INCCRRA website to participate in online trainings through the Gateways i-learning System. If you have questions regarding provider trainings please contact us.
Consultations, Technical Assistance, Monitoring Visits, Etc.
All face-to-face consultations and visits have been discontinued until June 30, 2020. Alternative methods may be used to support provider needs during this time (i.e. consultation by phone, information by phone or email). Please feel free to reach out to one of our Quality Specialists, Christy, Sue, or Infant/Toddler Specialist Kandi, with questions or concerns.
IMPORTANT - IDHS CCAP May and June Certificate Information!
May 14, 2020
IDHS has sent the following to providers:
Click here to download the letter
IDHS worked very quickly to put supports in place for child care programs as the pandemic unfolded. We have been working to protect you from catastrophic financial loss and to protect the state’s child care system. Now the federal government has made resources available to help ease the financial burden on employers and we want to make sure you apply for these funds if you are potentially eligible for them.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is designed to help small businesses keep workers on the payroll by providing forgivable loans of up to 2.5 times the normal monthly payroll. The loan is 100% forgivable if used for payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest. The PPP is also available to sole proprietors, independent contractors and the self-employed. You must apply through your 7(a) lending program; you can find your lender on the SBA website.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which is available beginning May 11, provides up to 39 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals not typically eligible for unemployment benefits, including independent contractors and sole proprietors that have become unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19. Additional information can be found on the IDES website.
Our goal is to use all available federal funding first and then turn to the state resources to keep you funded. In order to do that, we are asking you to complete a survey to let us know if you have applied for or received the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This will help to ensure that we do not pay for expenses covered by the federal relief funds you may have received or will receive.
Complete the survey.
WHAT YOU MUST DO TO BE PAID FOR MAY AND JUNE 2020 CCAP SERVICES – Centers and Homes
In order to be paid for May and June CCAP services you will need to complete an attendance exemption form and return it with your May and June certificates. If your program has received federal funds, you will be asked to certify that you are not billing the state (CCAP) for the same expenses that are covered by federal relief funds. The certification statement will be on the exemption form.
NEW EXEMPTION FORMS!
May 20, 2020
Guidance for CCAP Billing Certificates - Centers and Licensed Homes
Center and Licensed Home Attendance Exemption Form (for May & June)
Guidance for CCAP Billing Certificates - License Exempt Homes
License Exempt Home Attendance Exemption (for May & June)
You cannot use another version of the attendance exemption form. You may only use the May and June version for your May and June certificates. It will also be posted on the IDHS website and with your local CCR&R.
Child care is an essential workforce that is vital to our infrastructure and we are trying to support as many providers as possible through this pandemic. We thank you for your cooperation and for your continued support to maintain Illinois’ child care service delivery system during this challenging time.
For more information, please check the PPP section on the IDHS COVID-19 webpage or send questions to DHS.CCAP.Policy@Illinois.gov.
Update: May 26, 2020
The Attendance Exemption Policy and form are being extended for the service month of June. For providers to qualify for the exemption, they must complete the online survey and the May/June Attendance Exemption form. The attendance exemption form must be submitted with the monthly certificates.
Effective July 1, 2020, the Attendance Exemption policy and form will no longer be offered.
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is presenting this webinar to child care providers participating in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).
During the call we will discuss some of the financial assistance that has been made available and provide information on how to bill CCAP for May and June services. Information on how receiving federal funding (through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) programs) can affect CCAP billing, will be the main focus of the webinar.
Please refer to the “GUIDANCE FOR CCAP BILLING CERTIFICATES (Issued May 15, 2020)” memo and the COVID-19 Attendance Exemption Form (Version 2, Issued May 2020) that have been issued prior to the call if possible.
There will be 2 webinars based on the type of provider you are:
Licensed and license -exempt centers and licensed homes and group homes will be held on May 26 from 1:00-2:30.
License-exempt homes will be held on May 26 from 3:00-4:30
Information on how to join the call will be emailed to you after you complete the registration (link below).
Centers/Licensed Homes 1:00 P.M.-2:30 P.M
Licensed Exempt Home 3:00 P.M.- 4:30 P.M.
May 26, 2020
The $1 copay will be extended for the service month of June. Effective July 1, 2020, the $1 copay will no longer be offered and clients will be responsible for paying their original copay amount.
May 26, 2020
Auto extensions will be extended for the service month of June, providing clients whose cases would have ended June 30th with an additional 6 months of child care under current eligibility. Effective July 1,2020, auto extensions will no longer be offered and clients will be responsible for completing redetermination applications and submitting all required supporting documentation.
Reopening Child Care in Illinois
May 22, 2020
The Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development, along with the IDPH, the IDCFS, and the IDHS, released Guidance on May 22nd for reopening child care in Illinois. The below linked document provides an overview of the requirement and recommended practices for child care programs in Phases 3 and 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. Additional details and guidance materials will be forthcoming to support programs as they plan to reopen or transition back from emergency care to their regular license.
Click here to download the Guidance document!
For COVID-19 Prioritized Essential Worker (PEW) Parents:
April 5, 2020
IDHS is offering child care assistance as support to the priority essential workers that do not have the option to work remotely. This service should be treated as an option of last resort. If at all possible, it is best for your children to remain at home and practice social distancing during the COVID Pandemic.
Prioritized Essential Workers include those working in Health Care, Human Services, essential Government services (e.g. Corrections, law enforcement, fire department), and essential Infrastructure.
For Prioritized Essential Workers, there is no income limit, and a $1 co-payment and approval will be issued for the month of April while the Governor's Stay at Home order is in effect.
Completed Applications may be submitted, along with any necessary supporting documentation, via one of the options listed above. Please be sure to read the Application Instructions on page 4 to ensure the application is completed correctly.
Update: May 26, 2020
Please Note: Effective June 1, 2020, the PEW application will no longer be accepted.
However, IDHS will pay through the service month of June for those cases already approved in April and May.
Emergency Child Care Stipend Process
May 1, 2020
The 1 time Emergency Child Care Stipend will end May 15, 2020!
Emergency child care programs that are providing emergency child care through May 15, 2020 are eligible. Stipend applications must be submitted to email@example.com by Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Applications received after this date will NOT be processed.
March 30, 2020
The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) through the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) System is offering funds to assist 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 home whenever possible.
Applications must be submitted with the appropriate Attendance Forms and a completed W9, all of which are linked below.
Applications should be submitted via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. DO NOT send applications to CCCC!
Any questions regarding the Application Process should be emailed to Community Child Care Connection.
Please NOTE: The Deadline to submit Stipend Applications has passed and applications are no longer being accepted.
Emergency Child Care Enhanced Rate Add-on
April 20, 2020
All centers and licensed home providers operating as Emergency Child Care (ECC) providers, caring for children of Essential Workers, and participating in CCAP are eligible for a 30% add-on to their approved daily rate for services provided in April 2020. If the Governor's "Shelter in Place" Order is extended past April 30, 2020, IDHS will provide additional guidance if this enhanced rate is extended to additional months.
To receive the enhanced rate, providers must report information on the children of Essential Workers they are currently caring for no later than April 28, 2020. This add-on is not limited to cases approved through the Prioritized Essential Worker application.
This information can be reported in one of the following ways:
ECC providers who have already applied for an Emergency Child Care Stipend do not need to do anything further. The information provided on the Application and completed attendance sheets will be used for your reporting. However, children not included on the Stipend Application will need to be reported using the below method. CCCC WILL NOT accept additional attendance sheets outside of the initial Stipend Application process - providers must report children not listed on the initial application using the below method.
ECC providers that have not submitted an Emergency Child Care Stipend Application will need to complete the Child Care Provider Essential Worker Report (<---- click the link) located on the IDHS website. *By submitting this report, you are attesting that the children listed are currently in your care and are the children of an Essential Worker. Incorrect or fraudulent reporting will result in an over-payment and a potential Office of Inspector General (OIG) referral.
If you have questions about the 30% add-on policy, please contact the IDHS at DHS.CCAP.Policy@illinois.gov.
Reports must be submitted by April 28th, 2020 in order to receive the enhanced add-on rate!
Late reporting may cause delays in receiving payments at the enhanced rate.
Update: March 26, 2020
The enhanced payment rate for Emergency Child Care Programs caring for children of essential workers is being extended for the service month of June. The add-on will be calculated on the approved daily rate in CCMS for children marked as Special Needs. The 30% will be calculated on the daily rate prior to any additional add-ones (Site Administrative, QRS, Special Needs…) or deductions (Union Dues…).
The add-on is not limited to cases approved through the Prioritized Essential Worker application.
Effective July 1, 2020, the 30% add on will no longer be offered.
COVID-19 Updates from the ICDFS, IDHS, ISBE, and GOECD
Emergency Child Care Priority PPE & Supplies Letter
April 23, 2020
IDHS recognizes the struggle that exists in getting needed cleaning supplies to emergency child care settings. They are providing an official notice with the State of Illinois seal that recognizes emergency child care as a priority essential business. It allows you to ask your local stores to receive prioritized access to needed cleaning supplies. Click here to download and print the letter.
March 31, 2020
For as long as the COVID emergency declaration is in effect for Illinois, IDHS/CCAP will waive the second paragraph of procedures in CCAP Policy 06.05.01 that providers may not charge CCAP families more than private pay families.
Guidance for Child Care Centers, Child Care Homes, and Early Education Programs Regarding Closures
March 20, 2020
In response to the unprecedented public health emergency that Illinois is facing as a result of the spread of COVID-19, the IDCFS, IDHS, ISBE, and Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) announced the closure of child care and the opening of emergency centers and homes. Find the details by clicking the links below:
COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Temporary Attendance Exemption Policy
March 17, 2020
Updated April 8, 2020
IDHS works cooperatively with the Department of Employment Security and may validate receipt of unemployment compensation. Funds obtained through a false certification will be subject to investigation and recoupment and may result in termination from participation in the Child Care Assistance Program.
Please fully investigate the federal emergency relief funds available to individuals and small businesses. This includes expanded unemployment benefits, emergency grants and forgivable loans and refundable tax credits. It may be more beneficial to you and/or your staff than claiming the attendance exemption. More information can be found here: www2.illinois.gov/sites/OECD/Pages/COVID-19.aspx
The Illinois Department of Human Services has implemented a Temporary Attendance Exemption Policy to encourage subsidized child care programs to provide services during unforeseen, extraordinary circumstances and to lessen the financial impact of those events which are beyond the control of the programs, to include; licensed child care centers, licensed child care homes, license-exempt centers, and license-exempt homes may apply for an attendance exemption when an extraordinary event is responsible for substantially less than normal attendance. By claiming an exemption, the provider attests staff will continue to be paid for all scheduled work hours regardless of closure or reduction in services.
Emergency Care Referrals
If you are an "Essential" worker (see list here) who is looking for childcare during the COVID-19 crisis please 1.888.228.1146 or https://emergencycare.inccrra.org. The helpline will be available from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, but callers can leave a message 24 hours a day.
March 15, 2020
The IDCFS, IDHS, & ISBE released guidance for Child Care Centers and Early Education Programs regarding closure during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Click the links below to read the released memos.
March 13, 2020
The IDCFS, IDHS, and Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development released a memo to Early Childhood Care and Education Program Administrators. Click the link below to read the memo.