SPRINGFIELD (WREX) — Gov. JB Pritzker is calling for all of Illinois' 5,500 child care providers to open at the beginning of Phase 3 of Reopen Illinois, May 29, with some restrictions in place.
In his daily COVID-19 news briefing, Gov. Pritzker said the child care facilities are asked to open to no more than 10 children per classroom for the first four weeks into Phase 3. After four weeks, Pritzker said child care providers can expand to larger group sizes but not at fully-licensed capacity.
For licensed home-based child care providers, the governor expects most will be able to operate at full capacity. The governor's office says collectively, these efforts would bring Illinois to three-quarters of the previous child care capacity in the state.
There will be no restrictions on which families can use child care in Phases 3 and 4.
“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.”
The state gathered input from over 80 stakeholders in discussions on how to safely and prudently reopen child care across Illinois, from new health and sanitation protocols, to staff training needs, to what supports families will need as they return to child care. The recommendations shaped Illinois’ roadmap for safely increasing access to child care as families return to work.