Mitchell seeks Child Care Assistance reform

Like many child care providers, Amy Steck said she continues to be frustrated by the state's handling of the Child Care Assistance program.

The financially strapped program provides for 100,000 families in Illinois, as it reimburses child care providers for serving the low-income families at discounted rates.

But Steck, director of the Kids-N-Fitness in Decatur and Forsyth, said she has seen the program drift away from its goal.

“I see a lot more families that are needing this program,” she said. “It started as a program that was necessary for single parents and full-time students. But it's really gone now to a place where it's families that are together, but not married, and they base the qualifications on just one parent.

“I'm totally in support of anything that reforms this program.”

Those changes are expect to be presented to the Illinois General Assembly in a plan being proposed by state Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth. The plan, which has not be submitted to lawmakers in a bill yet, would urge the Illinois Auditor General to audit the Child Care Assistance program, establish an asset value test for families participating in the program to determine who is in most need of assistance, a proof of legal residency in Illinois to qualify and for future applicants to the program to provide the father's identification. Read the rest of the story in the Herald-Review.