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Illinois’ Child Care Assistance Program faces funding issues

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A budget shortfall is causing some Illinois day cares to consider closing their doors. The Child Care Assistance Program helps low income, working families with child care costs, but it's run out of funding and the state is no longer making payments to the day cares that take in the kids.

According to the Illinois Department of Human Services, 176,000 Illinois kids rely on the program, 1,800 in Rock Island County alone. The 32,000 day care providers that take in these kids will now be without the money they receive from the State of Illinois.

For 15 years, Amanda Hofmann has worked at her in home daycare in Reynolds, Illinois.

"90 percent of my daycare is CCAP," she said, "I claim these kids every month on the days that I have them and I send a certificate at the end of the month and the state pays me at the end of the month for my services for the previous month,."

But this month, instead of the $4,000 check she was expecting, she got an email telling her the payments will be delayed between now and June 2015.

"I'm thinking how am I going to pay my own bills, ya know? We rely on that and a lot of that money goes back toward the daycare," she said.

In a statement to News Eight on January 21, 2015, the Department of Human Services said, "The budget signed by Governor Quinn last year did not provide adequate funding for the entire Fiscal Year 2015. As a result, the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) faces a $296 million hole and state-funded payments to the program will cease this month unless a responsible solution and appropriate funding source is found."

"What do I tell these parents? There possibly could be no funds. Do I go back and say you owe me thousands of dollars for my service? Where are they gonna come up with that kind of money?" said Hofman.

Hofmann, a mom of four, says she can make it work without the money, but only for a few moths.

"Do I just quit daycare? Do I get out of it? Do I quit doing this headache because I feel like its putting my family in jeopardy? I really do. Where do I go? What do I do? And I'm attached, I don't want to say goodbye."

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