Guidance for Schools and Childcare Programs
On Friday March 20, 2020 The Governor's executive order (EO) shut down day care centers. These entities can apply for an emergency day care license under the emergency rules that DCFS posted on Friday March 20, 2020. These can be accessed at (https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/aboutus/notices/Documents/rules_407.pdf). These emergency day care centers can provide care to those individuals who are authorized to work under the EO. Day care homes (as opposed to centers) may continue to operate (without a license from DCFS) with up to 6 children.
Additional resources related to providing emergency day care services can be found using the following link: https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/brighterfutures/healthy/Documents/COVID-19_Frequently_Asked_Questions_Following_the_Mandatory_Closure_of_All_Child_Care_Centers_and_Homes.pdf
More from the Office of Early Childhood Education has also posted this information: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/OECD/Pages/For-Communities.aspx
Governor Pritzker, his staff, his Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD), and the leadership at the Illinois Departments of Human Services (IDHS) and Children and Family Services (DCFS) know that child care is always a critical work support for families. That is true even now as our state enters a "stay at home" strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Per Governor Pritzker's Executive Order on Friday, March 20, 2020, all child care programs across the state were ordered to close. Where possible, children should be kept at home. However, we know that is not an option for some of our essential workers, and we are working with DCFS, DHS, and partners throughout the state to develop child care options for these families.
We have developed a COVID-19: Emergency Child Care for Communities & Providers webpage to connect you with information to understand your options for offering and accessing child care for essential workers within your community during this pandemic. Through this page you can learn how child care programs can apply to become an Emergency Child Care Center, how child care homes can operate as license-exempt homes serving six or fewer children, and how communities can ensure that parents are connected to the resources they need. This information and webpage can also be found under the For Families and Children resource page of our state COVID-19 response site, coronavirus.illinois.gov.
If you are a mayor, a community leader, a locally elected official, a school district representative, essential worker, or someone working to ensure child care options for essential workers in your community, please visit our site, share the link with others, and come back often, as we will continue to update and modify the page as more resources become available.
We're in this together,
Dr. Jamilah R. Jor'dan
Acting Executive Director
Illinois Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD)