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July 2022

New Investments in Early Ed! 🎉

On July 1, some key changes went into effect in Illinois to support early childhood educators and families! Three keys things for you to know:

1. Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) has increased reimbursement rates for all providers, and has increased the eligibility limit. Also note that if you are a CCAP-eligible family, or have staff who is, the co-pay will now be $1.

2. The Child Care Restoration Grant has been extended through December 2022. It had been set to expire in June 2022. This will provide $60 million to approximately 2,400 childcare providers. Access the CCRG here.

3. The Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grant program has been extended through June 2023. These grants provide funding for eligible child care centers, child care homes, and group child care homes. Access the SGCC here

To see the rest of the changes that have been put into place, visit our summary blog post here.
Local ECE Information & Resources
  • It's Disability Pride Month! For a brief overview of disability rights and advocacy, check out this hand-out from ISBE, and watch for more info through our #WellnessWednesday posts on social media
  • COVID-19 Vaccines are now available for children under five! The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccinations for young children and infants 6 months and older. The vaccines are smaller doses than for older children and adults and have been tested for their safety for these youngest children. Vaccination remains the strongest way to protect children and families. Encourage families to talk to their pediatrician or learn about an upcoming local clinic
  • Free COVID-19 testing is available in the community for children and adults on the following schedule:
    • Tuesday - Cheney Mansion, 4pm - 7pm now through September
    • Wednesday - Euclid Firehouse, 10am - 12noon
    • Thursday - Thursday Night Out, Downtown Oak Park, 5pm-8pm
    • Saturday - Oak Park Farmer's Market, 8am - 1pm*
  • You can also have testing come to you. 🚐 The Village of Oak Park Health Department's Mobile Testing Van can provide onsite rapid testing at your Oak Park Early Childhood Program. Consider having the van come during pick-up or drop-off times. Schedule here.
  • Talking to Young Children about the News. Resources to help you have conversations about gun violence and other scary news items that children may have questions about. 
  • Social Emotional Learning On-Demand Tutorial from the Oak Park Public Library. Check it out here
*Results from testing done Tuesday and Wednesday are usually back within 72 hours, Thursday and Saturday testing may take a little longer due to the higher demand. If you have any questions about vaccinations or testing, please feel free to reach out to us at
Opportunities for EC Educators and Providers
  • Birth to Five Action and Family Councils - Birth to Five Illinois is a new initiative from the state of Illinois with a mission to create a statewide regional infrastructure that will amplify input from communities in the development of policies and funding priorities. Birth To Five Illinois are creating 39 Birth to Five Action Councils and Family Councils across the State to create an opportunity for ECE stakeholders to collaborate together and address the early childhood needs within their own communities. Learn more or join the Birth To Five  Action Council!
  • Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Scholarship - Awards are available for undergraduate study at public and non-profit private 2- and 4-year Gateways-entitled and Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity member institutions. Deadline to Apply: August 15, 2022.
Join a professional learning community. The McCormick Center’s Leadership Academies offer professional learning for center-based and home-based program administrators. Taking place over several months, the experience encourages practical application of learning concepts between sessions and the forming of supportive networks. Credits for college and professional development credentials are available. 
  • Ready to Lead (RTL) is for newly-hired early childhood administrators created to delve into the power of self-reflection, understand the transition from peer to supervisor, explore leadership styles, and learn strategies for increased productivity. Deadline to apply: August 12, 2022
  • Taking the Lead (TTL) is a family child care provider academy focused on growing and sustaining your business, developing advocacy skills, and promoting positive learning environments. Deadline to Apply: July 15, 2022
Professional Development
More Resources
To Share With Families
The July Parenting Resource Program Newsletter
Copyright © 2022 Collaboration for Early Childhood, All rights reserved.

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