Child Care for All Coalition Demands Chicago Leaders Fund Childcare

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

As rising childcare costs continue to strain working families and childcare providers struggle to make ends meet on poverty wages, the Illinois Child Care for All Coalition held a town hall meeting on Chicago’s West Side. More than 130,000 Illinois working families’ access to care is jeopardized as billions in federal childcare funding expires. Town hall speakers and attendees demanded the City of Chicago and Illinois state leaders take immediate action to address the growing care crisis. Congregating in a west side church, grassroots leaders including parents, childcare providers, community members and elected officials advocated for funding to support Chicago’s working families. They discussed how low wages have driven providers out of the industry, deepening the shortage of childcare options for Illinois parents who are already struggling and increasing stress on workers who remain. Chanting “Child Care for All,” parents also shared stories about the challenge of finding affordable child care, and how child care shortages can force them to make impossible choices. In Illinois, child care costs for families range from $20,000 to $50,000 annually, with Chicago’s infant care averaging $19,000 yearly. However, nearly 20 percent of early educators in the state live in poverty, despite their advanced degrees. The Child Care For All Coalition is urging city and state leaders to direct additional funding towards addressing the child care crisis in Chicago and urging the City of Chicago to make similar investments in child care itself.

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