untitledESSEX – Beginning in 2020, child-care providers who participate in the Child Care Assistance Program will see reimbursement rates go up 20% in rural counties, Gov. JB Pritzker announced this week. Child-care providers in Grundy County will be included in the program.

“Early childhood development is an essential part of every family’s life,” State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) said. “It’s important that everyone has access to affordable day cares across the state."

Access to day cares is a difficult issue, especially for low-income and single parents. Residents of rural communities often struggle find child-care providers for their children.

Improving access to day cares and boosting child-care workers’ wages is one of Senator Joyce’s goals in the General Assembly.

“When parents can’t afford child care, they can’t go to work,” Joyce said. “We need to make sure we give every family the tools they need to achieve dignity and independence.”

The state will invest another $3 million to expand access to training and education opportunities for child-care workers.

The rate increase will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

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