Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says $9 million in city funding will go to help local families who have been cut off from the state's Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) under new eligibility rules implemented by the Rauner administration.
The $9 million, which will be included in Emanuel's 2016 city budget, is expected to secure 5,000 full-time child care spots for families deemed ineligible for CCAP. Some 9,000 total Chicago children are estimated to be impacted by Rauner's new rules for the program, which helps low-income working families in the state afford child care.
As part of the Rauner administration's CCAP changes, which took effect on July 1 when the state entered the new fiscal year without a budget, monthly parent co-pays increased and eligibility requirements got stricter -- to the point where 90 percent of new applicants will be shut out from the program.
Emanuel said Rauner should rethink the CCAP changes.
"If you're going to tighten the standard, it should be about tightening the standard because you thought maybe it went over slightly," the mayor said, reported the Chicago Tribune. "Ninety percent means you don't believe in day care, you don't believe in early childhood. And I don't believe that's (Rauner's) policy. I believe somebody in the system has this upside down, and they need to be straightened out."
The mayor is set to unveil his 2016 budget proposal on September 22.