There is no safe amount of lead exposure. For children, especially young children under the age of six, exposure to lead can impair brain and nervous system development, impact learning, and contribute to behavior issues. Because of the significant health implications of lead exposure, we need to ensure that the places where children spend their time are free of lead - one of which is child care.
This was the motivation behind legislation passed last year that requires certain licensed child care centers and homes to test sources of drinking water for lead. Identifying and removing lead hazards in child care facilities offers us the opportunity to reach children on a large scale, particularly younger children who are most vulnerable. This process can be complex and costly, and thus requires thoughtful and practical guidance for child care providers.
DCFS has published identical emergency and proposed rules outlining requirements for licensed centers and homes to test for lead in drinking water. Click here to find the emergency and proposed rules on the DCFSwebsite. Additional important information, including deadlines, can be found in the materials posted on the DCFS Sunshine website here.
While the temporary emergency rule went into effect immediately, the proposed rules are open for public comment and are subject to change before being adopted and becoming permanent.
DCFS will accept public comments through July 9th, and after reviewing all comments, the department may make changes to the proposed rule. If you would like to provide feedback or recommendations on the proposed rule, send your comment to CFPolicy@idcfs.state.il.us before July 9th to ensure consideration by the department.
Illinois Action for Children will be submitting comments requesting that DCFS strengthen the proposed rules in a number of ways, such as by including explicit testing requirements (water sources, number of samples, etc.) and providing clear guidance on mitigation plans (components of the plan, allowable short-term and long-term strategies with reasonable time frames, etc.). More clarity is needed to ensure providers know what is expected of them to comply with standards and to ensure consistent enforcement of these standards for all providers.
If you have any questions about these requirements, contact DCFS.
|NAEYC's Statement on #FamilesBelongTogether |
If you are a parent or an early childhood educator, you have already hugged a child this morning. You know the lengths you would go to in order to protect your kids. But you don’t have to be either a parent or an educator to understand that separating children from their families—and putting them in a place where they cannot be hugged, touched, or loved—causes harm. And not the kind of harm that is easily repaired. This is the kind of harm that is significant and long-lasting, interfering with positive child development and well-being.
That is why, as an active member of the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign, NAEYC is working in partnership with our allies in early childhood education and beyond. On June 7, we joined 540 national and state organizations, including many NAEYC affiliates, in writing a letter to the Department of Homeland Security clearly stating our opposition to actions that are separating children from their parents at the U.S. border. We restate that opposition here. There are no ends that justify these means.
The research is clear, and so are our core values. We have relied on them both to respond to this issue, just as we have relied on them to create the draft of our new position statement on advancing diversity and equity, and the stated obligation to create and advance policy solutions that support child well-being and strengthen the bonds between all children and their families.
To join us in making this obligation real, call your members of Congress right now and ask them to support the Keep Families Together Act—because all children means all children. Thank you for standing with us to say #FamiliesBelongTogether.
Please click here for more infomation
Early Childhood Expulsion Webinar Recording.
In case you missed it! This webinar, hosted by Illinois Action for Children and the Ounce of Prevention Fund, discusses Illinois' recently enacted legislation prohibiting expulsions due to challenging behaviors of children birth to five in licensed child care and early childhood programs receiving funds from the Illinois State Board of Education.
Check out the webinar recording to learn more about what the law means for providers, as well as resources available to support both children and providers.
Governor Signs Legislation Increasing CCAP Access
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) has been fully restored!According to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), as of October 1, 2017, working families earning between 162% - 185% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are eligible for CCAP services.
Additionally, Governor Rauner signed House Bill 3213 into law in August, restoring CCAP eligibility for families enrolled in non-TANF education and training programs (effective August 25, 2017).
Child Care for Working Families Act
(September 14, 2017)
American across all political, geographic, and demographic backgrounds know that investing in high-quality early childhood education and early childhood educators will make America brighter, stronger, and more competitive.
We have an opportunity to make those investments happen!
In Congress, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) have introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act, which would pair federal investment with state partnerships to expand access, address affordability, increase quality, and invest in early childhood education professionals.
Will you help?
Please take a moment RIGHT NOW to call your members of Congress and ask if they have cosponsored the Child Care for Working Families Act.
If they have, please thank them for supporting child care and early learning!
If they haven’t yet added their name, ask them to become a cosponsor of the Child Care for Working Families Act.
Check out NAEYC’s statement on the legislation, and stay tuned for more information and resources coming your way. Thank you for taking action to promote high-quality #ChildCare4All to deliver on the science of early learning and advance our current and future workforce!
Governor Signs Legislation Preventing Preschool Expulsion! (8/14/17)
HB2663 (Stratton; Lightford) was signed into law by the Governor on 8/14/17. This legislation prevents preschool expulsions and provides protections for children in programs funded by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) or those licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services and ensures children remain in the most beneficial early care and education setting. The bill also identifies trainings and topics needed to address the problem and asks state agencies to make this information available to programs, as well as calls for better tracking of expulsions to expand understanding of how often and where they are occurring.
New DCFS Licensing Standards
New obesity standards have been added to the licensing standards for child care centers. The new regulations address physical activity, screen time and new nutrition standards for juice, milk, water and meals for infants and older children.The new standards are available at www.ilga.gov
Joint Statement from Illinois Early Childhood Advocates on Early Learning and the Child Care Funding Crisis
Governor Rauner pledged to “increase funding for early childhood education so that
more at risk children can enter kindergarten ready to succeed” during his inaugural
State of the State address.
We applaud this commitment to our state’s youngest and most vulnerable learners,
and we look forward to seeing more details of the Governor’s early education plan in
his Budget Address on February 18th.
The Governor also stated that “from cradle to career, our children’s education needs to
be our top priority.” We could not agree more. For that reason, we call on Governor
Rauner and the General Assembly to fully fund all aspects of early care and education
--- including child care.
High-quality, affordable child care is often the very first connection that young children
have to an educational experience – in conjunction with, or even prior to, preschool. In
addition to the work support it provides to parents and the economic impact it has on
the state, child care is a critically-important step on a lifelong path of education.
To truly realize the Governor’s stated priority, the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program
must be fully-funded – both to alleviate the $300 million funding crisis facing child care
during this fiscal year and to ensure its viability in Illinois for the coming fiscal year. Now is
the time for the Governor and the General Assembly to take bold and decisive action
on behalf of Illinois’ children and families.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois
Illinois Action for Children
Latino Policy Forum
The Ounce of Prevention Fund
Voices for Illinois Children
Contact: Adam Summers, Illinois Action for Children
773.564.8801 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Call the Governor’s office:
Springfield Office: 217-782-0244 TTY: 888-261-3336
Chicago Office: 312-814-2121
The main message needs to be “no cuts to children and families”. Be sure to use your own words and explain how detrimental this will be to you and the children/families of their districts. Describe what this state will look like with no day care for our children.
Here are a few other great places to access information on a daily basis:
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like additional information.