SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois will begin offering child care for just a $1 a month co-pay for families at or below the poverty line.
The program goes into effect on July 1st, and will cap the cost of child care at 7% of income.
Gov. JB Pritzker pitched the program as a tool to help parents get back to work.
The lack of child care is just one reason why many workers haven’t returned to the job after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Rep. Sue Scherer (D-96th).
“How many stores that we go to… have ‘help wanted’ signs? Well, the reason there’s a ‘help wanted’ sign is because the worker can’t come to work. The worker can’t come to work because they can’t find childcare. And it is just this vicious circle,” she said.
The job website Monster.com says employers posted more than 155,000 new jobs in Illinois in the last month alone, yet unemployment sits at 6.7%.
More than 400,000 workers are currently bringing in an extra $300 a week, in addition to regular unemployment, which is another reason cited for the slower return back to the workforce.