Gov. Pritzker in Rockford, touts grants for childcare workers during pandemic

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker was in Rockford Wednesday afternoon to tout emergency relief to childcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor, along with US Rep. Cheri Bustos and State Rep. Maurice West, met at the YMCA Children’s Learning Center, at 2918 Glenwood Avenue.

The Children’s Learning Center remained open for frontline workers all throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“Everyone who works here–you really do heroic work everyday whether there’s a pandemic or not,” Pritkzer said.

The state launched an application program Wednesday for $270 million in Child Restoration Grants through the state’s Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (CURE) fund to provide emergency relief to childcare workers.

An “Intent to Apply” survey is available at inccrra.org. The survey will closed June 19th at 5 p.m.

“Strengthening child care is as much about building a strong economy as it is investing in our young people – both critical aspects of building an Illinois that truly serves our working families,” said Pritzker. “Before this pandemic hit, I promised that Illinois would become the best state in the nation for raising young children. The path forward has certainly become more complicated – but our commitment is stronger than ever.”

The grants are specifically designed to support businesses who endure lost revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Bustos said she was sponsoring a bill which would put $50 billion into childcare nationwide.

“Forty million [has been supplied] to date for Rockford and surrounding areas, but we need to do more,” Bustos said. She said a $3.3 trillion bill was desperately needed at the local level, but is waiting on the Senate.

Not everyone was happy to see the governor in Rockford. About a dozen protesters stood outside (not related to the Black Lives Matter movement) the YMCA. They held up signs reading ‘masks are unhealthy’ and ‘re-open now.’

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