For Immediate Release
November 4, 2004
Gov. Blagojevich expands program to feed
up to 40,000 additional Illinois children
More than 19,000 additional day care
providers now eligible for meal reimbursments
SPRINGFIELD Governor Rod Blagojevich today
announced that, as a result of new partnership between
the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois
Department of Human Services, thousands of additional
Illinois children will now have access to healthy meals
and snacks. The state is expanding the Child and Adult
Care Food Program to allow 19,000 family childcare home
providers in Illinois to receive reimbursement for the
cost of providing healthy meals and snacks to an additional
40,000 young children.
This is an example of the new State Board working
cooperatively with another state agency to do the right
thing, said Gov. Rod Blagojevich. By working
together and using common sense, we found a way to feed
Previously, only providers licensed through the Illinois
Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) received
reimbursement to feed children in their care. License-exempt,
family day care home providers were denied access to the
program and had to pay for childrens food out of
their own pockets.
Through the new partnership, the Department of Human
Services (DHS), which oversees the Child Care Assistance
Program (CCAP) that supplies child care subsidies for
low income families in Illinois, will notify the State
Board of Education of all license-exempt providers serving
children enrolled in the CCAP. Those providers will have
access to meal reimbursement and other benefits, including
meal planning and nutrition guidelines.
We are always looking for ways to improve quality,
especially for the license-exempt providers who are not
part of any system, said DHS Secretary Carol L.
Adams, Ph.D. Were happy to partner with the
State Board of Education to ensure that children start
off right with healthy meals and good nutrition.
Whats important here is that kids are getting
healthy meals. This is an example of what we can accomplish
when we partner to do the right thing for children. I
commend the staff at the State Board and DHS who worked
on this effort, said Interim State Superintendent
Randy Dunn. They saw an innovative way to work with
another agency and help kids. Thats what the new
State Board is all about.
Child Nutrition Programs are federally funded and administered
by the Illinois State Board of Education. The expansion
will come at no cost to the state. For information, child
care providers can go to www.isbe.net/nutrition/htmls/child_adult.htm
or call the State Boards Nutrition Programs and
Support Services at 800-545-7892.
"On behalf of thousands of license-exempt home childcare
providers, we thank Governor Blagojevich, the Illinois
State Board of Education and DHS for making this expansion
possible. Hundreds of providers, parents and advocates
made our voices heard this summer in support, and we're
happy to see the expansion moving forward," said
Lula Bronson, license-exempt childcare provider and Vice
President of the Service Employees International Union,
Local 880. "This is an important step in ensuring
quality childcare for all working families in Illinois."
For information on the DHS Child Care Assistance Program,
providers should contact the Illinois Network of Child
Care Resource and Referral Agencies at 877-202-4453 or
visit the DHS web site at www.dhs.state.il.us.