ROCKFORD, Ill. – A measure backed by state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, which is currently on the governor’s desk, would make the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) responsible for designing an off-hours child care program to meet the needs of first responders and other third shift workers.
“Making child care more accessible for parents who work late shifts would be incredibly helpful,” Vella said. “Particularly for our first responders, hospital workers and others who have to be ready at all hours, we should be doing what we can to assist them. These jobs require sacrifices in order to be on call every day, let’s make sure there is a dedicated state program that can assist them with child care needs.”
Vella is a chief cosponsor of the Off-Hours Child Care Act (House Bill 1571), which directs IDHS to conduct a study on and initiate a child care program to help off-hours workers. Under the proposal, IDHS would return the study to the General Assembly by Jan. 2023, after which a program would be slated to begin in July 2023. The measure passed the House and Senate without opposition, and is currently with the governor for approval.
“Expanding child care opportunities will be critically important if we want to better recruit police officers and other first responders,” Vella said. “This measure is an important step that we should build upon. I encourage the governor to sign it.”
For more information, please contact RepDaveVella@gmail.com.