On July 5, 2022 (after a holiday weekend of course) a new policy guidance was issued by DCFS. Many center directors/owners were not sent this new guidance until days after it was issued, and some still have not been notified.
One of the most significant changes in the newest guidance is that the ability to use an assist to run a classroom for up to 3 hours per day has been removed.
This is a huge hit for programs who are still struggling to operate daily in the midst of this staffing crisis.
ILDOCC and our lobbying team immediately reached out to Meaghan Jorgensen, acting executive deputy director of DCFS, and we made it clear that the removal of this guidance was going to have a huge negative impact on our field. We demanded that this be changed immediately.
We have received news today from Meaghan that the 3-hour rule will be placed back into the policy guidance and it is still able to be utilized by programs. She said it might be a day or two before programs receive the updated version of the guidance with the rule back in place; however, she has told us that programs are able to continue to allow assistants to run classrooms for 3 hours per day.
We have been warned that the rule this time will probably come with an expiration date. This means there will potentially come a time when it is expired in the near future and we are unable to use it, but as always, ILDOCC is prepared to continue the battle to keep it in place until we can hopefully get it codified into permanent rule.
If for some reason your rep comes in and has an issue with this, please notify Dezaray, ildoccstatecoordinator@gmail.
In the meantime, please feel secure in continuing to operate with assistants working as leads for up to 3 hours per day. HOORAY!!