3 Hour Rule Update

As previously mentioned, the 3 hour rule will continue on after the deadline of the emergency rules on October 29, 2023.

The permanent rule will be officially released sometime next week, but we wanted members to be aware of the upcoming changes.

Assistants will continue to be able to lead classrooms with children 2 years and older without the presence of a teacher qualified staff for up to 3 hours per day.

Assistants will be able to lead classrooms with children under 2 years of age without the presence of a teacher qualified staff for up to 3 hours per day as long as the following criteria are met:

  • 1 year of experience (1560 clock hours) working in a childcare setting (pursuant to admin codes 406, 407, or 408) or in a license-exempt childcare setting (pursuant to admin code 377)
  • Completion of the Child Development, Health, and Safety Basics training (which can be found on the INCCRRA training portal)

We anticipate that the rules will be formally updated next week, and we will share an updated version of the 407 when it is released.

Although we had hopes that this rule would remain as it was originally drafted in policy guide over the last 3 years, this is a HUGE win for childcare centers.

The proposed rules from June included a LONG list of restrictions in utilizing the 3 hour rule, and the time and effort spent speaking with legislators have allowed a majority of those restrictions to be removed.

It was also noted by DCFS on numerous occasions that they would not allow for this rule to be utilized in classes with children under 2, and it is a huge victory that this will now be allowed in some capacity.

It feels as though we have been fighting this battle for the 3 hour rule for the last few years, and we are so proud of all the work that has been done! Thank you to all of our members who have made calls, sent emails, and taken time out of your already busy days to advocate for this rule!

We are looking forward to wrapping up this chapter and preparing for the next battle of getting our voices involved in the HUGE changes coming for early childhood with the development of a new state agency.

Join ILDOCC as a paid member to help us in this fight!

This work would not be possible without all of you – directors/owners!! Thank you all for your hard work and dedication!!

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