Legislative Update

Below you will find a list of proposed legislation that impact childcare and providers. Please take some time to read each one. We will share updates on legislation as it progresses and the need for witness slips in support or opposition to each bill.

HB 1240 – Childcare Act Qualifications (Rep Steven Reick)

Amends the Child Care Act of 1969. Provides that any rule adopted by the Department of Children and Family Services that adds an education or experience requirement to the eligibility criteria for a position does not apply to an employee who already holds that position at the time the requirement is added. Provides that an individual seeking employment at the same position level but at a different facility shall remain eligible for employment in a position equivalent to the individual’s current employment position despite any potential changes to eligibility criteria. Effective immediately.

HB 3232 – DHS-CHILD CARE–$1 CO-PAYMENT (Rep La Shawn Ford)

Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. In provisions concerning the child care assistance program administered by the Department of Human Services, removes language authorizing the Department to raise parent co-payments. Provides instead that beginning July 1, 2023, a family eligible for child care services whose income is at or below 140% of the most recent United States Department of Health and Human Services Federal Poverty Guidelines for the applicable family size shall pay a $1 monthly fee as a co-payment for child care services. Provides that beginning July 1, 2024, the income threshold a family must meet to qualify for the $1 monthly co-payment shall increase to 185% of the most recent United States Department of Health and Human Services Federal Poverty Guidelines for each family size. Effective July 1, 2023.

HB 4236 – SCH CONSTRUCT-EARLY CHLD GRANT (Rep Margaret Croke)

Amends the School Construction Law. In provisions concerning early childhood construction grants, removes a provision that specifies that grants made in fiscal year 2024 may be made only to public school districts. Provides that a not-for-profit early childhood entity that rents or leases from another not-for-profit entity shall be considered an eligible entity. Effective immediately.

HB 4350 – CHILD ABUSE NOTICE ACT (Rep Jed Davis)

Creates the Child Abuse Notice Act. Requires certain businesses and establishments, including, but not limited to, day care centers, elementary and secondary schools, bus stations, and general acute care hospital emergency rooms, to post in a conspicuous place a notice developed by the Department of Children and Family Services that is aimed toward children under 18 and provides information on what constitutes physical and sexual abuse and how to report such abuse. Requires the notice to be at least 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches in size, written in a 16-point font, unless the notice is provided by electronic means. Requires the Department, in consultation with an accredited Children’s Advocacy Center, to develop a model notice no later than 6 months after the effective date of the Act. Requires the Department to make the model notice available for download on the Department’s Internet website and provide the notice upon request to eligible business, schools, and other establishments. Provides that the notice shall be printed in English, Spanish, and in one other language that is the most widely spoken language in the county where the establishment is located and for which translation is mandated by the federal Voting Rights Act, as applicable. Imposes certain penalties on those businesses and other establishments that are subject to the Act that fail to comply with the Act’s requirements. Exempts school districts and personnel from the penalty provision.

HB 4412 – CHILD CARE-BACKGROUND CHECK (Rep Dave Vella) 

Amends the Child Care Act of 1969. In provisions concerning criminal background investigations, provides that a child care facility may authorize the Department of Children and Family Services or a third-party vendor to complete the investigation. Provides that an applicant is determined to have completed the criminal background investigation when he or she has completed and submitted authorization for the performance of a criminal background investigation by either the Department or a third party contracted to perform the criminal background investigation. Makes conforming changes.

HB 4491 – CHILD CARE FACILITY-STANDARDS (Rep Laura Faver Dias) 

Amends the Child Care Act of 1969. Provides that a qualified child care director must be present at the open or close of the facility. Provides that a qualified early childhood teacher who has been employed by the facility continuously for at least 24 months may otherwise be present for the first or last hour of the workday.

HB 4501 – CHILD CARE-BACKGROUND CHECK (Rep Joyce Mason) 

Amends the Child Care Act of 1969. Provides that a criminal background investigation for a person subject to background check shall include specified information. Provides that, notwithstanding any federal law that prohibits conditional employment prior to completed background checks, an individual hired to begin employment who has authorized the required background check may be employed by a child care facility on a conditional basis pending the outcome of the required background check. Provides that the form authorizing the background check shall be submitted to the Department of Children and Family Services. Provides that the individual shall also submit to the Department an attestation, under penalty of perjury, disclosing: (1) any abuse or neglect complaints made against the individual with the child welfare agency of a state other than Illinois in which the individual resided within the 5 years preceding the date of the attestation; and (2) any contact the individual had with a law enforcement agency in connection with the individual’s suspected or alleged commission of a crime in a state other than Illinois in which the individual resided within the 5 years preceding the date of the attestation. Provides that a conditional employee shall not be left alone with children outside the visual and auditory supervision of staff until the conditional employee has cleared all required background checks. Defines “persons subject to background check”.

HB 4521 –  CHILD CARE-VIDEO SURVEILLANCE (Rep Martin McLaughlin) 

Amends the Child Care Act of 1969. Provides that, on or before January 1, 2025, the Department of Children and Family Services shall require each licensed day care center to maintain a video security system and maintain video surveillance of all public areas within the premises of the day care center, including, but not limited to, hallways, entrances, play areas, common rooms, and eating areas. Provides that video surveillance shall not take place in private areas within the day care center, including, but not limited to, bathrooms and changing areas. Provides that, if a video security system is deemed inadequate by the Department, the day care center shall have 30 days to correct the inadequacy. Provides that each licensed day care center must notify all parents of children attending the day care center that public areas are under video surveillance and must post a sign at the entrance of the day care center that informs visitors that the area is under video surveillance. Provides that the minimum standards for licensing shall require that each child care institution, maternity center, day care center, group home, day care home, and group day care home require that every staff member involved in the direct care of children be certified in first aid, in the Heimlich maneuver, and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation(rather than have on its premises during its hours of operation at least one staff member certified in first aid, in the Heimlich maneuver, and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

HB 4760 – DHS-CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE (Rep Harry Benton) 

Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. In a provision listing the categories of families and individuals eligible for child care assistance, expands the list to include families whose children are enrolled in a Head Start program. Provides that any family that receives child care assistance under the amendatory Act shall be deemed to be participating in an education, training, or employment program approved by the Department of Human Services. Provides that any family that receives child care assistance under the amendatory Act shall remain eligible for child care assistance without interruption as long as the child is enrolled in a Head Start program.

HB 4798 – CHILD CARE FACILITY-STANDARDS (Rep Joyce Mason) 

Amends the Child Care Act of 1969. Provides that a child care facility licensed under the Act may allow programs to staff classrooms with early childhood assistant qualified staff for up to 3 hours of the program day if it is documented in the facility’s written staffing plan.

HB 4936 – DHS-CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE (Rep Nabella Syed)

Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. Expands the categories of families and individuals eligible for child care assistance to include: early childhood assistants or aides, qualified assistants, early childhood teachers, and school-age workers who work at least 20 hours per week and meet income eligibility and other requirements. Provides that notwithstanding any other provision of law or administrative rule to the contrary, beginning in State fiscal year 2025, the specified income threshold for families with a household member who is an early childhood assistant or aide, qualified assistant, early childhood teacher, or school-age worker shall be no less than 300% of the then-current federal poverty level for each family size. Effective July 1, 2024.

HB 5154 – CCAP-FEDERAL HOLIDAY PAYMENT (Rep La Shawn Ford)

Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. In provisions concerning the child care assistance program, provides that notwithstanding any other law or rule to the contrary, on and after the effective date of the amendatory Act, the Department of Human Services shall include all federal holidays as paid days that are eligible for reimbursement under any purchase of service contract or voucher payment agreement the Department enters into, renews, or extends with a child care provider under the child care assistance program.

HB 5312 – CHILD CARE-QUALIFICATIONS (Rep Harry Benton) 

Amends the Child Care Act of 1969. Provides that an early childhood teacher must meet one of the following qualifications: (1) complete 60 semester hours from an accredited college or university with either 6 semester hours in early childhood education or complete the Gateways Early Childhood Education Credential Level 1 training; (2) complete 1,560 clock hours of child development experience and 30 semester hours from an accredited college or university with either 6 semester hours in early childhood education or Gateways Early Childhood Education Credential Level 1 training; (3) complete 2,080 clock hours of child development experience as a teacher assistant in a day care center, complete the Gateways Early Childhood Education Credential Level 1 training, and provide proof of enrollment from an accredited college or university until 30 semester hours are attained or proof of enrollment in an early childhood teacher credentialing program, either of which must be completed in no more than 5 years from the date of initial enrollment; or (4) complete a credentialing program approved by the Department of Children and Family Services in accordance with administrative rule.

HB 4876 – Abortion/Gender Affirming Care (Rep Anne Stava-Murray)

Amends the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. Provides that “abused child” means a child whose parent or immediate family member, or any person responsible for the child’s welfare, or any individual residing in the same home as the child, or a paramour of the child’s parent denies the child access to necessary medical care, including, but not limited to, primary care services, abortion services, or gender-affirming services. Amends the Consent by Minors to Health Care Services Act. Specifies that consent to the performance of abortion services and gender-affirming services executed by a minor is not voidable because of such minority. Provides that a health care professional rendering abortion services and gender-affirming services shall not incur civil or criminal liability for failure to obtain valid consent or professional discipline for failure to obtain valid consent if the health care professional relied in good faith on representations made by the minor.

HB 5451 – DEPARTMENT OF EARLY CHILDHOOD (Rep Mary Beth Canty)

Creates the Department of Early Childhood Act. Creates the Department of Early Childhood to begin operation on July 1, 2024 and transfers to it certain rights, powers, duties, and functions currently exercised by various agencies of State Government. Provides that, beginning July 1, 2026 the Department of Early Childhood shall be the lead State agency for administering and providing early childhood education and care programs and services to children and families including: home-visiting services; early intervention services; preschool services; child care services; licensing for day care centers, day care homes, and group day care homes; and other early childhood education and care programs and administrative functions historically managed by the State Board of Education, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Children and Family Services. Makes conforming changes to various Acts including the Department of Human Services Act, the Illinois Early Learning Council Act, the Illinois Procurement Code, the School Code, the Illinois Public Aid Code, the Early Intervention Services System Act and the Children and Family Services Act. Effective immediately.

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