Local childcare provider shares frustration in delayed payments from state

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Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:13 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:14 PM CST
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BISMARCK, Ill. (WAND) - Leanne Bright, licensed home daycare provider, has a passion for what she does. Providing for children is how she spends every day.

“I love doing my job. I love the kids and just the job all around. We greet the children at the door every morning. We have them come in; they play for a little bit while we fix them breakfast. Give them snuggles and tell them good morning,” said Bright.

However, Bright and hundreds of other childcare providers across Illinois have been working for weeks without pay from the state. This leaves many providers struggling and searching for answers.

“It’s very frustrating because this is our job. I don’t think anyone out there would work five weeks and not get paid.”

Bright and other providers were told there was a “glitch” in the system. This issue is now causing a delay in payments, specifically childcare assistance program funds (CCAP).

WAND News reached out to Illinois Department of Human Services. They sent us this statement saying:

“IDHS’ Division of Early Childhood is dedicating every available resource to addressing a backlog of payments to our providers that developed in the past few weeks. We have corrected the technical issue, communicated with providers, and are moving payments through the process as fast as possible. The Illinois Comptroller has prioritized payments to childcare providers and payments will be processed immediately upon receipt by that office. We apologize for the hardship this backlog has caused and as always, are grateful to our providers for your continued dedication to the children of Illinois.”

Despite the prioritized payments, many providers are behind on bills, payroll, and rent. Some providers have shared that they are temporarily closing their doors due to the lack of funds.

“If there is no income, there is no daycare because you can’t pay your bills. You have to have electricity. You have to have money to provide the groceries every week. If you’re not getting paid you can’t provide that. That’s the case in my home. We currently haven’t paid our power bill, haven’t paid a lot of other bills. That’s because the money just isn’t there,” said Bright.

As of right now, there is no exact date as to when providers will begin receiving the proper funds.