In September 2021, we shared that Governor Pritzker announced child care investments to support families and providers in COVID-19 recovery. One part of that is a 4th Round of Child Care Restoration Grants. The application to apply for the Child Care Restoration Grant opened on Monday, October 18 and will remain open until mid-December.

Another part of the Governor’s investment in early childhood is the implementation of a Child Care Workforce Bonus of up to $1,000 for staff at licensed and license-exempt childcare centers and homes. This is a way to support and recognize the efforts of child care staff who served and continue to serve children and families in person during the pandemic.

The application for the Child Care Workforce Bonus is now open. See full details on the Gateways to Opportunity website. We at the Collaboration for Early Childhood are here to ensure that every child care worker in Oak Park and River Forest who qualifies can get the bonus, and that any directors who have questions about the application can get their questions answered. To get started, please take a look at the State’s Workforce Bonus Flyer. Then, when you are ready:

Access the Child Care Workforce Bonus Application

Note: you will need to be logged into your Director Portal Dashboard to open the link above. To navigate to the application through login, click “Dashboard” in the menu. Then click the yellow “Director” button and then click “CCWB Application”.

Please note: There is no rush to apply for the Child Care Workforce Bonus.  All programs found eligible between October and March will be paid a bonus.  Programs, especially those with multiple staff will need to consider when is best to apply, the State encourages programs to apply when they are closest to fully staffed.

If you are a director or family child care provider, you can learn more about the application itself by watching the Child Care Workforce Bonus Application and Technical Assistance Webinar, a 45 minute webinar that provides an overview of the Child Care Workforce Bonus, walks programs through screen shots of the application, and provides bonus scenarios for licensed centers.

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