Illinois Child Care Subsidy Program

The Illinois Department of Human Services assists with the cost of child care if a caregiver works, is in a training or education program, or has other special needs that require child care. Families qualify for the child care subsidy program based on family size and income. Qualified parents and caregivers may choose their own providers including child care centers or in-home day care providers. The program requires parents to pay a portion of the child care expenses based on family income, size, number of children receiving care and number of hours of care per day.

Which Families Are Eligible For the Child Care Subsidy?
The following families are eligible for the child care subsidy:

Families who meet these criteria must apply for benefits are their local DHS office. They will then be eligible for a child care subsidy for their children under 13 or for children between 13 and 18 who need child care because of a physical or psychological condition or because of court ordered supervision. The child care services provided must be reasonably related to the hours of training or employment the family participates in.

Qualified Providers

  1. Licensed day care center;
  2. Day care center exempt from licensing;
  3. Licensed day care home;
  4. Licensed group care home;
  5. Day care home exempt from licensing;
  6. Relative exempt from licensing; or
  7. Non-relative exempt from licensing.

Child Care Copayments
Families who receive a child care subsidy from DHS are required to help pay a portion of the cost of their child’s care. The subsidy amount is paid directly to the child care provider, with the family’s copayment amount deducted from the subsidy payment. The copayment amount is due to the provider each month and is based on the family’s gross annual income, their family size, the number of children receiving care, and the number of hours of care per day received. Gross annual income is a measure of the nonexempt income of all persons in the assistance unit and the nonexempt income of the other responsible relatives in the home that are not part of the assistance unit. Nonexempt income includes things like:

Exempt income that will not be counted in determining the family’s child care subsidy copayment include, but is not limited to, things like:

When all eligibility criteria are met, child care payments will begin. Parents are responsible for notifying DHS of any changes in income, family size, number of children receiving care, or any other factor that might impact their eligibility to continue receiving the subsidy.


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