State Representative Andrew Chesney joined more than 2 dozen fellow House Republican legislators in sending a letter on Friday, May 15 to Governor Pritzker urging he increase childcare capacity at daycares in Illinois.
Chesney and his Republican colleagues are concerned that provisions in Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan will lead to massive shortages in daycare access and availability, especially as people return to work in neighboring states. The House GOP members are also asking the Governor to include them and professionals from the private daycare industry in a new childcare task force Pritzker announced was taking shape last week.
“Childcare centers are turning people away. This will lead to job losses and ultimately less daycare capacity as we emerge from the COVID-19 outbreak and reopen our economy. We also fear that for lack of childcare, some people that are eligible to return to work will be unable to and may in fact lose their job if they cannot show up,” said Chesney.
The letter points out, “right now, about 50% of providers are opened up and operating. But, their capacity is limited so severely that there is not enough childcare available for people to return to work in large numbers. Children of working people need a safe place to go.”
The letter was sent to Governor JB Pritzker on Friday, May 15. The Illinois House is scheduled to be in Session from Wednesday, May 20 through Friday, May 22, but no further Session dates have been scheduled beyond that limited return to legislating. It is unclear whether childcare capacity issues will be addressed by the legislature this week, but the House Republicans co-signing the letter are urging administrative relief to support these working families.
The letter co-signed by Rep. Chesney can be found at Rep. Chesney’s website at repchesney.com/childcare-letter/