Affordable, high-quality child care is often difficult for parents to find. Illinois is no exception. Child Care Aware reports that the average monthly price of full-time child care was $821 per child in child care or 15% of the median household income for a family with children under 6 in 2020. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that access and affordability issues long pre-date COVID and are due to “generations of underinvestment in the care economy.
This Policy Spotlight on child care assesses the impact of COVID on child care capacity in Illinois.
"One of the very first pandemic mandates was to place restrictions on licensed child care providers. Child care centers were subject to more restrictive regulation than day care homes throughout the pandemic. While daycare homes were free to return to normal operations in June 2020, centers’ operations were restricted for an additional year."