Bryant Sends Letter to Gov. Pritzker on Childcare Access as Some Employees Head Back to Work

Murphysboro – State Rep. Terri Bryant joined more than 2 dozen fellow House Republican State Representatives in sending a letter to Governor Pritzker on the issue of childcare access on Friday May 15.

Bryant and her 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 earlier this week.

Here is the letter:

May 15, 2020

Governor JB Pritzker
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Governor Pritzker,

The purpose of this letter is to appeal to your administration for assistance in increasing the capacity for childcare for hardworking Illinois families across the state. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented upheaval in nearly every aspect of life.

As three of the four regions you have identified in your Restore Illinois plan move closer to reaching Phase 3, we have been made aware through multiple points of contact in the childcare industry that as people are being called to go back to work there exists a significant deficit in childcare availability.

We were encouraged to hear in your May 12 daily media briefing that you are organizing a childcare access task force. As we are keenly aware and interested in helping solve this issue for working families, we ask that Republican members of the House of Representatives be included
in any task force meetings.

Additionally, we request that the task force also include the
contributions of professionals working in the private childcare industry.

We are working closely with our leaders in the childcare industry to better understand and identify ways to increase capacity quickly, safely, and reasonably. For childcare centers, the current limit is 10 children. For homes receiving an emergency childcare license for in-home
care, the limit is six children.

As our communities go back to work, not only just in Illinois but in neighboring states as well, we would ask you to revisit these limits to allow for up to 15 children in childcare centers and 10 children in home emergency daycares.

If increasing these limits is off the table, would you be able to provide us with scientific research that shows the negative effect of larger limits at childcare centers or homes?

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.

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.

We, the undersigned members of the Illinois House of Representatives are also asking the favor of a quick reply from you or a member of your administration. The issue of childcare access and availability is an
emerging, imminent threat to the economy in all parts of Illinois.

If we can provide more information, or if you wish to speak directly to one of us, please do not hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,


Bradley Stephens
State Representative – 20th District


Margo McDermed
State Representative – 37th District


Grant Wehrli
State Representative – 41st District


Amy Grant
State Representative – 42nd District


Deanne M. Mazzochi
State Representative – 47th District


Tom Weber
State Representative – 64th District


Dan Ugaste
State Representative – 65th District


Jeff Keicher
State Representative – 70th District


Tony McCombie
State Representative – 71st District


Ryan Spain
State Representative – 73rd District


Dan Swanson
State Representative – 74th District


David A. Welter
State Representative – 75th District


Lindsay Parkhurst
State Representative – 79th District


Tim Butler
State Representative – 87th District


Andrew Chesney
State Representative – 89th District

Avery Bourne
State Representative – 95th District


Mike Murphy
State Representative – 99th District


Dan Caulkins
State Representative – 101st District


Brad Halbrook
State Representative – 102nd District


Mike Marron
State Representative – 104th District


Dan Brady
State Representative – 105th District


Thomas M. Bennett
State Representative – 106th District


Charlie Meier
State Representative – 108th District


Darren Bailey
State Representative – 109th District


Chris Miller
State Representative – 110th District


Terri Bryant
State Representative – 115th District


Dave Severin
State Representative – 117th District


Patrick Windhorst
State Representative – 118th District


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