Chicago – Illinois Action for Children supports Governor Pritzker’s difficult but necessary decision to issue the order for some nonessential businesses in Illinois to close and/or reduce capacity as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to rise exponentially throughout our state. The order also asks all people who can work from home to do so for the duration of these Tier 3 mitigations.
From the beginning, the Pritzker Administration has taken a science- and public health-based approach to the COVID-19 crisis. This order announced today is the next step in that approach, as it is necessary to stop the uncontrolled spread of the virus throughout our state.
Child care is deemed an essential business in this order, as workers for other essential businesses that must continue to operate—grocery stores, essential retail, health care, teachers, among others—will still need access to child care to support the community and fight this pandemic.
Early childhood programs and the child care workforce will need additional support to meet their community’s needs during this time—this includes financial support for personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, and hazard pay for providers who stay open. Additional support is also needed to keep programs afloat while demand for child care diminishes during this order. Providers and caregivers should have flexibility to decide if they can remain open or shut down as community spread of COVID-19 remains high throughout the holiday season.
We thank the Governor for taking the steps needed to help mitigate the spread and devastation of COVID-19 in an effort to keep our children, families, and communities safe, all while supporting the critical early childhood workforce as they serve essential workers during the pandemic.
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Illinois Action for Children is a state and national leader in the early care and education community. Our outreach and work with low-income, hard-to-reach families, has led us to ensure that early care and education, and other opportunities, are accessible to the children most in need.