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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Children Ages Six To Twelve May Be Cut From Illinois Day Care Budget

Illinois Child Care Bureau

There's been a lot of attention on the effect of the budget shortfall's immediate effect on a state-subsidized day care program in Illinois. But child care providers and parents are also worried about Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed cuts to next year's budget.

Gregory Bassi is the acting secretary for the Department of Human Services. He says the cuts are necessary.

"There will be less services for child care for next year. I'm not going to sit up here and tell you that there's going to be the same level of services. But we took pains to try to do it by priority."

One of Rauner's suggestions on how to cut child care funding is only providing financial assistance for children new to the program if they're five and under, instead of up to age 12. The state would continue funding children already in the program.

Senator Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat, says cutting government assistance to day care has negative consequences in other areas.

"Investment here really reaps huge benefits down the road. I think it's very short-sighted to think that trying to make cuts here is going to really save the state of Illinois anything meaningful, in fact it's going to really go the other way, all the data suggests."

More than 180,000 children receive assistance each month. About 40 percent of them are between six and twelve years old. 

Lisa Ryan is a graduate student in the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She previously worked at Indiana Public Radio and the college radio station founded by David Letterman. She is a 2014 broadcast journalism and political science graduate of Ball State University.
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