State of Illinois DHS Child Care Application

The YWCA Elgin Partners with many local organization to help families in our community. On this page you will find information on DHS' Child Care Assistance Program. Feel free to call the YWCA Elgin with any questions that may arise.

What is the purpose of this service?

DHS' Child Care Assistance Program provides low-income, working families with access to quality, affordable child care that allows them to continue working and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child. Families are required to cost-share on a sliding scale based on family size, income and number of children in care.

Who can receive these services?

In addition to helping low-income, working families, the Child Care Assistance Program also serves:

  • Families who are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and participating in education & training in accordance with their responsibility and service plans (RSP);
  • Teen parents seeking a high school degree or its equivalent; and/or
  • Families not receiving TANF, who are pursuing additional education to improve their job opportunities.

Do I qualify for Child Care Assistance?

Please use the Child Care Assistance Program Eligibility Calculator to get an estimated calculation.

Contact your local Child Care Resource & Referral agency if you would like to find quality child care or receive an application to apply for the Child Care Assistance Program.

What services are offered?

The State of Illinois helps income eligible families pay for their child care services while they work, go to school, training and other workrelated activities.

The 16 Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies also perform the following services for parents and/or providers:

  • Provide parents with consumer education and referrals to child care in their communities;
  • Deliver training and assistance to providers in order to improve the quality of care offered;
  • Help develop new child care resources in communities where they are needed;
  • Assemble and maintain an accurate child care database to provide up-to-date information to parents; and
  • Record and analyze data on child care supply and demand to support community capacity building.
  • Great START - provides wage supplements to eligible practitioners working in licensed centers and homes.
  • Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program - is an individual-based scholarship opportunity for practitioners working in Early Care and Education (ECE) or school-age care.  The Gateways Scholarship Program is administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) and funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Bureau of Child Care and Development and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). 

    For questions about the Gateways Scholarship Program, please call a scholarship counselor toll-free at: (866) 697-8278 or email

How to apply?

To apply submit your completed application to your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) or child care center/home if they have a contract with IDHS to provide child care assistance.

If you have any questions about your eligibility or if you need help completing this form, call your local CCR&R. Find your local CCR&R or call 1-877-202-4453 (toll-free).

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