Care o Sel 1VIRDEN – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) visited the Care-O-Sel childcare and education center in Virden on Wednesday.

“These programs allow parents to continue working, going to school and providing for their families,” said Manar. “Legislators from both sides of the aisle have agreed that we must keep these opportunities available so that we don’t force families across the state into difficult situations.”

The Head Start program, one of the programs administered by the Virden center, provides a learning environment that promotes school readiness for children from birth age to five. Many of the families served by the program are low-income.

After Governor Rauner opposed efforts to provide funding for Illinois’ childcare providers, an estimated 55,000 less children are participating in state supported programs this year compared to last year.

In addition, approximately 52,000 caregivers have been working without an agreement with the state for nearly a year. As a result, many have had to scale back their services, eliminate staff and turn families away.

This session, Manar supported numerous proposals in the Illinois Senate that aimed to bring some surety to the state’s childcare system. They included plans to invest in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and paid training time, wage increases and healthcare security for childcare workers.

These proposals are currently on the governor’s desk awaiting approval.

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